not Oz

The planning commission transported us from Waunakee to Oz during their HyVee specific implementation plan (SIP) approval on May 13, 2019. A multi-hour review “process” must be seen to be believed. I would encourage everyone to watch the Youtube video.

Citizens expressed their concerns, commissioners (who actually read the packet) expressed concerns, and the project was approved with eight conditions, and some unaddressed staff comments relating to intersection design. Were these issues resolved? Who knows? Will it come back before the public prior to implementation? Unlikely.

What the project will look like, we don’t really know. The only person who had an inkling of the trouble brewing was Trustee and Commissioner Susan Springman. I will give her credit for voting no on a plan that failed to have correct dating, staff who decided to have a maximum on parking for this project (no actual number was expressed), and an intersection that staff suggested will not accommodate the trucks needed to serve the development to name a couple of issues.

Commissioners might need a moment of silence to collect their thoughts prior to a vote. Staff should not interrupt this with reasons to vote yes or reasons to vote no. If commissioners have questions, they should be answered, but staff need to remember they are not participants in the decision making process. I believe there is an old phrase, don’t speak unless spoken to? If clarification of the committee’s intention is required, staff should request it following the motion.

A best practice is to require an introduction of an issue with a clear statement of need, identification of issues including the consequences of action or inaction prior to opening the public hearing and discussion. Following such a practice would eliminate such inappropriate direction of our committees in the future. Ideally, the public hearing and discussion occur on separate dates, so decision makers can consider the testimony provided during the hearings.

Watch the video and decide for yourself.

Ann Lewandowski

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