Response to Friends of Sandy Beach & Rock Lake

Dear Editor,

While I applaud the efforts by the Friends of Sandy Beach and Rock Lake, their efforts are misguided and last week’s letter had some false and misleading information. Their letter said that the City Council has been planning a multi-million dollar project without public input. That is false. As my article titled “Sandy Beach in my own words” published June 11 in the Leader states, “The only plans we have right now is to move the boat launch when and if the archeological study is finished and comes back without any findings that would prevent us from moving forward.”

The next falsehood is the idea that the City Council is planning this behind closed doors. The Lake Mills Town Chairperson, as one of the authors, should know how the Wisconsin State Open Meeting laws regulate closed sessions, walking quorums or email quorums as referenced my article, “Improper perception of city government” published July 2. Closed sessions need to be noticed in the paper and posted in multiple places in the city. On top of that, a closed meeting can only be held for specific items that are referenced in Wisconsin Statute 19.85 such as the items listed below.

Judicial or Quasi-Judicial Hearings, Employment and Licensing Matters, Consideration of Employment, Promotion, Compensation, and Performance Evaluations, Consideration of Financial, Medical, Social, or Personal Information, Conducting Public Business with Competitive or Bargaining Implications, Conferring with Legal Counsel with Respect to Litigation.

We are not allowed to discuss anything in closed session that would let us discuss planning of or approving any improvements such as the Sandy Beach project. Any closed session item must have an open session item on the agenda in order for us to make a decision on it. Decisions and approvals must be made in open session.

The Friends of Sandy Beach and Rock Lake have good intentions, but everything we have so far as a plan or proposed plan for Sandy Beach is on the city website. If and when we move forward with Sandy Beach planning, those citizens that are interested or concerned should keep their eyes and ears open for opportunities to assist us with any future plans. Currently the city is working on a survey platform that will assist us in getting more input from the community.

Mike Foster

Lake Mills City Council president

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