During a 36-minute meeting, the Sun Prairie City Council on Sept. 7 voted to amend the Sustainability Committee composition after District 1 Alder Terry McIlroy pointed out the ordinance requires membership representation from two related city bodies.
McIlroy sought to amend the ordinance from an optional appointment by the mayor to a required appointment by the mayor — changing the word “may” to “shall” to require the appointment.
McIlroy explained that District 2 Alder Bob Jokisch was willing to serve on the new committee after she asked him to consider it. By the time she told Ben Johns with the Public Works Department that Jokisch was interested in being appointed, she was told all the appointments were made.
“He was told if he wanted to attend the meeting, he could,” McIlroy said, “but he would not be a voting member.”
After talking to Sustainability Committee Chair and District 3 Alder Mike Jacobs, McIlroy decided that it would be best to expand the committee to include two more members — one each from the Sun Prairie Parks, Recreation and Forestry Commission and the Public Works Committee.
McIlroy said she was concerned there is consideration that it might be too difficult to have someone from those committees serving on the Sustainability Committee that it may just be disregarded.
The discussion was sidetracked briefly when District 4 Alder Faustina Bohling and District 3 Alder Maureen Crombie — attending remotely — appeared to lose their Zoom meeting participation connection. But alders and those in the council chambers could hear them continuing their discussion, which led to some laughter after Bohling and Crombie both realized they were still able to be heard.
Marc Borland from the Sun Prairie Media Center explained after the meeting that occasionally, the machine on which the Zoom meeting is hosted in the SPMC’s recording room at city hall simply stops working. That led to him twice coming out to the council to ask for a pause in the proceedings while he fixed it.
When the discussion resumed so all could participate, Jacobs said he agreed wth McIlroy, but still wanted the language left alone because it would allow an optional appointment instead of a required appointment.
The concern, according to Jacobs and City Administrator Aaron Oppenheimer, was tapping too many people to repeatedly volunteer their time.
Oppenheimer said that inserting the word “shall” takes away any flexibility and requires appointments from Parks and Public Works, instead of other citizens at large.
But McIlroy insisted on the amendment, saying there should be synergies between the three bodies — Sustainability, Public Works and the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Commission.
Jokisch also pointed out the ordinance spells out appointees from both the commission and the committee should be appointed to the Sustainability Committee.
“I’m not sure why they weren’t named in the first place,” Jokisch said. “The ordinance states that.”
Alders voted 5-3, with Jacobs, District 2 Alder Theresa Stevens and Bohling voting no, to approve the amendment.
Special meeting set September 10
The council is scheduled to convene a special meeting at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 10 to consider a closed session item that was incorrectly posted to the Sept. 7 council agenda.
The Sept. 7 agenda said the council was to adjourn into closed session “pursuant to Wis. Stat. sec 19.85 (1)© to consider employment and performance evaluation data and pursuant to WI State Statute 19.85 (1)(f)” but contained no other information.
Multicultural Fair plugged
The council received a reminder that the city’s Multicultural Fair is scheduled to take place on Saturday, Sept. 18 in Sheehan Park; watch the Sun Prairie Star for more information about the fair in future issues.