This week on #LocalGovMatters Gwyn drops in on the League of Wisconsin Municipalities Legislative Lobby Day to hear from some local officials about needs in their communities.
The podcast starts with League Executive Director Jerry Deschane welcoming everyone to Madison – yes it was another snowstorm day. Then you’ll hear from local officials that Gwyn pulled aside to interview.
Mike Vandersteen, the Mayor of Sheboygan and he told Gwyn about the importance of transportation funding and local transportation aids. The City of Sheboygan bought its own road paver to fix its roads and of the 200 miles of road in the city limits, they have been able to go from repairing and repaving 2 miles of road a year to almost 7 miles of road a year, but Vandersteen says it’s not sustainable.
Kathy Ehler, the Mayor of Wauwatosa, discussed the Dark Stores and Walgreen proposals. Ehley said they have anywhere from 10-14 challenges at any given time. Wauwatosa has lost $43 million in property value to challenged assessments, and has spent between $500,000 and $600,000 on court fees to this point. Ehler is looking for a fair and equitable answer. (Rep. Brooks and Sen. Stroebel have started circulating a bill to address Dark Stores and Walgreens, and Gov. Evers has said he will include a proposal in his budget).
John Weidl, City Administrator for the City of Mukwonago, talked about the Shared Services laws and how they can be helpful and how they can be more of a distraction than a real answer. Weidl also talked about the impact Dark Stores has had on his community.
Erik Brooks, Mayor of South Milwaukee, discussed the levy limit laws. Brooks emphasized that over the past 10 years there have been significant impact on his community because they don’t even get 1% growth in their budget. Brooks wants at least an inflationary floor for levy limits.
Matt Heiser, Village Administrator for Kewaskum, talked about a need to change TIF (Tax Incremental Financing) laws. Heiser said they have a TID in their district for light manufacturing that they can’t get anyone to use, but a residential developer wants to come – however the TID won’t allow for it and the Village can’t afford to close the TID to re-zone, and laws don’t allow for re-zoning existing TIDs.
It was a great morning of catching local officials – thanks to the League of Wisconsin Municipalities for the invitation to attend.