Kronenwetter changes committee structure amid turmoil | Wausau news
The Weekly Wausonian for July 21, 2022
Starting last week, all committee activities in Kronenwetter will go through a Committee of the Whole — essentially a committee comprised of all board members — before appearing before the village board.
No village board agenda details this action — interim administrator Duane Gau says the items was adopted when the board adopted his contract, which allows for that ability.
Some residents are arguing this is an open meetings violation because the specific change wasn’t agendized. It’s not clear whether just because an ability is spelled out in a contract means it can be adopted that night by the board.
The move comes as Kronenwetter Administrator Richard Downey remains on leave, and after a host of high-level employees in the village have left. The clerk position has had two different people leave this year alone, and the village is on its third public works director in two years. Two community development directors have left within a one-year span.
The Wausonian has been investigating the situation in Kronenwetter and releasing parts of that investigation in a series. Read Part I, Part II and Part III here. Part IV, hopefully coming this weekend, will detail interviews with former village employees; Part V will be interviews with the board members many say are the cause of the staff exodus.
Downey, meanwhile, is now the assistant administrator in the city of Altoona, according to the city’s website.
Subscribers this week read a story about T. Wall Enterprise and why it quit the Riverlife project. The narrative comes from legal action T. Wall nearly took against the city before withdrawing it. City leaders have not yet responded with their side of the story.
What else in Wausau news?
Jalepenos received an exemption that allowed it to renew its liquor license despite owing money to the city. But, the business received a summons to appear before the city’s Public Health and Safety Committee next month over incidents involving the bar/restaurant staying open past bar close and allegedly serving minors. Jalepenos’ owner says he’s gotten rid of the staff that allowed that and has a new, more responsible staff in place.
The case against one of the new Afghan refugees alleging sexual assault has been dismissed. The refugee, Matiullah Matie, completed a counseling program and thus a judge dismissed the charges against him. The resettlement, aside from that incident, has been relatively incident free.
A project that will see a number of bridges along the Wausau-area section of Highway 51 has been approved, according to a press release from Gov. Evers office. Below is a map of where work on the seven bridges will occur. Work is expected to wrap by September.
Around the metro
Rising fuel prices aren’t just hurting consumers - they’re causing a little chaos with county budgets too. More expensive fuel is especially costing the highway department and the sheriff’s office. Highway buys in bulk though, and bought its current fuel when it was cheaper; and the sheriff’s office has enough openings that the cost savings cover the difference.
The county is slated to get some big settlements from class action lawsuits against opioid pain pill companies. But how to get it is another matter. One of the three companies would pay out over 8 years, and another two would pay out over 18 years. It might make sense for the county to take a smaller sum earlier that would be guaranteed and not lose purchasing power to inflation, some leaders argue. County leaders haven’t yet made a decision.
This week in data
The Wausau Fire Department set a record for number of calls in June. Fire Chief Robert Barteck says July will likely set yet another record. Here is how June this month compares with Junes of the past four years.
The Rib Mountain Tap House in Rib Mountain is closing, town documents confirm. The Rib Mountain Town Board Tuesday awarded the non-reserve license to Era Pancakes and Cafe, choosing it in a random drawing over The Garage. Both already have a license but the non-reserve license would allow the business owner to sell the license along with the business.
Saturday, July 23: It’s Wausau’s birthday! Wausau is 150 years old this year, and the city is celebrating with a downtown festival. That includes a variety of bands, carnival games, food from various vendors, train rides, family activities and more. The best part, other than the food and carnival games, is that it’s free. Head on down to Marathon Park to check it out. More details on the Facebook page.
Thursday, July 21: OK, it’s a little fancy schmancy, but Monk Gardens and Whitewater Music Hall teamed up to present another Booze and Botany for the fourth year in a row. Your ticket includes four drink/food pairings, a cocktail demonstration from NightTribe Cocktails, and some desserts and other festivities throughout the night. It’s a little pricey at $55 a ticket (and getting close to sold out!) but hey, treat yourself, amirite? See the event page and ticket info here.
Friday, July 22: It might surprise you to learn there is a hip new music venue in Mosinee, but that’s exactly what Lamplight Sessions is. The new venue is hosting a high-level of music — bands that are just starting to tour nationally and make a name for themselves. Next up is Good Morning Bedlam, whose singer has a crazy powerful voice overlaying an indie pop/bluegrass sound that’s a bit hard to classify but easy to listen to. Enjoy a cold one and some great music at this cozy new venue. Check out the event page here.
Looking for kids/family events? Check out the full listing from The Wausonian’s partner Wausau Mama, who puts together a weekly listing of children/family activities.
The Wausau Woodchucks fell in a tight contest to the Lakeshore Chinooks 5-4 on the road Sunday. Despite the loss, the Chucks have had a better second half to the season, and remain tied for second place with an 8-4 record. The loss allowed the Chinooks to pull to even with the Chucks in the Great Lakes West division. The Chucks head on a four-day road stint following the all-star break, and will take on Madison at home Monday.
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