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Monday, April 03, 2017

Red Flags Abound In City Manager's Meeting With Gov. Walker

Here's a story that on many ...many different levels, begs for questions.

Last week, Janesville's top city employee, City Manager Mark Freitag, tagged along with the VP of Gov. Scott Walker's local booster club to meet with the governor and discuss shared revenue and levy limits that affect Janesville, according to a city news release.

That's all of it! Nothing to report. End of story.

Well, not quite. It remains unknown as in what capacity did Freitag attend this meeting. As a random concerned John Q. Citizen or as a city employee? Did he have city council approval to engage in discussion with a politician on legislative matters that can affect the city? Does he even need council approval to engage in politically sensitive budget discussions with a deeply partisan politician? Possibly not. But if not, why not? After all, he is a city employee.

Was it prudent to be accompanied by a lobbyist representing the city's largest donor class of Scott Walker's? Even further, why was a political donor group like Forward Janesville included in the discussion in the first place?

Were area union officials from police, fire or teachers invited? Those groups will be affected by shared revenue and levy limits more than most. Did they decline the invite? Was the city's elected council president or council VP invited to the meeting? Did they decline the invite or were they not invited? Did they approve? If not, why not?

Did they discuss issues they didn't reveal in their press release? Issues like the potential sale of the shuttered GM plant, the DNR's plan to deal with GM's contamination in the Rock River or the state grant for the Monterey Dam? If those issues weren't discussed, why not?

What was Walker's response to inquiries on the fiscal matters they reportedly discussed? Does anyone know? Was the meeting behind closed doors? So many questions. So little transparency.

The Janesville Gazette, of course, had nothing new to report or questions about this meeting.

Just business as usual. End of story.

1 comment:

Peter Felknor said...

To quote Carlo Gambino, or maybe it was Scott Fitzgerald, "You ask too many questions, Lou."

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