Last night was my first Whitefish Bay Board of Trustees meeting.
In the grand scheme of things, your first meeting as an elected official is right up there with your wedding, birth of your kids, and Marquette making it to the Final Four.
Ok, maybe lower than those. But I dragged my wife, 2 year old, and 10 month old to see daddy get sworn in anyway.
The three newly elected Trustees, Miller, Foster, and myself were quickly sworn in and then we were off to the "super exciting" business of the Village.
I'm not sure how I'll blog about these meetings. I can't imagine there are that many folks who are sitting at home, waiting to find out if the Village approved the Class-B Beer License for the Lion's club tent during the bike race. (We did.)
One of the first items was the appointments of volunteers to the many committees that help run our village. I admit, I am apprehensive about this process. These committees are vital, and often have great impact on the lives of residents. Effectively, the volunteers are vetted and selected by the Village President, then confirmed by the Board of Trustees without meeting in person. Next year, I will seek more information about each candidate.
The big ticket item discussed was the Cumberland Street Reconstruction Project, which was awarded to the low-bidder and should begin shortly. Naturally, streets are expensive items for a municipality, and those who live on the blocks to be done are required to pay a special assessment for the work.
Of course, no resident likes paying an extra bill. It is important to note, that the Village generally picks up 70% of the cost of these street reconstructions, and 100% of the water and sewer work. The home owners "only" pay the remaining 30%. -- This, I did not know until a few months ago.
Clearly, the village as a whole has an interest in maintaining community streets, but each homeowner on those blocks do indeed uniquely benefit. A 70/30 split seems about right. Not to say that that 30% isn't painful, of course.
We voted on some additional planters for the Silver Spring reconstruction. I made my first rookie mistake by blurting out a "second" to a non-existing motion. (At least I got that first mistake out of the way early.)
We also had overview of the Shorewood/WFB Board of Health Community Health Improvement Plan .. and some commentary about the possible future of merging with the North Shore BoH. Right now, more questions than answers remain.
I should probably end with a disclaimer. I think the above is about right, although certainly incomplete. (The full agenda can be found here.) The above certainly shouldn't be considered official minutes, which will be eventually published. Think of this blog entry as your peek into one Village Board meeting from the perspective of someone sitting up there.
If you want further information about any of the topics above, I may be of assistance, or put you in touch with who can.