Apr 24, 201407:57 AMBlaska's Bring It!
with David Blaska
Progressives cause havoc on Verona City Council
(page 1 of 2)
Verona’s weekly newspaper was prescient: “There will be an unprecedented change the likes the council has never seen before,” the Press predicted last spring.
It did not take long for the eight-member City Council, now evenly divided after the surprise election of four progressives, to boil over in dissension. One month in, holdover alderman Jeremy Charles said the “new political climate … had taken a toll on his health, well-being and ability to reason with other alders.”
“The self-described voting bloc of the new folks are pretty much going to stick to their guns,” he complained. “They ran on a platform of stopping development, stopping the expansion of the city.” Charles’ resignation letter said he joined the council simply to serve and that he did not wish to become a politician. He resigned. (Verona Press, 4-26-13: “Alderman resigns over political climate.”)
Big mistake. That left the now 4-3 progressive majority to pick his successor. The fix was in. They chose one of their own — one Michael Bare, age 31. Employed by Community Advocates Public Policy Institute out of Milwaukee, he described himself as “an advocate for poor and at-risk Wisconsinites.” In other words: a community organizer. He had moved to town just two months before. Bare made it 5-3 progressive.
Bare, The Verona Press marveled, “devotes almost half of his two-page resume to detailing his work with U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold and other political campaigns.”
“Local government should not be partisan,” Mayor Jon Hochkammer lamented. (The county Republican Party does not endorse in nonpartisan elections.)
The new progressive bloc supported giving the public library eight new, full-time positions “without giving due consideration to all other city departments’ needs,” Hochkammer charged. The council had denied funding nighttime coverage for the fire department, for instance. “I attribute this to lack of knowledge of budgeting, and understanding of working within the levy limits imposed by the state,” Hochkammer said.