Friday, June 22, 2007

Some Goings-on In the Judiciary Committee...

Here are the full minutes, below are the parts that I am concerned with:

4. Domestic Abuse Position for District Attorney
District Attorney Christian Gossett advised that his office only has one Domestic Abuse Investigator at this time due to budget restraints. Currently, the District Attorney’s Office contracts with local police agencies to have an officer work as their Domestic Abuse Investigator. By doing this, they must follow that officer’s union contract with their respective police agency. The contract for the current Domestic Abuse position will expire at the end of June 2007.

They are currently in the process of looking at filling this position with someone from within their office, possibly using retired officers, rather than contracting the position. By doing so, they would not have to follow a union contract and they would gain five more hours a week, and a full four more weeks a year of time from the person, along a savings of about $17,000. He believes that they will have a better chance of getting the 2nd Domestic Abuse Investigator position filled in 2008.

Now, I would hope that DA Gossett would be more concerned with getting the correct person in this position than subverting Union contracts...

I support a second Domestic Violence Investigator. The fact that it was left out of the budget was the reason I voted against the budget. However, if DA Gossett is going to use this position and the needs of battered and threatened women in Winnebago County as an attack on organized labor, I would encourage you to talk to him about it. I will be.

6. Accept Grant from Wal-Mart – Sheriff’s Office
Captain Verwiel advised that they have received a grant for $1,000 from Wal-Mart. This grant money will be used to cover the cost of purchasing Canon digital photography cameras that will work with their preexisting equipment. These cameras are good forensic-type cameras, as they are the only cameras available that have a viewfinder that can be moved around to change positions, which will help greatly at autopsies and traffic accidents. The digital photos can then also be emailed to the District Attorney’s Office. One camera will be used in the jail and two cameras will be used by the Detective Division.

A motion to approve acceptance of the $1,000 grant from Wal-Mart was made by Donald Griesbach, seconded by Tom Ellis. Motion carried 3-1. Bill Wingren opposed due to some of Wal-Mart’s practices.

Bill Wingren did the right thing. Wal-Mart owes Winnebago County, the State of WI and taxpayers nationwide much more than this $1000 can even begin to repay. I will have a subsequent post detailing the case for rejecting this grant.

After Wal-Mart stops using Badger care to insure its emplyees, tax loopholes to not pay income tax in WI and all the other shady ways they get out of thier responsibilities to society, then maybe we can accept the $1000.

I'd rather take it out of the budget than accept their money. The Sheriff can have his camera if it is needed in the budget.

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