Thursday, September 28, 2006

...and then there were 36

The board voted to reduce itself to 36 on Tuesday. The Northwestern has some stong opinions about it here and here.

The OshNW is being a little unfair in my opinion by telling only half the story. What is the rate of competition for the seats of those supervisors that voted no?

They make it seem like only the ones safe in their seats voted yes. There are many supervisors who voted no that are also safe in their seats.

This goes into the reason that I voted no on this resolution (and would have voted no on all of them given the chance). There is no hard data on any number indicating that it would be a good level of representation.

I think Vice-Chair Schaidler put it the most eloquently. Even if we half the board, there would be no net increase in the number of people running for these seats, there would only be less seats to run for.

Until I am presented with a reasoned explanation along with a plan for board function, I will vote no for any change in the board size whether it is at the board itself, or on a referendum.

I also do not believe that the 1990 study is relevent anymore. It may be helpful, but the duties, function ond funding of county government hav substantially changed in the last 16 years.

I agree that we need a real study. We should vote on facts and reasoned consequences not whim, fear or emotion.

As always, contact me anytime to share your opinion or with any questions.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Voting Security

Something Advocap does:

Advocap meal delivery program nourishes seniors' bodies, spirits
Donations help keep service up and running
Kara Patterson
Post-Crescent staff writer
Ruth Slomski, 80, says she is relieved that she receives noontime meals ready to eat every weekday, and also appreciates the frozen meals that get her through each weekend.

The Winnebago County Nutrition Program's home-delivered meal program — run through Advocap Inc. and bolstered by United Way Fox Cities funds — has become a saving grace for the Neenah resident's health and independence.

"I'm living with my son and he's gone to work," Slomski said Thursday. "I'm in a wheelchair and I burnt myself several times, in blisters. My daughter said it's time for me to stay away from anything (involved with hot meal preparation)."

What's happening
The Nutrition Program, which also includes 11 group sites, offers meals that provide one-third of the recommended dietary intake for older adults.

Each meal costs $7.09 but meals are free for participants, who mostly are age 60 and up, said Nutrition Program director Terri Stern.

However, their goodwill donations, which average $2.42 per meal in United Way's service area, make up about 30 percent of the Nutrition Program's total budget, Stern said.

How it works
Paid and volunteer drivers deliver meals. One menu offers meatloaf with a side of tomatoes and zucchini, scalloped potatoes, white bread, diced peaches, a Rice Krispie bar and milk.

About 67 percent of participants in United Way's service area who responded to a January survey depend upon the noon meals for half or more of their daily food intake.

Slomski said she usually saves her fruit or dessert to eat later with her afternoon medications.

What's ahead
Stern said United Way dollars in 2007 could help protect the Nutrition Program from financial distress. The program received $36,225 in 2006.

"If we did not have United Way funding, we'd be talking about having to scale back services, plain and simple," she said.

For more information about the Nutrition Program, call Stern at 920-725-6323 or 800-631-2791. Advocap's Web site is

Monday, September 25, 2006

19, 25, 32, 36 or 38

We will be considering all of those tomorrow night.

Here is the agenda.

Here are all of the resolutions: 25 - 32 - 36

19 is coming through signatures (if the get them, the effort is underway). 38 is if nothing is done.

If 25, 32 or 36 passes this week and is signed by the County Exec, the signature drive ends.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Should be a fun one...

The next agenda for the full county board is here.

3 resolutions should end up getting attention...

RESOLUTION NO. 89-92006: Reduce Size of Winnebago County Board to 36 Members
Submitted by:

RESOLUTION NO. 90-92006: Withhold Payment to Diebold for Voting Machines Until Fully Functional
Submitted by:

RESOLUTION NO. 91-92006: Authorize Reduction of Size of County Board from 38 to 32 Members
Submitted by:

Why are there 2 resolutions on board size? Progress Oshkosh is starting a petition today. Once the petition is in, we cannot reduce ourselves. However, if we reduce ourselves before it is in, it doesn't matter if they turn in a petition, we can only be reduced once betweencensusess.

From the Progess Oshkosh email:

Progress Oshkosh has rescheduled "The Power Hour of Progress" to Wednesday, Sept 20th at the Algoma Club in downtown Oshkosh at 5:30PM. There are 4 items on the agenda:

1. Launch a Referendum drive for the Winnebago County Board. The Citizens Unite to Transform the Winnebago County Board (CUT Winnebago County Board) will begin their Referendum Drive for reducing the Size of the Winnebago County Board from 38 members to 19 members. (Presented by the CUT Winnebago County Board Committee)

This is an end-around to get past the petition. What will happen? I don't know. I will listen to people's arguments. I will act if there are real reasons.

Just like I don't believe Progress Oshkosh has a good reason to come up with the number 19, I will listen for reasons that 36 or 32 were chosen.

I have our IS Committee meeting tonight, so I will be stopping by Progress Oshkosh's event, but will be unable to stay for it all.

I'll report more tomorrow...

One other comment on Tuesday's resolutions...

What did we accomplish by removing the position?

RESOLUTION: Transfer $40,000 from the Salary Contingency Fund to the Wage and Benefit Accounts of District Attorney Department's 2006 Budget

WHEREAS, the 2006 budget for this department was reduced by one legal secretary; and

WHEREAS, the amount of work has remained the same or increased slightly; and

WHEREAS, the remaining legal secretaries have worked more overtime to complete the required workload; and

WHEREAS, as a result of the three above items, there will not be sufficient funds in the departments budget to fund the wages and benefits for the entire year 2006.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Winnebago County Board of Supervisors that it hereby appropriates $40,000 from the Salary Contingency Fund of Winnebago County's General Fund to the District Attorney's Wage and Benefit Account of the 2006 budget.

Fiscal note: This will reduce the salary contingency fund by $40,000.

I am probably going to vote for this, but I think the point needs to be made that we cannot continue to cut in areas that are mandated. We will not save any money, as this shows.

If we are going to cut, it needs tomeaningfulfull. Or, we need to be honest about how many people it takes to do this work.


Thursday, September 14, 2006

Diebold did not do what we were told it would do...

I will be submitting a resolution to ask for a refund/payment from Diebold for the overtime.

The Northwestern is right on here:

As our county clerks spent the day manually entering touch-screen vote totals into a catch-call county database, our State Elections Board explained a component that helps the new Diebold machines combine information with the old is, effectively, on order.

The Federal
Elections Commission hasn't approved it yet. Might be next year. Also, a formatting issue between digital and paper versions of our ballots swamped quick results. So, our county clerks spent Tuesday night and all day Wednesday flowing the touch-screen's paper results into the county's main vote database.

This is not the scenario that we were sold. Would Diebold please explain to everyone what exactly wasn't explained before we signed our contract?


Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Were we lied to?

When the County Board approved the Diebold purchase (I voted nay), we were told that we could only purchase Diebold because they worked with our current systems.

I asked why we could not use a system that is not complimentary with the current one and simply count those separately. There are electronic systems out there that will print an actual ballot - I consider these more safe.

The Outagamie County Clerk told the board that in her county they have more than one system, and that a single system would be better because of efficiency. They spend all night putting together their results and it takes too long.

I asked if thier results are correct, and she said yes, of course they are - even with the different systems.

We were then told by Diebold and our clerks that with thier system, this would not be a problem, because all were in sync. Election results would be instant!

Then we see this:

Vote tabulation continues
Officials in the Winnebago County Clerk's office are still counting votes from Tuesday’s election this morning, but expect to be done tallying votes by noon.

The final results in the election were delayed because of the need to manually enter votes cast on the new touch-screen voting machines.

The touch-screen machines were used for the first time in this election after being purchased in June to bring the county into compliance with the federal Help America Vote Act, which was intended to provide more access to the polls for disabled voters.

The problem stems from the design of the ballot approved by the State Elections Board, which was in a format that was incompatible with the new machines’ vote tabulating system.About 1,200 ballots were cast Tuesday using the new machines.

Clerks assure that the problem is easily remedied and will be corrected in time for the Nov. 7 election.

Will it? We were told the problem would not happen at all...


Progress Oshkosh Launching County Board Size Referendum

From an email I received:

Progress Oshkosh has rescheduled "The Power Hour of Progress" to Wednesday, Sept 20th at the Algoma Club in downtown Oshkosh at 5:30PM. There are 4 items on the agenda:

1. Launch a Referendum drive for the Winnebago County Board. The Citizens Unite to Transform the Winnebago County Board (CUT Winnebago County Board) will begin their Referendum Drive for reducing the Size of the Winnebago County Board from 38 members to 19 members. (Presented by the CUT Winnebago County Board Committee)


1. How did they come up with the number 19?

2. Don't show up if you are a person with a disability - the Algoma Club is not accessible.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Meeting on County Board Size Tomorrow!

Here is the agenda.

I will not be able to make it.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Babblemur (Oshkosh Blogger & Poll Worker) Has a Recap of Diebold Training