Prairie du Chien Common Council OKs reduction from 12 to eight council members

The Prairie du Chien Common Council decided in a special meeting Monday night to reduce the size of the council itself, effective in April of 2015. The reduction from 12 to eight council members—one from each aldermanic district and two at-large members—passed on an 8-3 vote, with Frank Pintz, Ken Fleshner and Mark Thein opposed.

Monday night’s meeting was called after it was found that action at the council’s March 18 meeting was ill-advised. Wisconsin Statute 62.08 (4) requires that any vote to reduce must pass by a two-thirds vote of all members. At the March 18 meeting, the council approved a motion, 7-5, to reduce the size of the council (as stated above), with Pintz, Fleshner, Thein, Sharon Boylen and Mike Jones opposed. Upon learning the statute’s rule, the special meeting was scheduled with the intent of a re-vote.

Prior to Monday night’s meeting, City Administrator Aaron Kramer, after consulting with the Wisconsin League of Municipalities, drafted a proposal showing how the transition would be handled. Due to the council’s vote to reduce, two charter ordinances were considered and passed on a two-thirds vote (8-3) at the meeting. Both ordinances recreate two sections of the municipal code to account for the change in size and structure.

A second reading of a third ordinance, which recreates the municipal code section dealing with standing committees, will take place at the April 8 council meeting.

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