Who knew? When Dane County Towns Association lobbyist and Supervisor Tim Roehl tried to punish town residents, it didn’t go well for him. Residents who opposed Roehl’s law allowing towns to opt out of Dane County control were told Roehl wanted to make their votes “advisory,” and to boot, make them have a special meeting instead of annual board meeting. Well, the you-know-what hit the fan.
Make no mistake, this was a Scott Walker attack on liberal Dane County, the only county effected by the state law. I think the tipping point came on March 8th. Check out the condescending "outside groups" argument below:
Lawmakers on an Assembly committee heard testimony Wednesday on a bill proponents say will streamline the process by which Dane County towns can withdraw from county zoning. But opponents argue it takes residents' voices out of the equation.
Dane County is the only one of Wisconsin's 72 counties in which towns can opt out of county zoning, as a result of a bill authored by Rep. Keith Ripp, R-Lodi, and signed into law by Gov. Scott Walker last year. Under that law, towns can withdraw if residents approve the move through a referendum or a vote at an annual town meeting. The new bill, also authored by Ripp, would transfer the decision-making power to town boards.
Supporters of the bill argued that Town of Middleton residents are being misinformed by "outside groups" about the implications of opting out of Dane County zoning. "The outside forces are making it extremely difficult for town residents to make an educated decision on this issue," said Ripp aide Matthew Rohrbeck. Rohrbeck declined to name the outside groups, but Roehl suggested the push was coming from the county level. "What this legislation does, in my mind, is it keeps Dane County influences out of our town halls," Roehl said.
Deb Nelson, a 35-year Town of Middleton resident, said she was "insulted" by the suggestion that she could not sift through information being presented to her as a voter.
Michael Rhoads, also a resident of the Town of Middleton, said the bill is "unfair, undemocratic and extremely discriminatory against town residents in Dane County."
Taking the voters voice out of the process...not the smartest move, but very Republican. Middleton Times, WREX, WKOW, WSJ:
Again, just a recap:
As a lobbyist for the Dane County Towns Association, town supervisor and Realtor Tim Roehl ... backed legislation introduced in March which made the residents’ vote advisory. The legislation’s conservative backers then amended the bill to have town residents vote to opt out - but at a special meeting, not the annual meeting.
That caused Cynthia Richson and Richard Oberle to register as write-in candidates. Cynthia Richson defeated Kolar by a 52-48 percent margin, while Richard Oberle trounced Roehl 56-44 percent.Just when you thought we had a happy ending to this power grab....
“The people have finally been heard, respected and listened to...This is very exciting for the town,” Richson said moments after getting the voting results … residents (were) upset with the prospect of losing their vote on opting out of county zoning. “That’s taking away a core, fundamental value of our town…and someone had to stand up against it,” she said.