AN AD HOC committee convened last spring to consider how to deal with the twin challenges of an unusable Tygert Street bridge and the narrow and unimproved Akin Street.       Tim Lyke photo
AN AD HOC committee convened last spring to consider how to deal with the twin challenges of an unusable Tygert Street bridge and the narrow and unimproved Akin Street. Tim Lyke photo

     For many years, the Ripon Common Council divided itself into two subcommittees: the Finance & Governmental Affairs Committee (F&GA) and the Board of Public Works (BPW).

     In October 2006, aldermen voted to pull the plug on the dual panels, preferring instead to roll the committee functions into the full council, which effective Jan. 1, 2007, would begin meeting twice monthly.

     Reasons for discontinuing them were more pragmatic than principled: Difficulty in getting a three-person quorum to show up for the meetings, and fear that two aldermen effectively could kill an idea in committee that the other six aldermen might otherwise support.

     Then Mayor Kramer asked council members to “go at least a year, and if you don’t like it, go back.”

     At least one alderman in 2019 is ready to go at least part way back.

     Ald. Aaron Becker wants to revive the BPW, although in modified form.

      He recommends it be comprised of aldermen and citizens, and be charged with overseeing Public Works Department policies and budget, bird-dogging the city’s capital improvement plan, while providing the public with a forum for comments. Others believe only elected officials, accountable to the public, should sit on the board. ...

                                              — Tim Lyke

To read the entire editorial, including arguments for and against re-creating a Board of Public Works, see the June 20, 2019 edition of The Ripon Commonwealth Press.