Madison – Today, Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk, Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz, Verona Mayor John Volker, who chairs the Dane County Cities and Villages Association, and Town of Bristol Chair Gerald Derr, who chairs the Dane County Towns Association announced a joint plan to continue vital planning beyond the scheduled Oct. 1, 2004 dissolution of the Dane County Regional Planning Commission.
The leaders issued the following statement:
“We have agreed upon, in principle, a framework for a Council of Governments, made up of the local elected officials who are leaders of Dane County, the City of Madison, the Dane County Cities & Villages Association, and the Dane County Towns Association. The leaders themselves would be required to serve on the seven-member board rather than sending a designee. The board will consist of the Mayor of Madison, the Dane County Executive, the Madison Common Council President, the Dane County Board Chair, the President and Vice-President of the Dane County Cities and Villages Association and the President of the Towns Association.
“This new organization is a way to achieve real countywide cooperation. By having the top elected officials deciding the vital issues of planning and growth, we can protect the high quality of life we value in our county. The most important step in this compromise is the various governmental entities agreeing that for true regional planning we need everyone at the table.
“While we have reached an agreement in principle, there are still details to be worked out for the new organization. We have lots of work to do and we need the assistance of the Legislature and Governor to approve this compromise for the organization to be in place right after the dissolution of the RPC on October 1st. With the Legislative session scheduled to end in March, the Legislature and Governor must act quickly to accomplish this historic agreement.”
The new Council of Governments is predicated on a weighted voting model from San Diego, California. Each governmental entity has a percentage of the vote, based primarily on population. The Council would make key recommendations regarding water quality and urban service area expansions immediately upon dissolution of the RPC. Senator Fred Risser and Representative David Ward have been given drafting instructions and are working with the Legislative Reference Bureau to have a bill drafted to create the new planning entity.
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