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Council Rehashes Old Issues


SHEBOYGAN, Wis. (WHBL) - The Sheboygan City Council spent most of Monday night’s meeting revisiting old issues.  First, Alderman John Belanger proposed that the city solicit bids for an in-depth study of the city’s ambulance service, saying it was time to get an outside agency involved to finally put the issue to rest.  Some aldermen were opposed, saying city residents had approved the ambulance service in a referendum.  Others felt they would make a decision after seeing the cost, and the proposal was approved, 9 to 7.  Belanger also offered a proposal to privatize garbage collection.  He said his plan would increase what each household would pay for garbage collection and solve the city's budget troubles in the years ahead.  Aldermen rejected the proposal by a vote of 14 to 2.  And, finally, aldermen rejected an effort to bring in an ordinance to reduce the mayor’s salary from $50,000 to $25,000 a year and allow him to hold an outside job.  Alderman Darryl Carlson said he brought in the ordinance to bring the mayor’s salary in line with his duties and because it would have to be approved by December 1st.  Alderperson Mary Lynne Donahue was opposed, saying it would, in effect, make the position part-time and be a major change in the structure of city government.  She said that is too big a step to take in two or three weeks.  City Attorney Steve McLean said for the council to reduce the mayor's salary at this point, the council would first have to approve an ordinance specifically making the position part-time.  The council then voted, 9 to 6, to refer the measure to committee for further study.  The council had voted last March to reduce the salary from $74,000 to $50,000 after the city created the position of Chief Administrative Officer, thus, reducing the duties of the mayor.