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Marshfield Common Council Approves Budget Resolutions and More

Friday, March 24th, 2023 -- 10:00 AM

The Marshfield Common Council approved some budget resolutions.

The Council approved a budget resolution regarding a traffic grant and a budget resolution for the Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan. The Council also approved amending the format of Council meeting agendas and approved a resolution to authorize to apply for grant funds from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) Community Development Investment program.

The Council also approved the Development and Grant Funds Transfer Agreement with MRDG, LLC, related to an application for funding from the Community Development Investment program administered by WEDC for a project at 210 South Central Avenue.

The Council also approved to appoint Alderpersons Tompkins, Spiros and O’Reilly to serve on the committee to interview city staff regarding employment concerns. The Council also had the first reading to appoint Tom Buttke to the Economic Development Board to complete a vacant term ending in April 2024.

The Council also had the first reading to appoint Randy Gershman to the Fire and Police Commission to complete a vacant term ending in April 2024. Malayna Maas, with McGrath, gave a presentation regarding a possible compensation market update.

City Engineer Tom Turchi announced that the UTV/ATV signage has been fully funded by a donation from PowerPac, Visit Marshfield and a Ready Grant through Wood County. City Administrator Barg discussed the town hall meetings regarding the referendum.

He also distributed updated technology policies to Council members and asked they be signed. He also reminded members of Council that Dan Knoeck’s last day is March 16 and there will be a reception for him that day.

The Council heard some citizen comments. Bill Penker, 600 Sycamore Avenue, made comments regarding the 2nd Street Corridor. This will be a multidimensional project completed in stages including urban renewal, building repurposing, housing, dining, retail, recreation, and green space.

It will be in 4 districts; Downtown East, Retail Core, Downtown West, and Central Neighborhood West. The districts were defined by the City in 2015 and broadens the downtown beyond Central Avenue. Vandewalle Associates had focus groups do a ranking activity regarding housing, retail and dining.

When the Council meets with the Economic Development Board and Community Development Authority, should you also not have contact with Main Street Marshfield to determine their ability to obtain grants for 2nd Street projects? In regard to agenda items “O” and “P”, recall there were no testimonials from local supporters. Do you have them tonight?

Then, Becky Huebner-Leu, 1313 East 26th Street, pertaining to the proposed appointment of Randy Gershman to the Fire and Police Commission. For the council members who are new and those who continue to serve, do we want a repeat performance?

While Mr. Gershman was president of the PFC his role was to provide oversight of the Police Chief and there were many issues regarding Chief Gramza. Gramza was allowed back to work before an investigation of his behavior was complete.

The EMS shortfall was also on the watch of Mr. Gershman. There is text evidence of text messages between Mr. Gershman and Chief Gramza that indicate a friendship, not a working relationship.

We are at a critical juncture in our City and need quality citizens to run for office and be appointed to committees. It is the Mayor’s responsibility to appoint the best of the best and the responsibility of the Council to approve the best of the best. What is the process for finding possible appointments?

Is the City Communication Department communicating the need? What is the purpose of reappointing Mr. Gershman. Why go back? Please do not reappoint Randy Gershman to the Police and Fire Commission.

Marisa Steinbach, 1311 East 20th Street, feels it is necessary to remind the Council of what occurred two years ago. On April 5, 2021, a complaint was filed against Randy Gershman outlining seven items of misconduct.

It is clear Randy violated the oath that he took by breaking City policies. Although the actions may not rise to the level of criminal they are unethical. There are pages and pages of documented evidence showing the unethical behavior Randy was involved in.

She asks this, why go backwards? Why intentionally appoint a member who has knowingly committed such unethical acts? Multiple qualified candidates have been voted down. She requests that you not allow history to repeat itself.

Finally, Steve Barg read a letter from Marshfield Professional Police Association expressing concern over the appointment of Randy Gershman to the Fire and Police Commission.

Feel free to contact us with questions and/or comments.