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Make council size reduction a reality

March 28, 2012

After 20 years of debate and discussion it is finally here. The chance for the community to weigh in on the subject "should the council size be reduced" will happen on the April 3 ballot as a non-binding referendum. There have been council floor debates and even recently a videotaped public forum you can watch on the City of Wauwatosa website under "Online Services," titled Media Center there is a great section called City Stuff.

I support the measure to reduce the council size and here is why. Go to the City of Wauwatosa website under "Online Services," titled Media Center there is a great section called City Stuff, because it also has a walkthrough of the website, with highlights of the "Online Services." It is so important that it needed to be repeated.

In today's busy world, people want quick answers and response. The city's new enhanced website gives residents information and ways to communicate with city officials or departments without having to figure out who is who or what is what. There are two great features called "Citizen Tracker" with over 15 most frequently requested items all set up ready to use and connect you with the right departments. From tree down, damaged garbage carts and property maintenance issues to snow plowing, dead animal pick up and paperless enrollment form. It gets even better with "Notify Me," your source to all the important meeting agendas and minutes, newsletter availability, volunteer opportunities and News Flash. There is more great information under How Do I, Doing Business, Our Community and Your Government. Please check them out.

Speaking of who is who, most residents don't know they have two alders. So once you figure out which district you live in, who do you call first? Do they have to call both? Plus many other issues arise because of having two per district. That then leads to the alders having to confer with each other and then having to confer double with departments and the resident regarding the issue. Talk about doubling time, with 16 members (more than any of municipality in Milwaukee County including the City of Milwaukee) the Committee meetings go long with only half the members of the council in the two main committees, Budget and Finance, and Community Development. But the Council meeting including all members and is televised live is usually very.

Other cities have figured out a system to reduce meeting time, expedite decisions and make government work in a lean fashion. Alders are available to work with residents on special needs and development projects, but can leave the everyday garbage cart request to online options. We have very smart people in Wauwatosa and I think that they can figure out a great way to make city government work more efficiently. Times have changed and it is time for Wauwatosa to make changes to help it sustain itself into the future.

Alderwoman Linda Nikcevich represents the 1st District.

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"Hidden Tosa" is a semi-regular feature where reporters Rory Linnane or Rachel Minske explore the closed down and closed off parts of Wauwatosa.

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