Joint Meeting of the Towns of Doty, Mountain, & Riverview – Oconto County
Wednesday, August 1, 2012 – 7:00 p.m.
Doty Town Hall
Minutes – Three-Town Meeting
(second draft – September 4, 2012)
Present: Town of Doty: Kendall , Markusen; Town of Mountain: Uecke, Wirth; Town of Riverview: Hogan, Trosch, Booth.
Others in attendance included Judy Wanner, Paal Hansen, Ruth Dehne, Bob Gaie, Chris Schultz, Mike Pichotta, , Mike Rzepka; and, by conference call, Attorney Mark Bartels.
Purpose of Meeting: This was one of several meetings held in 2012 for the purpose of reviewing and discussing the Intergovernmental Agreement (last revised in 2003), to assure a quality, fair and affordable ambulance service is provided to the three towns. Many people have offered numerous hours of input to achieve and maintain harmony as we go forward.
Call to order: Host town chairman Dick Kendall (Doty) led a brief invocation and then called the meeting to order at 7:03 p.m. following the Pledge to the flag.
An agenda for tonight’s meeting along with the minutes of the July 11th meeting of the Three-Town meeting were distributed. Copies of the current Intergovernmental Agreement were made available for those that needed them.
Attorney Bartels summation of this review of Section 8.2 of the Intergovernmental agreement: Attorney Mark Bartels was called and ‘conferenced in’ to our discussion via speaker phone. He had been asked to review the current agreement and to provide his interpretation of Section 8.2. The Three-Town Board representatives had found the interpretation of 8.2 to be a stumbling block to further discussions since some felt the Section required a majority vote of the Town Boards on certain issues and others believed the clause called for a unanimous approval by the Town Boards.
Each of the Town Board Chairpersons had been provided a letter from Attorney Bartels (dated July 23, 2012) and had shared the letter in advance of this meeting with their respective Town supervisors. Since, all had seen the letter previously, Attorney Bartel’s verbal overview was helpful in setting the stage for questions by the Town Board members.
Several questions were asked of Attorney Bartels. When sufficient dialogue and inquiries had been cared for, Attorney Bartels was thanked and the meeting of the Three Towns proceeded with other business on our agenda.
NOTE: Attorney Bartel’s legal opinion concluded that Section 8.2 of the current agreement (signed April 4, 2003) requires a “majority vote of the towns for a request or action to be deemed approved under Section 8.2 of the EMS Agreement” [p 2 of the Bartel’s etter dated July 25, 2012]. The complete letter is to be included with these minutes for historical reference and to provide a complete picture of the legal opinion provided at the request of the Three Towns.
Impact of two Wisconsin state statutes on the validity of the Intergovernmental Agreement: Attorney Bartels had reviewed Wisconsin State Statutes 60.40 and 65.90. While he had nothing in writing for the Three Towns to review, he stated quite categorically that he found nothing in those statutes that would be in conflict with our management of the Mountain Ambulance Service using the wording of the current Intergovernmental Agreement. Indeed, Towns can enter into contracts of this nature, and towns do so all the time.
Subsequent discussion of the Intergovernmental Agreement by the Town Board representatives: After the discussion with Attorney Bartels concluded and after he hung up from the phone call, the Town Board representatives continued discussing proposed changes to the wording of the EMS document.
- It was asked if we all agreed with Attorney Bartel’s interpretation of 8.2 (i.e. majority, not unanimous). All Towns agreed with the interpretation.
- However, discussion then moved to when it should be a majority decision versus a unanimous decision regarding financial matters. Some believed all money matters should be a unanimous decision and after discussion, several felt this to be the case. Did all?
- Regarding ‘unanimous’ approval for Article II,C (second page) concerning when expenses exceed revenues, the “unanimous approval” for money issues may be broader than just overages.
- Also, the Towns discussed and agreed that the Agreement should be signed every 2 years after it is reviewed by the Towns.
It was agreed that Dick Kendall would summarize tonight’s suggested changes, incorporate them with other suggested changes discussed in previous meetings held earlier in 2012. This document with all suggested changes will be presented to Mark Bartels for discussion.
It was further agreed that the Chairpersons of the Three Towns would meet via conference phone call with Mark Bartels at a time convenient for all. The purpose of the phone call will be to provide Attorney Bartels with our intentions regarding the revised wording of each of the sections where proposed changes have been suggested. We will ask that Attorney Bartels ‘word smith’ the paragraphs to assure our intent is achieved.
Then, when Attorney Bartels has completed his ‘rewrite’ of the document, it will be discussed by the Three Town Board representatives at our next meeting. The next meeting of the Three Townswill be held in Mountain; but the date will be determined after receiving feedback from Attorney Bartels.
Meeting adjourned at 8:50 p.m.
Minutes prepared by: Dick Kendall, Town Chairman – Doty.