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Committees change, with 1 exception
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MONROE - A vote to shrink the Board of Public Works failed during a Monroe Common Council meeting Tuesday, but the measure will return during the Jan. 5 proceedings.

The move to create smaller committees came on the back of a ruling made against the city regarding Wisconsin Open Meeting Law. Dane County Circuit Court Judge Rhonda Lanford ruled that a vote by a majority of council members during a committee meeting spoke for the council. In order to combat this, the city decided to pass ordinances rewriting city code.

The first of two ordinances on the schedule specified Alderman Charles Koch be removed from the Finance and Taxation Committee, Alderman Jeff Newcomer be taken off the Judiciary and Ordinance Review Committee and that Aldermen Chris Beer and Louis Armstrong be removed from the Salary and Personnel Committee. That ordinance was passed on a 5-0-1 vote with Koch abstaining.

The second ordinance separated the BPW, which is included in a separate section of Monroe city code. The ordinance called for removing both Aldermen Reid Stangel and Richard Thoman to reduce the number of voting members to three.

But the vote failed: Only six members of the council were present, and a 4-2 vote did not allow the ordinance to pass. Beer and Koch both opposed the measure on the grounds that the scope of issues the board deals with is too great for only three people.

Alderman Tom Miller said the option to rebuke this shift had to be explored because the numbers were too small to provide adequate consideration of issues within the city.

"We need more than three people making decisions for 10,000 people," Miller said.