JUNEAU — While Robert’s Rules of Order received a strenuous workout Tuesday, attendees may have also needed a Venn diagram to follow the numerous motions brought by supervisors at the Dodge County Board meeting earlier this week.
The agenda item that spawned the confusion, frustration and the back and forth conversation among supervisors dealt with the county board’s possible allocation of $432,000 of its American Rescue Plan Act funds to the Clyman, Lowell and Reeseville Fire Department.
The CLR Fire and Rescue Group wanted to use the funds to construct a standalone facility that would consist of space for two ambulances and living quarters for its staff. The upgrade would’ve allowed the CLR Fire and Rescue Group to provide adequate space for current emergency responders and space to practice social distancing and proper decontamination when they returned from medical calls.
However, some supervisors weren’t sold on the idea.
Supervisor Dan Hilbert of Beaver Dam made a motion to table all of the resolutions to the Sept. 20 board meeting when the supervisors could review their strategic plan and pair some of the county’s needs with the available ARPA funding.
Kira Sheahan-Malloy gave Hilbert’s motion a second.
Dodge County Corporation Counsel Kim Nass said Hilbert’s motion could be debated among board members.
Supervisor Paul Conway of Watertown said the county is in the midst of forming an EMS committee to examine how those services could be better allocated for the safety and wellbeing of its residents.
“A part of me fears we’re putting the cart before the horse here,” Conway said. “We don’t have a plan of where we’re going with the EMS committee or where the EMS and fire stations should be located, and we want to build a new firehouse. There’s a better way to serve Dodge County. It just doesn’t seem like we should be doing this at this moment.”
Supervisor Jeff Caine, who resides in the district which CLR covers, disagreed.
“We’ve been working on this proposal for a very long, long time,” Caine said. “It is located in the southwest quadrant of Dodge County. Everything we’ve been talking about regarding EMS was to regionalize EMS in every quadrant of the county. This proposal puts a station in one of the quadrants of the county which is going to be one of the areas in the county that is going to require some kind of regional EMS attention.
“CLR has gone above and beyond,” Caine said. “They’re ahead of the curve. They already merged their departments and merged their first responders and now they’re asking again to be in the forefront by creating a facility that can house its EMS. It’s not just for Clyman, Lowell and Reeseville. It includes the area around it that will benefit by having the EMS services in that quadrant.”
Hilbert said if the county board is going to spend nearly $500,000 on a project they should make sure it is in the right location.
Sheahan-Malloy asked her fellow board members to consider the steps that are already being taken in Dodge County to regionalize emergency services.
“This is county specific ARPA funding and I would like to spend that half million dollars judiciously and carefully specific to the county’s strategic plan,” Sheahan-Malloy said.
Supervisor Lisa Derr of Beaver Dam asked Caine if there is any reason the board should not consider moving forward with the project.
Caine asked for CLR Capt. Andy Caine, who is his brother, to speak on the proposed facility.
“Our proposal was ranked fifth out of 76 projects in Dodge County,” Andy Caine said after describing the EMS facility to supervisors. “It’s a very worthy project for the entire county.”
Supervisor David Guckenberger of Ashippun asked Derr twice if her question was answered by Jeff Caine and she responded, “I’m happy to get more information.”
When Caine asked his brother to speak further on the project Guckenberger objected, but county board chairperson David Frohling said a motion was needed to move ahead.
Jeff Caine made a motion to allow his brother to speak further on the project, which was given a second by supervisor Haley Kenevan of Beaver Dam.
Following Andy Caine’s description of the proposal, supervisor Rob Boelk of Mayville called for a question, but it failed for a lack of a second; and other supervisors wanted to speak on the resolution.
Supervisor Nancy Kavazanjian of Beaver Dam said, “I believe the question was if the project were to be postponed would that be a problem and I didn’t hear an answer to it.”
Andy Caine said when the ARPA committee met it was his understanding there were several projects that were “fast tracked” to get them going as soon as possible.
“We’re ready to go,” he said. “We have a parcel ready. We want to become that model of regionalization for the county.”
Supervisor Jeff Breselow of Mayville asked, “What is one month going to do for us? Are we better off delaying this (project) for two months?”
Nass said a supervisor can motion to reconsider, but the motion must come from a member who doesn’t want the project postponed.
Derr said she didn’t want to see the project postponed and acted on the advice of Nass.
“I am bringing a motion to reconsider,” she said. “We need to let the county get up to speed, but we want to consider this…I hope the county has another meeting to discuss regionalization. These folks are already ahead of us. I’m asking us to reconsider this for one month.”
Guckenberger made a second to Derr’s motion to reconsider.
While a couple of board members wanted to further discuss the resolution, Nass reminded them the discussion can only be made on the motion to reconsider and not the resolution itself.
“The debate needs to be on the motion to reconsider,” Nass said. “Once the vote is taken on the motion to reconsider — at the risk of being really confusing here — you could amend the motion to postpone if you move up the reconsideration. Focus your debate on the reconsideration.”
Frohling looked frustrated. He looked to Nass for further instruction.
She said what is before the board is the original motion to postpone to the next county board meeting. Nass said that can be amended by a motion by any supervisor.
Breselow made a motion to amend it. He wanted to move the resolution to the October board meeting. Boelk gave it a second.
Nass again said the motion is debatable, but requires a majority vote to pass. She stressed that any comments need to be confined to the motion to amend.
Dodge County Clerk Karen Gibson said she would take a roll call vote to find out if the board wanted to postpone the original resolution to the October meeting.
The vote was 23 to 7 with three absent to revisit the CLR Fire and Rescue Group’s proposal at its Oct. 18 meeting.