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Weekly meeting recap for the week of May 27

Interim superintendent, deputy contracts approved

The contracts for both interim superintendent and interim deputy superintendent were issued by the Green Bay School Board at the May 23 meeting.

The issuance of the interim superintendent to Vicki Bayer was more of a formality as she has been filling the role since former Superintendent Steve Murley announced his immediate retirement due to health issues last month.

The official contract issuance runs through June 30, 2023, and could be subject.

The interim deputy superintendent contract was issued to Judy Wiegand, current executive director of Secondary Schools, effective term July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023, which is also subject to the provisions.

Both contracts were approved unanimously.

Open enrollment approvals

The board unanimously approved the open enrollment in and open enrollment out requests at its meeting Tuesday, May 24.

The district received about a dozen open enrollment in requests across all grade levels.

It also received about 60 open enrollment out requests.

“Last year 48 students requested open enrollment out, but only 30 of them enrolled into another district,” Superintendent Laurie Asher said. “So just because they make an open enrollment request, doesn’t mean they always follow through with it.”

Therapy dog program

The boardroom had a few visitors at its May 24 meeting – a handful of the therapy dogs that have recently begun interacting with students and staff throughout the district.

“This spring, six staff members with five dogs were trained… and certified as therapy dogs,” Jeanna Zuelke, district social worker, said. “So they come into the district, into the schools with us and the joy kids face is just phenomenal.”

Zuelke said the responsibility of a therapy dog is to provide psychological or physiological therapy to individuals other than their handlers.

Late last year, the board approved a therapy dog handbook in preparation for the potential to launch the program in the district.

“We just started this program about a month ago,” Zuelke said. “One of the dogs has been coming since January, but the majority of us started in May.”

She said the role of the therapy dogs in the classroom is to help improve students’ attitudes toward school, improve student engagement, encourage social interaction in special education classrooms, decrease negative behaviors and in tandem with therapy dog reading programs, increase reading proficiency.

“De-escalation and crisis support – we’ve already seen lots of that happen with a variety of different students of different ages,” Zuelke said.

The district has six therapy dogs of varying breeds, ranging in age from 3 to 11.

Cash is a 3-year-old black British labrador with a calming presence and listens to kids read, as well as supports emotional regulation.

Ebony, a 3-year-old labrador, is gentle, yet always greets kids with enthusiasm. She is also certified through Therapy Animals Unleashed.

Tucker is a 4-year-old Bernedoodle with a calming and relaxed personality that helps students at the high school level who are feeling sad, anxious or just having a bad day.

Josie, the oldest of the bunch at 11, is a German shorthair pointer.

She spends her time at the high school helping support students who are sad or dealing with anxiety.

Four-year-old Ruby works with students in all buildings with de-escalation support and with students experiencing trauma.
Ruby is a bernedoodle.

Five-year-old Luna is the smallest pup in the bunch.

She knows more than 40 tricks and helps with de-escalation support, confidence building and creating a positive experience in the school environment.

Zuelke said each dog’s availability differs, but she hopes more opportunities for interactions will be available next school year.

Liquor license approved for former Famous Dave’s building

The Village Board granted a Class B beer and a Class B liquor license renewal for Grand Central LLC for the former Famous Dave’s building, located at 2581 Packerland Dr.

“It is currently closed, but they’re requesting their alcohol license to be renewed,” Village Attorney Patrick Leigl said. “The issue comes when a liquor license establishment hasn’t been operating within 90 days, it’s subject to nonrenewal or revocation. They are requesting that their liquor license be renewed. I think it will help the sale of the property. Right now, it is my understanding that they are either planning to reopen or trying to reopen or in discussion with sales property.”

Leigl said if the renewal request was denied, the village would still have to follow statutory standards by holding a hearing and going through the process.

“There would clearly be grounds to revoke and based on that non-operating status based on our code, but it doesn’t just automatically go away and get redistributed to a new applicant. We would have to physically go through that hearing process.”

Village President Mary Kardoskee said she’s usually a stickler on liquor licenses, but said some leniency is needed.

“I know that there’s a lot of rules and regulations, but I do have to say that in this day and age after our full COVID experience with restaurants struggling, I think we have to be a little sensitive to some of these issues also,” she said. “There’s a lot of businesses that struggle to stay open.”

NEW Water facility plan presentation

The board received a presentation from NEW Water Business Services Director Brian Vander Loop and Executive Director Tom Sigmund regarding its facility upgrade plans.

Sigmund said for projects identified in the facility plan, which will be phased in over the next 20 years, the investment needed is approximately $245 million to $370 million.

The presentation was similar in nature to those NEW Water has given at surrounding municipalities.

“To be quite honest with you, about 10 years ago, the sewer rates were level for a long time, because there wasn’t a need for any upgrades,” Director of Public Works Doug Martin said. “The solid management project was the first one that came along 10 or 12 years ago, and I think everybody learned a big lesson at that time in terms of rates… that started the program that we currently run with NEW Water whereby we meet with them on a pretty consistent basis.”

Martin said this helps to begin to understand what’s needed and when it’s needed.

“There are questions, there’s pushback – just trying to understand it all and schedule appropriately so that when it does come through, nobody likes to hear about it, nobody likes to see it, but that it is warranted,” he said. “But there’s also processes and ways in which they’re funded to try and make the impact as little as possible.”

Sigmund said a public hearing will likely be held in June, followed by the approval by the Board of Commissioners potentially in June or July.

He said from there, the plan will be submitted to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for approval.

City Council introduces new city attorneys

Ashley Lehocky and Michael Pflughoeft, with Town Counsel Law & Litigation LLC, were introduced as the City of Seymour attorneys at the Monday, May 23, meeting.

Lehocky worked as an assistant to the old city attorney and has worked in municipal representation for 15 years.

Mayor Ryan Kraft said the city has been working hard to make the transition as seamless as possible.

Pflughoeft graduated from law school a year ago, has been at the firm for almost a year, and said he is excited to help out with municipal forces.

Firework ordinance change

The City Council unanimously revised the firework ordinance to permit fountain fireworks.

The changes in the ordinance require insurance and state that any firework that leaves the ground or explodes cannot be sold, purchased or launched without a special event permit from the municipality.

Toy pistol paper caps, sparklers and toy snakes are the only fireworks allowed without a permit.

REDI prisoner transport

The Brown County Board received an update on the status of the Sheriff’s Office’s work with REDI Transports of Green Bay with it met May 18.

Sheriff Todd Delain told supervisors he has put a hold on national prison transports with REDI until further notice.

Delain said the Sheriff’s Office is still using them for local and state transports, however, is utilizing its own staff for national transports.

Concerns with REDI Transports began earlier this year, when two prisoners being transported to or from Brown County escaped from their custody.

Chad Weininger, director of administration, said REDI will be present at the next Public Safety Committee Meeting to further discuss concerns.

Patrol officer position

Much discussion was had regarding a new position – patrol officer – added to the Brown County Sheriff’s Office.

District 12 Supervisor Dave Landwehr pulled the item for discussion, concerned about using overtime savings to fund 25% of the position.

The position will be contracted out to Howard-Suamico School District as a school resource officer (SRO) – with 75% of the position funded by the district and the other 25% funded by the county, as the district doesn’t need the position during the summer months.

Delain clarified the SRO would be available to cover shifts in the summer when officers take time off and should actually reduce overtime.

District 9 Supervisor Pat Evans said the county could levy for the position in the 2023 budget if needed.

Ultimately, the board approved the position.

Late communications

Several late communications were submitted by supervisors at the May 18 meeting.

The first came from District 24 Supervisor Richard Schadewald, which was referred to all committees, requesting that they review current and potential short-term and long-term capital improvement projects in their consideration of American Rescue Plan Act projects.

Evans submitted a communication to the Human Services Committee requesting a list of programming provided to clients at Bayshore Village Nursing Home, Community-Based Residential Facility – Bay Haven and Nicolet Psychiatric Center.

District 3 Supervisor Andy Nicholson submitted a communication to the Executive Committee in regards to a potential misrepresented status of the county’s transport contract with REDI by the Green Bay Press-Gazette – which implied that all inmate transports were paused instead of just national ones.

District 17 Supervisor John Van Dyck put in a request to have administration, corporation counsel and representatives from the County Board, as selected by the chair or vice-chair, work to streamline the paperwork utilized for resolutions and ordinances.

And Supervisor Emily Jacobson submitted a request to the Administration Committee to provide a list of current secondary trauma services and programs available to Brown County employees.

All late communications will be referred to their respective committees.

Consulting services contract

The Board approved the use of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, not to exceed $30,000, for consulting services by Platform Communications related to the closing of the Green Bay Correctional Institute at its May 17 meeting.

“So for $3,000 a month, (Platform Communications) would provide basically all the services included in their proposal,” Village President Jim Rafter said. “And it is mainly to guide us through this process – create the talking points, get all this data and put it together into a form that makes sense to those who are making the decisions in medicine. I think it’s a great investment.”

Flooding presentation

The board received a presentation from East River Resilience Coordinator Kayla Wandslider on the East River Resilience Project, which focused on the community’s flood hazards – some classified as moderate, with potentially high community impacts, like decreased water quality.

Wandslider highlighted Allouez’s priorities including streambank stabilization and impacts to waterways, raising of lift stations, community flood preparedness, flooding of the East River Trail, as well as potential priorities, including ponding in neighborhoods as a nuisance, incorporating green infrastructure into future planning efforts and mapping socially-vulnerable populations.

She also outlined the resilience project’s next steps, which include cross-boundary communication and coordination, mapping and community-level planning, a partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, an East River Water Trail and native plantings.

Press Times Editor Heather Graves, Staff Intern Kat Halfman and Intern Janelle Fisher contributed to these briefs.

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