New Berlin aldermen receive $10,000 annually in taxpayer-funded salary and expenses (the Council President gets an extra $600). I don’t think it’s asking too much of Council President/Alderman Ken Harenda to do his homework and come prepared to vote/take action on items that are on the meeting agendas.
At the March 11 City government meetings (Committee of the Whole/Common Council), Ald. Harenda pushed to table an item: Resolution No. 06-42 A Preliminary Resolution Declaring Intent to Levy Special Assessments and Directing the City Engineer to Prepare a Report for the Installation of Sanitary Sewer System to Service Areas on the North Side of Howard Avenue (west of Sunny Slope Road)
Tabled since November 2006, that resolution has appeared on the Committee of the Whole and Common Council meeting agendas month after month.
At the March 11 meeting, District #5 Alderman Joe Poshepny rightly moved to take the resolution off the table (which allows discussion and possible action). The aldermen voted yes--except for Alderman Ament who voted no.
Ald. Poshepny implored the aldermen to take action to get the process to move forward.
It shouldn’t have been a difficult decision for our aldermen to direct the City Engineer to prepare a report and get the process moving along. However, not only did Council President/Alderman Ken Harenda chose to stonewall, he argued he was unprepared and wanted additional time to review his file on the matter!
Alderman Harenda certainly had plenty of time to familiarize himself with Resolution No. 06-42 and the special assessments affecting a handful of residents, prior to the meeting. His failure to do so was inexcusable. What a poor leadership example Ald. Harenda set for his fellow aldermen.
Using his deficient preparation as an excuse, Ald. Harenda then made a motion to table the resolution. He even refused requests to “defer” the resolution to a later date rather than “table” it .
Ald. Harenda’s motion to table was seconded by Ald. Seidl and carried with Alderman Hopkins, Augustine, Seidl, Harenda, and Ament voting yes. Ald. Poshepny and Moore voted no.
It was made clear during the meeting that a developer (who was present and spoke at the meeting) is owed many thousands of dollars for investing in Howard Avenue improvements. Under Ken Harenda’s leadership, the City Council keeps dragging its feet. That’s not efficient or responsible representation. I hope the stalling tactics of Ald. Harenda and his cohorts don’t result in a lawsuit against the City.
Ald. Harenda was elected with the help of a political group that calls itself New Berlin Citizens for Responsible Government (NBCRG). NBCRG has a Web site that states one of its objectives is to hold government officials and employees accountable for their actions and lack of action.
"Lack of action", such as the 16 months of tabling Resolution No. 06-42 and the paltry excuse given by Ald. Harenda to perpetuate this irresponsible stalling indefinitely? But instead of holding Alderman Harenda accountable for his inaction, inadequate preparation for scheduled Committee of the Whole/Council meetings, and poor leadership, NBCRG has chosen to endorse and support him in the April election.