Nault Puts Historical Society on Notice

Gary Nault (District 5) made a push to reopen the city’s development agreement with the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society for the restoration of the Teweles and Brandeis granary. Nault requested that the city put “Consideration of development agreement with the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society” on every city council agenda as long as the council deems it necessary. 

Though Nault said the request was made to keep the council and residents updated on the granary, he acknowledged his desire to have the option to change the agreement quickly for any reason.

Alder David Hayes (District 2) and Mayor David Ward pointed out that if the item is phrased as “Consideration of,” that means the city could vote on an item regarding the agreement. If that’s the case, the city would want its attorney present at any meeting, which would become costly. The city attorney was not present at Tuesday’s routine meeting.

District 4 council member Kelly Avenson agreed that it’s a good idea to put the project on the agenda for updates, but as “Discussion of,” which means there would be no vote.

“If you put it on as ‘Consideration of,’ we’re opening ourselves up to a lawsuit,” she said. “If something comes up [that] we need to act on, we can always add it to the next agenda for ‘Consideration of.’” 

Hayes pointed out that because it’s a legal agreement, the council wouldn’t be able to act on an item in open session unless it were posted on the agenda. 

The council voted 4-3 to amend Nault’s motion to make it “Discussion of” rather than “Consideration of.” Kirsten McFarlin-Reeths (District 7), Dan Williams (District 3), and Nault voted against the change. The amended motion passed 6-1. 

Nault went on to ask the mayor to add several other items related to the granary to the next meeting agenda. One is a request that the mayor and city administrator create a committee to meet with the anonymous donor who is funding the granary restoration to find out how flexible the donor is about the granary’s future. 

Another item was for the city to entertain a motion to not accept the gift of the granary from the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society and to review the liquidated damage clause. 

In other news:

• The city recognized the growing enthusiasm for pickleball by agreeing to stripe two tennis courts at Sunset Park to create six pickleball courts. The United States Pickleball Association said 2.8 million people play regularly, and they have an average age of 55. The sport is popular at Otumba Park and at the Northern Door YMCA program center in Fish Creek. Washington Island and Sister Bay have also added courts this year. Council members heard complaints from residents with homes near Otumba Park that the noise from the game is disruptive. 

• The city approved the first reading of a new ordinance regulating commercial quadricycle licensing. The ordinance requires quadricycles to put signs on the back informing motorists that they’re slow-moving vehicles and to limit operations to before 10 pm. Quadricycles have been growing in popularity in many cities as vehicles for pub crawls, bachelor and bachelorette parties, and special events. 

• Mayor David Ward appointed Dan Powers to the Ethics Committee. He is the third member of the committee. Ward still has two appointments to make to fill the new committee.