LA CROSSE, Wis (WEAU)- The La Crosse City Council is going to take another look at bringing back the Committee of a Whole after protests from the public. The Committee of a Whole allowed the public to speak freely without having to request time beforehand, and many were not happy to see that taken away.
“There is something important about the Committee of a Whole. On Tuesday the whole council has to be there to face the public hearing, and then have 2 days of a buffer before they vote on Thursday,” said one of the leaders of the public protests, Greg Luce.
“We were upset and we let them know it. There were a dozen or so and some had duck tape over their mouths and others had signs,” said Luce.
It was council member Paul Medinger that changed his mind and now opposes the decision to end the committee. He asked that the issue be put on the agenda for Thursdays City Council meeting.
“This wasn’t done to silence any ones voice, or to make things difficult. It was done with good intentions. I just think this wasn’t the best thing to do, especially last month the way it was done,” said Medinger.
The decision to end the Committee of the Whole was not a permanent one. Originally many of the council members were against it but switched sides after it was amended. It was decided last month that the committee would be ended only if there would be a discussion 6 moths in the future, and if there was a way for the public to talk at the City Council meetings instead.
“I initially voted against it, but after the compromise I voted for it,” said City Council President Audrey Kader.
Kader says she plans to change her vote at Thursdays meeting and hopes to bring back the committee. And that’s exactly what the Recall Kader group was hoping for.
“I was sure she would. It’s one of the reasons why we have the recall against her, but it’s not the only one,” said Luce.