News – November 11, 2019

(Beaver Dam) Beaver Dam is losing $330-thousand dollars because of an accounting error by the Finance Director who abruptly resigned last week. City Attorney Mary Ann Schacht dropped that bombshell at the onset of budget discussions last night. Jeff Wiswell, who was only with the city for six months, apparently failed to submit the appropriate paperwork to the Department of Revenue for the state’s Expenditure Restraint Program. The shortfall will be made-up with monies from the city’s general fund. The Expenditure Restraint Program is aid given to municipalities that control annual spending in their budgets.

(Beaver Dam) The Beaver Dam Common Council advanced the 2020 proposed budget for publication last night with two dissenting votes. The $16.9-million-dollar document includes a tax levy of $10.8-million, an increase of $371-thousand dollars, or 3.5-percent, over the current budget. The mill rate of $9.70 per thousand would be down by 46-cents from last year. Equalized property values are up by 6.5-percent. The owner of a $100-thousand-dollar home in Beaver Dam should be paying around $17.50 more for the city portion of their tax bill next year.

(Beaver Dam) An effort by Beaver Dam Mayor Becky Glewen to raise the salary of the city’s next mayor failed to get the votes needed for passage last night. The salary for the mayor elected in April of next year would have increased by $7000 to $67-thousand dollars, followed by a one-percent hike in each of the following two years.

(Beaver Dam) The city of Beaver Dam is hiring back a department head, who recently resigned, on a temporary basis. John Somers is coming back as a limited term employee following the recent resignation of Finance Director Jeff Wiswell. Somers will be paid $75-per hour, capped at 20 hours per week, indefinitely until a permanent replacement is hired. That is half of what the city had been paying Somers as a budget consultant, which he is no longer doing.

(Madison) The State Senate may reject the confirmation of Agriculture Secretary Brad Pfaff today.  Governor Evers appointed him back in January, and has been there since.  Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says Pfaff has not dealt with the state’s dairy crisis, adding he is part of the problem and has bungled his job since he started.  The Evers administration and agriculture groups are pressuring Republicans to vote in favor of confirmation.

(Reeseville) A couple from Reeseville accused of raising an infant in a drug house made their initial appearances in court yesterday. 27-year-old Matthew Hansen and 21-year-old Sara Schimmel allegedly admitted to Hansen’s routine drug dealings from their apartment. In May, Hansen was shot by two intruders in near proximity to the child. The couple has preliminary hearings scheduled in coming weeks.

(Pardeeville) A registered sex offender is being placed in Pardeeville. The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office says Thomas Daniels will be residing in the 400 block of Vince Street. The 68-year-old was paroled in August of 2014 after serving his sentence for two counts of Second Degree Sexual Assault of a Child.

(Beaver Dam) Cash bond was set at $10,000 yesterday (Monday) for a Beaver Dam man accused of making threats and spitting at police. Nathaniel Hoffman allegedly spat at three officers while they were placing him into a squad car on Sunday, forcing authorities to place a spit hood on his face. If convicted, Hoffman faces up to 22-and-a-half years in prison.

(Beaver Dam) One of the suspects accused of passing counterfeit $100-dollar bills in Beaver Dam was in court yesterday. Kierre Washington of Madison allegedly passed the phony bills in March at Recheks, Wal-Mart, Game Stop and Animart. A co-conspirator allegedly bought low-cost items, like chewing gum, and walked away with the change. In some of the incidents, change was made for a second, phony $100 bill. An arrest warrant was issued yesterday for 21-year-old Hazel Freiberg who failed to appear.