Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Signature Sheets for April 2012

If you are able, please print out some sheets and fill them out over the weekend.  Signatures for the April ballot are due January 3rd.

Here's the link.

Instructions are attached to the sheets.  If you are collecting signatures, please send me an email and let me know.


Monday, December 19, 2011

My questions submitted for the pay study...

Can I have the link between the Job Titles in the budget Document and the Job Titles in the new compensation plan?
-       Old (Budget) Title, New (Compensation Plan) Title

What are the private sector positions used in the Comp study as comparable?  Links from Comp Study Job Titles to Private Sector Job Titles would be good. 

How did you compare those positions without local public comparables?   Civil Engineer, water/utility, parking control, police for example.

I would like a copy of the job description questionnaire, and if possible, a copy of the questionnaires filled out by employees in level G1-5, as well as points assigned.

An overview of the system for scoring.  How are points assigned?  Please break down by category.

Are certificates required or tech education for a position evaluated along with education required?  How?  How are points assigned for this?

Comparables sources: 

Who is included in the Chamber study?  Being voluntary, what is the confidence? Are larger employers included?  How can I get a copy of the most recent study?

What would be the results of making the levels go from the 100% being a midpoint rather than a max?  For example:

Rank    Level%          Test1           Test2           Test3
1       87.5%           90.00%          92.50%          95.00%
2       90.0%           94.00%          96.50%          99.00%
3       92.5%           98.00%          100.50%         103.00%
4       95.0%           102.00%         104.50%         107.00%
5       97.5%           106.00%         108.50%         111.00%
6       100.0%          110.00%         110.00%         110.00%
Max     120.0%          120.00%         120.00%         120.00%

I believe if we establish that the study levels are correct, we should select a framework similar to column test #2 – a good, 3rd year employee will earn the local average, and have room to grow from there as skill and experience continue to increase.

I would be willing to meet with Mr. Carlson and members of the City Administration to go over this information outside of a meeting if everyone feels these questions are taking up too much time in a meeting.



Jef Hall
Oshkosh Common Council
112 E Irving Ave
Oshkosh, WI 54901

Local woman leaves $1.1 million to Oshkosh Public Library

Local woman leaves $1.1 million to Oshkosh Public Library

Dec. 16, 2011 – An Oshkosh woman who was an avid reader throughout her life and made a habit of sharing the books she read has made a $1.1 million bequest to the Oshkosh Public Library.

The Library Board voted on Dec. 15 to establish a memorial trust fund with the bequest from the estate of Marjorie M. Drexler of Oshkosh. Mrs. Drexler died Aug. 16, 2010, at the age of 87.   Mrs. Drexler was the daughter of an Oshkosh teacher who grew up on Bowen Street and later lived on that same street with her husband, Norbert. She was hired as a switchboard operator at
Oshkosh Truck Corporation in the 1940s and worked there for 38 years. A close friend described her as a private person whose primary interests were reading and animals. She bought her books – mostly biographies and romances – and passed them along to friends after she read them. 

“Mrs. Drexler was just an average citizen who obviously saw value in the work that is done at the public library,” said Victoria Vandenberg, assistant director at the Oshkosh Public Library. “We are extremely grateful for her generosity.”

The library has numerous trust funds that have been established over the years with donations from local residents. “Bequests like these, and smaller annual gifts from generous area residents, help to elevate our organization from a good library to an excellent library,” explained Jeff Gilderson-Duwe, library director. “Although the majority of our operations are funded by tax dollars, donations and bequests help the library to better meet the needs of the community with a wide variety of collections, services and creative initiatives.

“And donors like Mrs. Drexler are leaving a legacy that will touch many lives for years to come,” Gilderson-Duwe said.
The Library Board allocates trust fund income for library projects and services annually and will decide at a later date how to use earnings from the Drexler fund. In the past, the board has used trust funds to purchase best-selling books; collect and publish digital photos and community information that preserve Oshkosh history; establish the OurSpace teen area, teen reading collections and programs; and develop outstanding genealogy resources and expert research assistance.

See all City of Oshkosh News & Updates here.

Oshkosh Snow Shoveling Requirements

Oshkosh Snow Shoveling Requirements

(Oshkosh, WI.) The city of Oshkosh would like to remind residents about the city’s snow removal regulations. Property owners are required to clear sidewalks abutting their property of snow or ice within 24 hours after the end of precipitation. These requirements include the crosswalk area for property owners on a corner lot.

When ice can not be removed, the property owner shall keep the sidewalk sprinkled with a material to accelerate melting and prevent slipping.

Depositing snow from private property onto any public right-of-way, public property, or fire hydrant is also prohibited.

Failure to clear the sidewalk will result in the city completing the work and billing the property owner for the snow or ice removal. The minimum charge for the cost of snow removal is $75. Property owners also face a potential citation for violation of the Municipal Code. This forfeiture is $232 for the first offense.

For more information or to report a violation, please call the Engineering Division of the Department of Public Works at (920) 236-5065.

See all City of Oshkosh News & Updates here.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

City Receives $20,000 from CN

City Receives $20,000 from CN

(Oshkosh, WI.) Today the Canadian National Railroad (CN) presented the city of Oshkosh with $20,000 at a check presentation at City Hall. The funds will be used for the development and installation of informational displays/signs commemorating the history of the rail bridge crossing the Fox River, its role in the economic development of the city, and its influence on the community.

The rail bridge crossing the Fox River was constructed in 1899 and based on its 110-plus years of service has exceeded its useful lifespan and must be replaced. Due to the historic significance of the bridge, CN has entered into an agreement with the US Coast Guard, Fox River Navigational Systems Authority, the Fox-Wisconsin Heritage Parkway, the Friends of the Fox, and the Landmarks Commission to mitigate the loss of this historic/cultural structure by developing
interpretive displays/signs.

The signage will incorporate the two 1899 Date Plaques as well as Builders Plaques into two separate interpretive displays/signs. These interpretive displays/signs will be located on the present and planned riverwalk near the new railroad bridge. One will be located on the north shore and the other will be located on the south shore of the Fox River.

For more information, please contact Principal Planner David Buck at (920) 236-5062 or

See all City of Oshkosh News & Updates here.

NeighborWorks Oshkosh Awarded $100,000 Grant

NeighborWorks Oshkosh Awarded $100,000 Grant

(Oshkosh, WI.) The city of Oshkosh is proud to announce that NeighborWorks Oshkosh has been awarded a $100,000 expansion grant. The grant is from NeighborWorks America.
The funds will be used to accomplish various objectives including:

• Supporting NeighborWorks America’s goal of expanding services and investments benefiting under-served populations and places
• Reaching under-served populations and places targeted by NeighborWorks America
• Demonstrating the organizational capacity and planning to provide expanded services/programs while minimizing negative impacts on current services and service provisions
• Planning for and leveraging the funding resources necessary to sustain services and programs to the expansion area

The purpose of NeighborWorks Oshkosh is to renew pride, restore confidence, promote reinvestment, and revitalize the NeighborWorks neighborhoods. This happens through the efforts of local residents acting in concert with financial institutions, corporate enterprise and the business community, foundations, and local government.

For more information, please contact Planning Services at (920) 236-5059.

See all Oshkosh News Updates here.

Friday, October 21, 2011

A Quick Statement of Principles

I have never seen a study that lowering wages has a positive effect on a community.

I believe that the government should lead in producing the economic ecosystem of a community.

While the constraints put on us by the State of WI may force us to reduce wages, therefore effecting the overall economics of Oshkosh, I will not do that without exhausting all other possibilities.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

My Invocation from Last Night's Oshkosh Common Council Meeting

At the start of every meeting, an Oshkosh Common Councilor reads a non-denominational invocation. The one provided by the city is here.

Last night, in the light of the recalls, division and strife at the national and state level, I decided to change it a little.  Here was my invocation:

As we come together this evening to discuss the issues confronting our city, may we remember the wisdom of Abraham Lincoln who said:
we should avoid planting and cultivating too many thorns in the bosom of society.”
So, in these divided times, may we:
Disagree honestly
Compromise wisely
Agree vigorously

I think the points on disagreement, conflict and agreement are important considerations for elected office.  In fact, they are the entire point of elected office.  Most of your duties revolve tightly around these three actions.

We will often disagree, that is the role of Robert's Rules and organizational bylaws, to mitigate this conflict.  Honest, stubborn disagreement is not a vice.  But it must be disagreement based on facts, consistent application of the law and the benefit of the entire body governed.

Compromise is necessary in all human endeavor, it is also the most difficult.  Don't be afraid to consider another opinion, don't fear letting a step from your foothold.  But also, do not sell the needs of your constituents for political or personal gain.  Before the compromise, ask yourself in who's benefit are you moving: your own, a specific interest or that of the best path for the people you represent.

And when agreement is reached, embrace it with enthusiasm.  Give credit where due, blame when needed and honesty in all communication.  You may well need to go through compromise and disagreement with the person who's hand you are shaking soon enough.

There will always be conflict in elected office.  A steady, consistent application of disagreement, compromise and agreement is important for the survival of a governing body, and more importantly, the people governed.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Oshkosh Police Department Citizen's Academy

See below on the Oshkosh Citizen's Academy from the Police department:

My name is Kevin Konrad and I am the Lieutenant in charge of Planning, Training, and Research for the Oshkosh Police Department. One of my duties includes the coordination of our Citizen’s Academy. I am happy to say we will be having a Citizen’s Academy in 2011 and I hope you will be able to join us.

Our 2011 Citizen’s Academy is slated to begin on September 14, 2011 at 6:00 PM. This is a free, nine week program that allows participants to see the inner workings of our police department. Each of the classes will be held at the Oshkosh Police Department, 420 Jackson St., Oshkosh and will last about three hours including breaks. Each session we will spend no more than one hour in a class room setting learning about the different duties of a police officer and the other two hours practicing what we learned. The ninth week of the program will be a graduation ceremony for the participants and their guests. For more information about our Citizens Academy you may visit our website.
An application for the Citizens Academy is available online through our website at or by calling me at 920-236-5758. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Sign up for Oshkosh's Citizen Academy!

The City of Oshkosh and the Oshkosh Northwestern both have announcements for the upcoming Oshkosh Citizen's Academy.  I attended it back in 2006.  It is a great way to get to know your government.

The application is here.

Applications for Oshkosh Citizens Academy Now Available  

(Oshkosh, WI.)   Applications are now available for the 13 week Oshkosh Citizens Academy hosted by the city of Oshkosh.  Approximately 20 applicants will be selected to participate in the educational sessions, which begin on Monday, September 12, 2011.  
The program is focused on educating Oshkosh citizens and business owners about the functions and processes of the city.  City staff will host informative, two hour sessions designed to give participants a behind-the-scenes experience in city government operations.  Each session will run from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. on Mondays.  
General requirements for applicants are that participants be 18 years or older and commit to all 13 sessions.  
Applications are available at the Oshkosh Public Library, City Hall in the City Manager’s office or Oshkosh Community Media Services, and on the city’s website,  
Applications may be submitted via email to or mailed to Oshkosh Community Media Services, Attention: Dean Leisgang, 215 Church Ave. Oshkosh, WI. 54901.
The application deadline is August 19, 2011.    
For more information on the program please contact  Communications Coordinator Dean Leisgang at (920) 236-5269 or

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Let's All Make New Friends"
at this year's

Sunday, June 12, noon to 4 p.m.
Abe Rochlin Park
(corner of Oshkosh Avenue and Sawyer Street
co-sponsored by:
Oshkosh Area Community Foundation
Oshkosh Baha'i Community
Division of Academic Support - UW Oshkosh
Multicultural Center at UW Oshkosh
Oshkosh Diversity Council

Monday, June 6, 2011

My Statement at the We Are Wisconsin Press Event Today

In Febuary 2011, Gov Scott Walker dropped a bomb on WI Citizens and taxpayers.  The “Budget Repair Bill” took money, services and rights from middle class and working families, students, children, City and County Services, Bus Lines, the elderly, the disabled, and the environment.

These groups, when you add them together make up the vast majority of Oshkosh, Winnebago County and the Great State of WI.

This package of bills in the initial ‘special session’ of the WI Legislature not only removed these rights, funds and services from those who most need and deserve them, but the series of bills turned many of these funds over the wealthiest and least needing of these funds. 
Gov. Scott Walker did not do this alone; he had a well-placed ally in the WI State Senate and on the powerful joint finance committee - Senator Randy Hopper. 

But, I would like to clear the air.  Many people have since said that Senator Randy Hopper was following Gov. Scott Walker without question – going along with marching orders from his party and his Governor.  I disagree, I do not think that was what Senator Hopper was ‘going along’.

Senator Hopper was leading the way on these family and job destroying policies.  He was a co-sponsor or author of many of them.

Now, as Scott Walker’s anti-WI, anti-poor, anti-family, anti-worker, anti-job budget is released from Sen Hopper’s Joint Finance Committee, it is no longer Gov Walker’s budget, It is Senator Randy Hopper’s Budget.

Randy Hopper supported most of the anti-WI Family, Student, and Community provisions in the budget, and made several of them worse.

He has also introduced legislation and budget amendments gutting the State of WI’s ability to collect revenue funding services for City Busses, plowing, garbage collection, County Human Services for the frail elderly, vulnerable disabled and birth to 3 development programs, to name a few. 

His attack on worker and family rights to make a decent middle class living will not only harm those workers and families, but as I stand here on the gateway to the revitalized Oshkosh Main St, I am reminded that everyone of these families, elderly, disabled individuals and students are their customers.  The shock to Oshkosh’s economy when the city can no longer afford to run the busses that bring their customers here, and if they get here, these customers will no longer have the funds to shop at their places of business.

You see, this is where jobs are created in the markets and by everyday consumers.  By limiting funds to cities and counties, the services we provide to encourage local business will stop.  By cutting pay and protections of state workers, we not only lose the money they spend in the local economy, but the comparables that are used for pay in the private sector locally.  The pay scale of a professional working in the Bank Building across the street is directly affected by the pay of professionals at the university.

When Rany Hopper cut the Homestead Credit for people who earn less than $24,500 a year and the Earned Income Tax Credit – a $20 million dollar tax increase on working families he denies Oshkosh business the local funds that many families spend here on Main St, Oregon St, the frontage roads and throughout our local economy.  These are jobs, revenues for schools and security for our citizens that Randy Hopper has shipped away.

I will end my remarks with the statement I made to Sen Hopper’s Committee on Joint Finance at the Neenah hearing: “The budget is a moral statement.” Sen Randy Hopper has decided it is moral to balance the budget at the expense of the vulnerable, students, city and county services and all, public and private who go to work every day hoping their sweat, time, talent and knowledge will create a better future for their families and communities. 

Those are not Oshkosh Morals.  Those are not Winnebago County Values.

And that is not the WI Heritage I learned.

Friday, June 3, 2011

OshNW: 5 things to know about the Oshkosh Farmers Market

Great article here:

Fresh produce, handmade clothing and everything in between will be on sale at the Oshkosh Saturday Farmers Market. The market begins at 8 a.m. in the 400 and 500 blocks of North Main Street. Here are a few must-know facts about the market before heading out tomorrow morning:

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Oshkosh Citizen Survey Released

View it here.

City Releases Sustainable Oshkosh Annual Report

City Releases Sustainable Oshkosh Annual Report

(Oshkosh, WI.) The city of Oshkosh has just released its first annual Sustainable Oshkosh Report. The project was a joint effort between the Sustainability Advisory Board and city staff. The report is the result of training received by city staff at last year’s Fox Valley Sustainability Training Seminar.

“Several municipalities in the Fox Valley area have been working towards sustainability initiatives over the past few years and this report highlights some of Oshkosh’s efforts,” said Oshkosh Principal Planner Robin Leslie.

The report is available on the city website,

If you would like more information, please contact Principal Planner Robin Leslie at (920) 236-5058.


City of Oshkosh
City Hall
215 Church Avenue
Oshkosh, WI 54901
For Immediate Release: May 20, 2011
Contact: Dean Leisgang, Communications Coordinator
(920) 236-5269

See all City of Oshkosh News & Updates here.

OTS Releases Draft of Transit Development Plan - Information Meetings Announced

OTS Releases Draft of Transit Development Plan

(Oshkosh, WI.) A draft of the Transit Development Plan (TDP) for the Oshkosh Transit System (OTS) was recently finalized and is now available for public comment. The TDP planning process included a comprehensive examination of Oshkosh Transit services. The plan identifies recommendations for improving
the system and its services over the next five years.
Two public information meetings will be held to take public comments on the draft plan. The locations and dates include:

Oshkosh Public Library
Room AB
Monday, June 13th - 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
(Presentation at 2:00 p.m.)

Oshkosh Seniors Center
Willow Rooms
Monday, June 13th - 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
(Presentation at 6:30 p.m.)

The draft TDP can be viewed at or by clicking here.

Hard copies of the plan can also be reviewed by contacting Dave Vickman of the Oshkosh Transit System at (920) 232-5340.

The draft TDP was created through a process facilitated by the East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission and overseen by a steering committee comprised of community representatives and other stakeholders. Numerous public input opportunities were made available throughout the planning process.

Public input was the primary driving force for recommendations identified in the plan.

The previous TDP for OTS was completed in July of 2005.

For more information, please contact Chris Strong, City of Oshkosh Transportation Director and Manager of the Oshkosh Transit System, at (920) 232-5342 or


City of Oshkosh
City Hall
215 Church Avenue
Oshkosh, WI 54901
For Immediate Release: May 27, 2011
Contact: Dean Leisgang, Communications Coordinator
(920) 236-5269

See all City of Oshkosh News & Updates here.

The Leach Goes Green for Waterfest 2011 - "All of the electricity for the Leach Amphitheater will be supplied by renewable energy for all the Waterfest performances"

The Leach Goes Green for Waterfest 2011

(Oshkosh, WI.) The Leach Amphitheater will once again host Waterfest, Wisconsin’s Best Community Concert Series, every Thursday evening from June 9th through August 31st (final concert is Wednesday, August 31st). This year a new partnership has given the event some new energy. All of the electricity for
the Leach Amphitheater will be supplied by renewable energy for all the Waterfest performances. This includes wind and biomass technologies.

The new program is possible through Wisconsin Public Service’s NatureWise partnership with Waterfest and the City of Oshkosh. “The renewable energy features of NatureWise help show the city’s commitment to sustainable practices and our environmental principles,” said Oshkosh Parks Director Ray Maurer.

“I think the partnership with the city and the NatureWise program will bring some added pop to Waterfest,” said Mike Dempsey of Waterfest. “The fact that we’re using clean, renewable, and sustainable energy for the series will make our roster of artists feel great about kicking up the amps.”

The Waterfest concert series begin at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 9th with Men in Suits, The Tossers, and Vic Ferrari. For the complete Waterfest schedule, please visit

For more information on NatureWise, please visit

For information on the City of Oshkosh parks system including the Leach Amphitheater, please visit or contact the Parks Department at (920) 236-5080.


City of Oshkosh
City Hall
215 Church Avenue
Oshkosh, WI 54901
For Immediate Release: June 1, 2011
Contact: Dean Leisgang, Communications Coordinator
(920) 236-5269

See all City of Oshkosh News & Updates here.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Oshkosh Police Collect Unwanted Cell Phones (From Email Update)

From Oshkosh Police Dept's Team 2 Newsletter:

Just a reminder that OPD, along with other law enforcement agencies in Winnebago County, collect unwanted cell phones. We realize three benefits:
* Discarded cell phones are processed/recycled by a company who returns a fee to us for each phone. The income goes to the Winnebago Crime Prevention Fund at the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation. This fund helps to support a wide variety of crime prevention projects and equipment needs.* The recycling company provides us with refurbished cell phones that are distributed to senior citizens or others in the community who may not be able to afford a cell phone for emergency use. The phones are programmed for 9-1-1- use only.* By donating the unwanted cell phones to OPD, we keep the discarded phones out of the local landfill.
It's a win-win-win opportunity. You can drop off your unwanted cell phones to Officer Nichols' office anytime. Thanks

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Oshkosh Inspection Services Division Extends Office Hours

Inspection Services Division Extends Office Hours

(Oshkosh, WI.) The Inspection Services Division would like to notify residents of updated walk-in hours for the public. Inspections staff will now have a building inspector available from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday starting on May 2nd for general information. Commercial contractors are encouraged to
schedule an appointment at 236-5050, as they have in the past.

In an effort to streamline operations, staff asks that customers call 236-5050 in advance of their visit to determine what they need to bring to City Hall. All permits and forms are available on the city website,

The extended walk-in hours are a result of citizen input to the City Council and Lean training. Staff will continue to review operations for continuous improvement and better customer service.

See all City of Oshkosh News & Updates here.

Friday, April 29, 2011


Janet Wissink
Days: / 920-231-8788
Evenings: / 920-589-2602

April 13, 2011

Oshkosh Bird Fest, Oshkosh’s newest event, celebrates International Migratory Bird Day on Saturday, May 7 with a variety of activities for all ages and everyone interested in birds. Most of the activities will take place in different locations at Menominee Park from 6:00 am - 2:00 pm. Visit the Kiwanis Shelter for a complete schedule and directions. In addition, there will be three yard tours hosted by Wild Ones members from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. Then, visit downtown Oshkosh for Gallery Walk from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm, which will feature local bird photographers and artists, an author, and live birds of prey.

The day will begin with a “Big Sit”, a unique way to bird watch (founded by the New Haven (CT) Bird Club). Join Anita Carpenter inside the 17-foot diameter circle for the Big Sit anytime from 6:00 am until Noon for as long as you want. Bring a chair and enjoy watching, listening, counting and learning about birds that you see and hear. This is sometimes described as “a tailgate party for birders”. Anita, an Oshkosh resident, is an avid birder and naturalist. She contributes articles to Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine and has a regular column in the Winnebago Audubon Lake Flyer newsletter.

From 8:00 am – 2:00 pm, you will find informative exhibits at the Kiwanis Shelter covering bird migration, landscaping with native plants, glacial habitat restoration, eagle/osprey surveys, county parks, and more. You won’t want to miss the presentations with live birds of prey at 10:30 and 12:30 by Beka Weiss of Aves Wildlife Alliance. Learn all about why and how bird banding is done from a licensed bird bander. Knowledgeable birders will be stationed in different locations to view the birds on Miller’s Bay and the island, plus visit the purple martin colony by the waste water treatment plant to learn about these special birds. Also scheduled is a tree planting demonstration by City Forester Bill Sturm in the Zoo from 10:00 am—Noon. And at 9:30 am attend the Bird City Wisconsin dedication ceremony near the Zoo entrance.

The Oshkosh Zoological Society will host educational and fun children’s activities from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. in the zoo. Children will make their own binoculars, then go on a bird walk and learn to identify birds. We will also be “banding” kids in an exercise to show them how birds are caught, processed and banded for research. Birds have different kinds of beaks and the children will be able try to eat like a bird using different tools.

Wild Ones Fox Valley Area members will host three yard tours in Oshkosh from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. Pick up a map at the Kiwanis Shelter. These yards are landscaped with native plants and the homeowners will share with you how they made their yards more bird and nature friendly.

The bird theme continues into the evening at Downtown Oshkosh Gallery Walk from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm. Apple Blossom Books will host Mariette Nowak, author of “Birdscaping in the Midwest”. Mariette’s book will be available for purchase and signing, plus she will have a colorful slide show of her yard and birds playing all evening. Take this opportunity to ask questions and discuss with Mariette what you can do in your yard for the birds! Winnebago Audubon and Wild Ones will also be on hand. Several other downtown stores will feature bird art including: Art Haus - Mike Briley (photographer), Bergman’s Fine Jewelry - Michael Huebschen (photographer), Christensen’s Lingerie - Pat Fischer (rehabilitator withlive birds), Crescent Moon Antiques - Frank Zuern (bird carver), Gilded Lily - John Van Den Brandt (photographer), Klassy Kids - headbands for kids, Limelite Studios - Boyd Gibbs (photography), Market Street Boutique - Green Sweet Crafts (bird houses and feeders).

Oshkosh Bird Fest was planned by a committee of people who have a passion for birds and a healthy environment with affiliations to Oshkosh Bird Club, Oshkosh Zoological Society, Wild Ones Fox Valley Area, Winnebago Audubon Society, Winnebago Lakes Council, and Wisconsin DNR with support from the City of Oshkosh. The concept for a Bird Fest came from Bird City Wisconsin. Oshkosh was recently recognized as a Bird City for 2011, after submitting its application and successfully meeting the criteria outlined. Our city proved that it not only can implement sound conservation practices on their own, but it can educate its residents to play an increased role in making our community healthy for birds . . . and people.

Bird City Wisconsin is a coalition led by Milwaukee Audubon Society, the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative and the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology to ensure that Wisconsin’s city folk maintain healthy populations of birds and grow an appreciation for them. With funding from TogetherGreen, an alliancebetween National Audubon Society and Toyota, the program addresses an increasing problem: the decline of urban bird populations. Bird City participants will learn how to protect and manage greenspace; landscape with native plants in backyards and parks; adopt architecture and lighting systems that reduce bird collisions; and making our community hospitable to breeding, wintering, and migrating birds that seek safe places to spend time and find food. Check out the Bird City website at

Oshkosh Bird Fest is free and open to the public. For more information about the first annual Oshkosh Bird Fest, visit, or contact Janet at or 920-589-2602. Opportunities to volunteer or provide financial support are available.

See all City of Oshkosh News & Updates here.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Application for Oshkosh Common Council

I sent this in today:

For persons interested in filling the vacant council member position:

Personal Info
Name                                     Jef Hall
Address                                 112 E Irving Ave
City, State, Zip                      Oshkosh, WI  54901
Phone                                    920.203.6883

High School                          Princeton Public School, Princeton, WI
                                                Graduated 1991
College                                  University of WI Oshkosh, Oshkosh, WI
                                                Completed 60 Credits

Employment History:
Internet Search Specialist               
J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc. – Neenah, WI
April 1998 – Present

IATSE 470 – Oshkosh, WI
November 2006 – Present

County Board Supervisor                
Winnebago County – Oshkosh, WI
April 2006 – Present

Debate Judge                                   
Neenah Joint School District – Neenah, WI
October 2008 – January 2010

Sales Associate                               
Best Buy Co., Inc. – Appleton, WI
October 1999 – January 2004

Account Manager                            
Tel Mark Sales, Inc. (West Business Services) – Appleton, WI
September 1993 – March 1998

Do you have any other previous experience, special qualifications, or technical training that would be relevant to the position of city council member?
As a member of the Winnebago County Board I have experience in government, budgeting, infrastructure, etc.  I serve of several boards and committees that deal with similar issues to the Oshkosh Common Council.  These include ADVOCAP (Treasurer), Winnebago County Information Systems Committee (Chair), East Central WI Railroad Consortium (Secretary). 

Please write a concise statement that describes why you wish to serve on the city council
We are in very difficult times for local government.  I believe that we need to seek new, creative ways to deliver services while preserving the quality of these services.  I want to see Oshkosh move forward in these difficult times, not fall behind or stand stagnant.  I will add a creativity and openness to new ideas while still defending the integrity of our local government.  I believe in the mission and responsibilities of local government, and the City of Oshkosh.  I will work to advance both.

I ask the Oshkosh Common Council to consider my application for this open seat.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Joint Statement from Pech, Hall on the Oshkosh Recount

Tom & I submitted the following to the Oshkosh Northwestern this morning:
The recount of the April 5, 2011 City Council Election finished this past Wednesday, April 20, with a draw of the cards and affirming the election of Tom Pech, Jr. as Councilor Elect.

We are satisfied with the results and the process of both the election and recount.  We thank the poll workers, city staff (with special thanks to Pam Ubrig and Lynn Lorensen) and volunteer observers that worked on the recount.

From the beginning we believed the city election processes are correct, and the recount proved this to be true.  The recount was requested so that all votes properly cast were counted.  Both of us agreed that the process would not be adversarial or contentious.  As such we reviewed each other’s votes and had opportunities to pull each other’s votes for hand counting.  Several times one of us would pull a vote for the other to assure that it was properly counted.  In the end the recount resulted in a rare tie on the final tally. 

As dictated by state statute 5.01(4):
(a) If 2 or more candidates for the same office receive the greatest, but an equal number of votes, the winner shall be chosen by lot in the presence of the board of canvassers charged with the responsibility to determine the election
(c) The candidates may, if all those tied for the same office are present, draw for themselves.
The Board of Canvas determined the lot, a draw of cards.  A new deck of cards was opened and the seal broken with the deck shuffled multiple times by Pam and then by two members of the Board of Canvass.  The cards were “washed” on a table, with our backs turned and then the cards were drawn.

While a tie vote rare, it is not unheard of, in Wisconsin or nationally.  Recent headlines have included:
  • ·         Jack beats 10 for Monticello council seat
  • ·         'Ace' beats '2' to break Town of Rome election tie
Deciding tie elections by lot is a practice that dates back to the founding of our country, and is enshrined in the constitution and laws of most of the states.  It is also discussed in the Bible, Proverbs 18:18 “The lot causes contentions to cease, and parts between the mighty.”

As the candidates involved in the recount, we would like to affirm that we believe this was the best way to settle the tied election.  We would also like to remind Oshkosh citizens that your vote counts.  Every vote cast in this election mattered for the outcome.  It also affirms the processes of the election and recount. Please vote, your vote does truly count!

Jef Hall
Tom Pech, Jr.