Thursday, March 31, 2011

Jef for Oshkosh is Endorsed by the Winnebago County Labor Council

It was just announced that Jef for Oshkosh was endorsed by the working men, women and families represented by the Winnebago County Labor Council.

I am both delighted and proud to accept their endorsement.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011



OSHKOSH, Wis. (March 30, 2011) -- Department of Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett presented a
$32,900 Joint Effort Marketing (JEM) grant to officials from the Oshkosh Convention & Visitor Bureau, U.S. OPEN of Grass Volleyball Tournament and Starshow Presents. The grant will help event organizers fund marketing efforts to promote the second year of the U.S. OPEN of Grass Volleyball Tournament, which will be held on July 6-10, 2011 at Ford Festival Park in Oshkosh.

“What began as a doubles tournament nearly 30 years ago has exploded into a super-sized event
known as the „World‟s Largest Volleyball Tournament.‟ This is a tribute to the vision of the tournament organizers and the return on investment it gives back to the community in the form of tax revenues and jobs,” Secretary Klett said. “U.S. OPEN Grass Volleyball serves as a role model for other JEM grant applicants by showing how with the right combination of promotion, creativity and community support, an event can go to the next level and make a significant economic impact for the host city.”

The 2010 event generated $2 million in economic impact for the area. Organizers estimate that this year‟s event will generate an increased economic impact of $2.8 million with the addition of 700 new players. In fiscal year 2010, the Joint Effort Marketing (JEM) Grant Program funded 51 projects totaling $1.14 million. Visitor expenditures driven by the marketing from these projects exceeded $30 million.

With 3,000 players from across the country competing on over 230 volleyball courts, the event is
tagged as the “World's Largest Volleyball Tournament.” The event is open to the public with levels of play from the professional to the recreational volleyball player. New to the tournament this year is a partnership with Olympic Gold Medal winner Misty May-Treanor to offer her M2 volleyball camps and clinics.

An advertising plan will target volleyball players ages 14-40 in a four state region with print, outdoor and broadcast media. The multi-layered approach to marketing includes trade shows, social media, direct mail, printed brochures and flyers, online marketing efforts and website enhancements.

JEM grant funds are available to non-profit organizations for the promotion of Wisconsin tourism events and destinations. The state can fund up to 75 percent of a project's first year advertising and marketing costs and provides support for second and third year projects, but with decreasing amounts for funding each year until projects become self-sustaining.

For information on the JEM Program and application materials, visit

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Watch Spring Election Returns with Jef for Oshkosh

Tuesday, April 5 · 8:00pm - 11:00pm

Cranky Pat's
100 N Main St
Oshkosh, WI

More Info
Come watch Spring Election returns with the Jef Hall for Oshkosh Common council Campaign at Cranky Pat's in Oshkosh.

We will have pizza, soda and appetizers as well as up to date information and some informal entrainment and good friends.

Vote first, but come on down after polls close.

We will have pizza, soda and appetizers as well as up to date information and some informal entrainment and good friends.

Vote first, but come on down after polls close.

Yard signs are still available, email with your address and we will drop one off!

Jef for Oshkosh Announces the Return of the “Bryan Bain 5th Tuesday Forum”

Jef for Oshkosh Announces the Return of the “Bryan Bain 5th Tuesday Forum”

Contact: Jef Hall – 920.203.6883 –

Oshkosh, WI – March 26, 2011

Jef Hall, Candidate for the Oshkosh Common Council, will bring back the 5th Tuesday Forums started by former Deputy Mayor Bryan Bain.  The first of these forums has been scheduled for Tuesday, March 29th, at the Oshkosh Public Library.  The public is invited to this forum and discussion held in the Community Meeting Room beginning at 6:00 PM.

Former Deputy Mayor Bryan Bain, supporter and Treasurer of the Jef for Oshkosh campaign for Common Council was happy to pass the community tradition on to Jef Hall.  “As an Oshkosh Councilor and Deputy Mayor, Bryan Bain was known for openness in government and responsiveness to all of Oshkosh’s residents.” Jef Hall stated.  “I am proud to continue this tradition, and hope to live up to Bryan’s great reputation as an Oshkosh City Councilor.”

The public, current Oshkosh representatives and candidates are all invited to participate in this open community discussion.  In the tradition of Bryan Bain’s great work in Oshkosh, minutes and answers to questions raised will be published online at

Please contact Jef Hall – 920.203.6883 or with any questions.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

My Statement & Questions About the Oshkosh Post Office Study

I just found this online - my statement & questions about the Oshkosh Post Office Study:

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Jef for Oshkosh Receives and Proudly Accepts Fair Wisconsin's Endorsement for Oshkosh City Council

I mm proud to announce that Jef for Oshkosh has received the endorsement of Fair Wisconsin.  I wholeheartedly support their call for fairness for all of Wisconsin's families.

I am also proud to note that I am currently the only Oshkosh City candidate receiving their endorsement.

Below is a list of candidates receiving an endorsement from Fair Wisconsin PAC:

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Monday, March 14, 2011

Jef Hall's Oshkosh Northwestern Candidate Q&A

Read Jef Hall's answers to the Oshkosh Northwestern's City Council Candidate Q&A here.

Click here to share this on Facebook!

Here's the text:

Oshkosh Common Council Candidate Questionnaire
Oshkosh Northwestern

Please provide biographical information about yourself:

Name:  Jef Hall
Age:  37
Hometown:  I grew up in Princeton, but Oshkosh has been my home for the longest time
Educational background:  Some College: I came to Oshkosh for college, stayed for the community
Work:  E-Commerce Search Specialist, J. .J Keller & Associates, Inc.
Hobbies:  Music, movies, current events, debate, web design, writing
Community involvement:            Advocap Board, Treasurer
Aging & Disability Resource Center Board, Vice Chair
Winnebago County Human Services Board
Winnebago County Board
Winnebago County Democratic Party
East Central Counties Railway Consortium, Secretary

And please provide answers to the following questions:

1. What can the city of Oshkosh do to influence or encourage the owners of the City Center Hotel match the community’s investment in downtown, particularly the Oshkosh Convention Center.

There is very little we can directly do, as this is owned by a private business.  There are incentives we can grant for improvements, and there are penalties we can extract for violations.  I would support using the tools we have to encourage as well as partner for improvement of this property.

One of the most important things we need as a destination city is quality hotel rooms downtown.  This is a priority through which all downtown development

2. At present, the Sustainability Advisory Board cannot recommend resolutions to the Oshkosh Common Council. Would you support empowering them to do so? Please explain your answer. 

This is an advisory board, they should advise.  There is a Council Member on the Sustainability Advisory Board, and any actions or decisions taken by the board can be submitted in the form of a resolution by this Council Representative, or any other Council Member.  If a recommendation of the Sustainability Advisory Board does not have enough support to be submitted by one of 7 Council Members, I do not see it having the support to pass the full Common Council. 

I do not see a large hole in Oshkosh’s ability to operate if this board can not submit resolutions directly to the Common Council, but I would also not campaign against their ability to.  The important part of the equation is if the board is discussing and recommending viable solutions for Oshkosh.  If they are viable, any Council Member can bring them to the full Common Council.

3. How would you balance the cost versus the need for parking, bike lanes, sidewalks and terrace space as the city plans road construction projects?

This depends on the individual road’s traffic and main purpose.  We do need to focus on the best way to get both residents and visitors to destinations, events and businesses in Oshkosh.  Movement through the city is an important part of commerce and enjoyment in our community.  We need to make sure that all types of traffic can easily flow through Oshkosh.  I would take all of this in consideration when allotting funds for road planning and building. 

Sidewalks are very important to safety, movement and community.  Safe bike lanes add to the enjoyment of a community as well as a good way to attract visitors.  Terraces are great ways to add to the beauty and welcoming feeling for visitors, as well as add value to neighborhoods.  They all add value to different types of streets and neighborhoods, and should be looked at individually.

4. Why should or shouldn’t the city automate garbage collection along the same lines as it did with recycling?

We need to look at what the possible cost savings vs service level would be to any major change.  We also must make sure these projected savings or service levels would be reliable over the long term.  It seems that the automated recycling collection has been a success.  However, with the proposed removal of recycling funds in the 2012-13 WI state budget, this program may be in jeopardy on its own.

The next few years are going to be tough ones in local government.  I will look at all options to keep service levels consistent giving the frame we are given by the state.

5. The city’s health insurance is self-funded, which means it will not be required to increase employees’ share of premium costs to 12.6 percent. Would you support the city requiring that of employees? Please explain your reason.

City employees are our partners as well as our employees.  The framework of collective bargaining has worked for more than 50 years.  I believe we need to be fair and open with our employees, while ensuring that we are responsible for our budgets as well.

The changes to benefits dictated from the state do not apply to police and fire as written, exempting a large number of city employees.  We need to look at savings and benefits that will affect the city overall.  People often forget that there are two sides to any equation, the provider as well as the recipient.  At the county, we have found savings through re-negotiations with both employees and the insurance providers.  Once again, we need to keep all options open.

6. What is your criterion for applying the city’s Special Events policy? For instance, do you think it was appropriate to waive the fees for Sawdust Days but not for the Polar Plunge? Why or why not?

I would look at the economic impact to the city as well as to the finances of the event organizers.  If we are going to be “Oshkosh, Event City” – which I support, we need to bring in these events.  We also need to properly balance the impact to the city economy overall for any event.  If an event will have an economic multiplier throughout the community, then a discount or waiver may be appropriate.  If the event is profitable or beneficial for the sponsors and organizers only, then the framework of the Special Events Policy should be less flexible.

7. Should the city continue to invest in downtown and central city revitalization efforts? Does this come at the expense of other areas in the community?

Investment downtown should not be viewed as at the expense of other areas.  Bringing people downtown also helps all of the businesses along the routes to downtown as well.  However, we should have a definite plan or vision to manage the perception of Oshkosh, and the type of character we want to preserve in areas of Oshkosh. 

We have an opportunity and challenge: Oshkosh has two “Main Streets.”  We need to focus efforts for downtown on North Main Street as well as Oregon Street.  Revitalization efforts for downtown should remember that both of these areas need focus and connection as an overall trip through Oshkosh business.  We have the initial steps to connect these through the Riverwalk, following this with a traffic plan to ease flow of visitors into, between and out of these areas will keep both areas vital. 

8. What is the appropriate solution to tackle Oshkosh’s urban wildlife issues, such as urban deer and geese in city parks?

These are separate issues; and should be viewed separately. 

The urban deer do not belong in the quarry in the populations we have seen.  The DNR has given us a very limited amount of solutions to this problem.  While unfortunate, culling, as recommended by the Council in the past, is the proper solution.  As long as we are not allowed to remove the deer to another area and cannot allow a large population to live there, while unfortunate, it is the only reasonable option.  I would be willing to research other options as they are made available to us.

The geese are different.  They can be moved, by looking at options to discourage them.  But, let’s face it… Lake Winnebago and Menomonee Park is beautiful.  I can see why they would want to be there.  We need to balance our enjoyment of the park with the fact that is a natural space, and as such, will have nature visiting it.  If the populations get too large, making health and sanitation an issue, remedies will need to be looked at.

9. There has been concern the cost of the river walk urban trail system may slow continued progress on the project. How much of a budgetary priority should be placed on completing the system?

The Riverwalk will, in the end, be something that brings great value to the City of Oshkosh.  We need to continue the work on this, completing it as soon as fiscally reasonable.  This is an attraction that will bring people to Oshkosh as well as bring value to properties, businesses and attractions adjoining it.  These are the types of projects that a municipal government can directly focus on to encourage new business and development from the private sector. 

As discussed above, it will also provide a key connection between areas of Oshkosh, the University, Oregon Street, North Main Street and the Conference Center/Leach Amphitheater.  The easier that visitors and residents can travel between these areas, the more they will be used and the more attractive they will be.

10. The 2012 city budget is shaping up to require cuts and changes. Which areas of city spending do you favor reductions and which deserve to be protected from cuts. Please be specific.

First: we need to protect basic services.  The garbage needs to get picked up, the streets plowed and Oshkosh residents protected with police and fire. 

I believe we can, with imagination and innovation in the funding and delivery of services, meet these challenges.  I hope that, should this budget not be fixed, we can ensure that we do not fall behind based on this budget.  I hope that we will be able to move forward as other cities, without focused imagination and innovation in the delivery and finance of services, become stagnant.

While I do not support the budget constraints that Oshkosh will face in the next two years, I refuse to throw up my hands and give up.  We will work harder, innovate more and imagine better ways to do things to ensure that Oshkosh remains a great place to live, work and play/visit.  I believe we should keep all options for improvement on the table.  However, giving up in the face of external challenge

Monday, March 7, 2011

Candidate Forums Scheduled for March 10th

Candidate Forums Scheduled for March 10th 

(Oshkosh, WI.)  The League of Women Voters of Winnebago County and Oshkosh Community Media Services (OCMS) will present two candidate forums on March 10th.

The first forum will feature the Oshkosh mayoral candidates and be held from  7:00 – 8:00 p.m.  The second forum will feature Oshkosh Common Council candidates and will run from 8:00 – 9:30 p.m.

The candidate forums are open to the public and will be held at City Hall (215 Church Ave.) in room 404.

Questions for the candidates may be submitted in advance to or by telephone at (920) 231-4770.

The forum will be carried live on OCMS CitiCable 10, live on WOCT 101.9 FM, and video streamed live on the internet at  Replay times for the forums will be posted on

If you would like more information, please contact OCMS Communications Coordinator Dean Leisgang at (920) 236-5269.


See all City of Oshkosh News & Updates here.

Oshkosh State of the City Address Scheduled for March 21st

State of the City Address Scheduled for March 21st 

(Oshkosh, WI.)  The public is invited to attend the 2011 State of the City Address on Monday, March 21st at the Oshkosh Convention Center (2 North Main Street).  The event will start at 6:00 p.m. with a “Meet and Greet” opportunity for citizens to interact with elected officials and city staff.  City Manager Mark Rohloff will deliver the State of the City Address at 6:30 p.m.

The newly created Community Partner Awards and annual Citizen Service Awards will immediately follow the address.  The Community Partner Awards acknowledge individuals and/or groups, who have furthered city events and causes with their significant efforts.  The Citizen Service Awards recognize citizens that have achieved individual five-year milestones in 2010 while serving as volunteers on city of Oshkosh boards or commissions.

The evening will conclude with a City Exhibit Expo.  City departments and various other city partners will display educational material on current and future projects and programs.

The following is a list of some of the organizations and projects that will be profiled at the City
Exhibit Expo:

• Wisconsin DOT Winnebago County highway 41 roundabout model
• Wisconsin DOT interactive roundabout education materials
• Public Works Department’s display about the city’s stormwater management plan
• City Clerk's office voter registration and election information
• Community Development Department’s riverwalk plans
• City’s Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan update
• Parks Department and Oshkosh Area Community Foundation’s “Taking Root”
beautification campaign information
• Oshkosh Fire Department’s new Lucas Heart compression machine and new fire
inspection pre-plan software
• Oshkosh Police Department’s team policing display
• Oshkosh Public Library information about e-books, e-audio books, and other media the
public can download from the library’s website
• Community Health Improvement Plan information
• ReThink display
• Various other department displays
For questions about the event please contact Communications Coordinator Dean Leisgang at (920) 236-5269.

See all City of Oshkosh News & Updates here.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Views & Brews -- Downtown Throwdown

Wednesday, March 16 · 6:00pm - 8:30pm

Becket's (City Center Atrium)
1 City Center

Created By

More Info
This event, involving multiple rounds of debate, audience voting, and trophies, will put a zany new spin on local political debates.

6-7pm: Mayoral candidate debate
7:15-8:30pm: City Council candidate debate
8:30pm onward: music by Jazz Orgy

Unlike previous Views & Brews events, Paul Van Auken of Square One will not be the discussion facilitator. Rather, he will be a panelist, along with Lucinda Vette, and expected to ask intelligent questions of the candidates (which may be a challenge for him). The event will moderated by Dale Devries, whose job will be to keep things fun and moving along.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

City Accepting Applications for Home Loan Program

City Accepting Applications for Home Loan Program  

(Oshkosh, WI.)  The city of Oshkosh would like to remind homeowners that the city has an owner-occupied housing rehabilitation program.  The program offers a zero percent deferred interest loan that is available to low and moderate income single family property owners within Oshkosh city limits. 

Loans may be used for roofing, plumbing, electrical, furnaces, painting, and general repairs. 

Funds may not be used for remodeling and additions.

Interested homeowners must complete an application and be approved before any work is done.  The annual gross household income may not exceed the amounts listed below.

Household size  Gross Income

1 $38,300 
2 $43,800 
3 $49,250 
4 $54,700 
5 $59,100 
6 $63,500 

Larger households should call the planning office for income limits.  The application deadline is March 15, 2011. 

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

The Planning Division is located in City Hall in Room 204.