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Rhinelander Alder Avoids Censure Vote Monday

Wikimedia Commons Royal Broil

Alder Dawn Rog avoided a censure vote at Monday's Rhinelander Common Council meeting.

October 28, a member of the audience at that meeting rose to chastise Rog for not paying attention during discussion after which Rog stated that person should 'go back to jail'.

Rog later apologized for making the comment as it was found the person never had a jail record.

But no fewer than 6 members of the public rose Monday night to ask for Rog's resignation from the common council for the comment. 

Alder David Holt put a resolution on the council agenda asking to censure Rog for the comment. In drafting the resolution, Holt followed Roberts Rules of Order which allows for a governmental body to punish one of its own..

"...Is to warn him or her that if a certain behavior continues, the next step is suspension or expulsion..."

But City Attorney Steven Sorenson asked for the council to consider it's own rules, which has no provision in it for censure...

"...You do not have any provision in your ordinance (to censure). It doesn't exist in your ordinance. You don't have anything that says that. You don't have a procedure on how you can censure and how you cannot censure. You certainly can display your displeasure, you can say things, you can resolve things..."

Since there wasn't a specific city rule covering how to censure, Sorenson implied the resolution would be inappropriate to vote on. Holt withdrew the resolution.

In a related move, the city is moving forward to form an ethics board, which would have taken up the incident if it was already in place.

In other action, the council approved the conditional use permit for the YMCA of the Northwoods to purchase the former South Park School to turn into a large day care facility as we reported last week.

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