3-31-20 fdl city council takes heat on social media for discussing lakeside park pavilion during coronavirus pandemic

The Fond du Lac city council president is defending the council’s decision to meet in person, and to discuss issues like a public safety referendum and Lakeside Park pavilion in the midst of a cornavirus pandemic.   The council has taken significant heat on social media from the public for not tabling discussion on the issues last week until the public health crisis is over.  Council president Brian Kolstad says he doesn’t see anything wrong with the council’s actions.  “I believe it is important to keep these discussions going so that when we do finally get back to a point when we can address these we’re not going to be rushed for an answer,”  Kolstad told WFDL news.  “To not have that input, that conversation ongoing as much as we could,  would be a disservice as well.”   But councilmember Kay Miller said given the state of emergency the matters should have been postponed.   The council did agree not to place a public safety referendum on the November election ballot, instead focusing on a possible referendum next spring.  “There seemed to be consensus that would be preferable over the November option,”  Kolstad said.  “That would definately give us more time to talk about this referendum.”   While many governmental bodies are meeting virtually or not meeting at all, Kolstad also defends the council meeting in person allowing the public to comment by telephone if they wish.  “We did take some precautions to make sure we were social distancing.  Yes of course it’s not ideal, but we do want to keep going with our business for the city.”   Fond du Lac County Public Health Officer Kim Mueller says everybody, even government bodies, need to take the governor’s order seriously.  “In general we need to look at what business do we do and how can we change that to ensure that we are minimizing the amount of time we meet,”  Mueller told WFDL news.  “…really, truly asking ourselves do we need to meet?”