Municipal collaboration is goal of proposed panel

By Dave Fidlin

Correspondent

Union Grove has agreed to join a new government entity aimed at bringing together municipal leaders across Racine County to hash over such issues as road salt costs and labor shortages.

The Village Board on Feb. 28 adopted a resolution pledging its support for membership on the Racine County Intergovernmental Cooperation Council. The compact could potentially consist of a county representative and municipal officials from the 17 cities, villages and towns.

Racine County Executive Jonathan Delagrave has been a proponent of creating the RCICC, which is modeled after a similar, long-established entity to the north in Milwaukee County.

For years, the county executive, mayors and village presidents in Wisconsin’s most populous county have met in tandem on a monthly basis and offered up non-binding votes on various issues that are, in turn, forwarded on to the local councils and boards.

Delagrave said the ICC model would be a good fit for Racine County “as governmental services become more complex and resources become more finite.”

The Union Grove Village Board’s support of joining the RCICC came on a 6-1 vote, with Trustee Gordon Svendsen being the dissenter.

Although she cast a favorable vote, Trustee Jan Winget shared some preliminary concerns about Union Grove’s representation within a county that, at times, is noted for its geographic divisions.

“My concern is there’s east of the I system, and there’s west of the I system,” Winget said, referring to the Interstate 94 dividing line. “If you’re east of the I system, the only thing that exists is Burlington.”

Speaking from his perspective in county government, Delagrave offered a different take.

“I would disagree in saying Burlington is the only thing west of the I,” Delagrave said. “The county has actually looked at Union Grove as a vital municipality.”

To read the full story see the March 4 edition of the Westine Report.