A pair of Kenosha County Board Supervisors want the meetings, which are now virtual, to allow citizens to speak to the board from the comfort and safety of their homes. Under this proposal authored by Rose, long time attorney and Supervisor of Kenosha’s second district, the County would allow citizens to participate in citizen comments at the beginning of the meetings. They will be seen and heard using a computer, cell phone, or tablet. Rose said that “virtual citizen comments encourages citizen input on the important issues facing the public and the government response to those issues.” It directs the IT department to implement this change. Under the current rules, citizens can only email their comments to the board.
The Kenosha Unified School district allowed virtual meetings at its last meeting on 11/17/2020 and 13 taxpayers signed up to speak virtually and uses the “Google Meetings” software according to a KUSD employee. Antifa and BLM loudmouths have hijacked meeting after meeting and many in the community have called for current Chairman John O’Day to resign. They say he can’t keep order and he isn’t enforcing the rules. For example, speakers are required to give their name and address. Most have not been giving their address and some don’t give their name or give false names, like “Billy Violet” who’s real name is Whitney Cabal. One man referred to himself as “the black man.” Virtual meetings should make it easier for O’Day to enforce the rules of decorum. Zach Rodriguez is a co-sponsor of this initiative and thinks it will be a great tool for transparency and tax-payer participation. There is some talk from county employees and leaders that it just isn’t possible to allow people to speak virtually. Rodriguez doesn’t buy it. ” If KUSD can do it, certainly we can. We owe it to the tax-payers to be heard.” KCE reached out to a local IT expert and she assure us that it can be done with the County software “WebEx.”
Public Records Destruction Resolution Defeated
Only 2 Board Members voted for the destruction of thousands of police records. Board Member Jeff Gentz spearheaded a resolution to shorten the retention period for thousands of police records. Neither he nor Tom Genthner, Director of Joint Services, would tell KCE why they wanted to permanently erase these documents from existence. Many board members were very much opposed this change and questioned the motive. Supervisor Decker, Rose, Rodriguez and others spoke against it. Supervisor Decker, the board member who is responsible for the Sheriff’s Department getting body cams next year, told KCE “I am glad Sup. Rodriguez has a passion for open government and has spearheaded the fight against destroying records that should be available to the public.” She is talking about Rodriguez’s open government initiative that he campaigned on. Shortly after he took office in his first term, he was successful in getting fees for public records reduced by 60%. “People need to trust their government”, says Rodriguez. “Having an open and transparent government is essential to earn and keep this trust.” Rodriguez thinks that the proposal is “dead in the water” and “won’t see the light of day again”.