CITY OF MIDDLETON REFERENDUM, NOVEMBER 2022
Middleton is a growing community - our population increased more than 14% over the last five years - but City staffing hasn't kept pace, making it difficult to continue providing the level of service residents expect and deserve.
To meet the needs of our growing population, the City has identified a need to add two police officers and one parks crew member. Additionally, there is a need to add one dedicated communications specialist to improve transparency and communication and to provide up to 4% wage increases to non-union personnel in order to avoid staff departures, be competitive in the market, and enhance staff recruitment and retention.
The Common Council voted to place a referendum question on the ballot for the Tuesday, November 8, 2022 election, asking voters whether they support an additional $770,000 increase in the City’s annual tax levy to cover the cost of adding two police officers, one communications specialist and one parks crew member, and to enable 4% wage increases to non-union personnel.
Current funding is insufficient to meet the growing service demands and needs of the community. While the need and program costs continue to rise, current funding sources are stagnant or decreasing.
Because of state-imposed levy limits, Middleton must ask approval from taxpayers through a referendum to increase the tax levy to fund additional staffing and wage increases.
WHAT ARE THE STAFFING NEEDS?
The number of sworn officers at the Middleton Police Department has not kept pace with our growing population. In recent years, officers are facing an increasing number of complex, time-consuming calls for service – challenging their ability to provide proactive policing services in the community.
The City of Middleton is responsible for 800 acres of conservancy and almost 300 acres of active recreation land, including hundreds of acres that have been added over the last 20 years. The Parks Department includes just 5 full-time parks maintenance staff members, and has not had funding available to hire any new full-time staff for more than 24 years.
The City of Middleton lacks the staff necessary for providing timely communications to the public and supporting City goals of openness and transparency. We need a dedicated communications specialist to focus on keeping community members informed about timely programs, resources, or opportunities to engage in their city government and their community.
Our ability to hire and retain staff has been significantly hindered by limited funding for cost of living adjustment. In 2022 alone, the City has lost 29 staff, including 17 of the City's 147 full-time employees. These vacant positions must be filled, and the City seeks to do everything it can to keep high-quality employees.
Resources that provide additional information are available here:
ATTEND AN INFORMATIONAL MEETING
OCT. 19 at 7:00 p.m., Virtual https://us06web.zoom.us/j/81854901940
NOV. 2 at 9:00 a.m., Middleton Senior Center Dining Room - 7448 Hubbard Avenue
Or email questions to email@example.com
VOTE NOVEMBER 8
In-person Early Voting at the Clerk’s Office:
Monday through Friday; Oct. 25 - Nov. 3 from 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
On Nov. 4 from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
By Absentee Ballot:
Deadline to submit application for mailed absentee ballot: November 3, 5:00 p.m.
On Election Day:
Polling places are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wisconsin voters are required to show an acceptable photo ID in order to vote.
Additional voting information, including about polling places and requesting an absentee ballot, can be found at myvote.wi.gov.