To the editor:
Alderman Dee Baebler keeps pretending that Mayor Pat Fribis was the only one that knew about the Winter Brothers’ flood plain project before the construction began, and she even alleges the mayor “hid” the project from the aldermen.
However, as pointed out to her at the March 10 Board of Aldermen meeting, Alderman Baebler knew all the details of the Winter Brothers project at the same time as the mayor and the other aldermen.
The Winter Brothers’ flood plain project concept plan was originally presented with multiple attachments including a grading plan at a Planning and Zoning Commission meeting held on May 1, 2019.
At that meeting, the Winter Brothers concept plan was laid out in detail and was discussed. Alderman Baebler and all other aldermen were emailed a copy of the Planning and Zoning commission agenda that listed the Winter Brothers’ project proposal and all project plans and attachments, with a link to the city’s website, by the city beforehand on April 26, 2019.
The agenda and attachments, and minutes of the meeting, are still present to this day on the city’s website. Alderman Baebler did not attend the Planning and Zoning meeting.
An alderman’s duty is to keep themselves informed of committee meetings, especially the Planning and Zoning committee, and to read what was sent to them by the city.
Baebler had knowledge of the Winter Brothers’ project for nine months before the January 2020 board meeting that heard citizen comments on the project.
In those nine months, Baebler never made any proposals for changes to the flood plain standards or to the Winter Brothers’ project.
The mayor, on the other hand, made proposals for changes to the flood plain standards in September of 2019 that are much more restrictive than the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers standards and guidelines that allow fill in a flood plain. Baebler offers no apologies for her deception.
Editor’s note: Former Ward 3 Alderman Jan Hoffmann is the longest serving alderman in the city’s history, serving for 24 years from 1991 to 2015, including time spent as an alderman alongside both Baebler and then-Alderman Fribis.