Weston Village Bus Service Question (June 2012)

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A Weston Village Bus Service Question will be on the June 5, 2012 ballot in the village of Weston which is in Marathon County.

This measure seeks to implement bus services in the village for at least five days a week starting in 2013. A judge ordered this measure on to the ballot after the village officials would not validate a citizen led petition to re institute services. As a way to cut expenditures in the village, officials cut bus service as a result of low customer usage of the buses. A group then started a petition to start the services back up but even though there were enough valid signatures officials ruled that a referendum on canceling their contract with bus service providers was not valid. The group who initiated the petition then took the issue to court, in which the judge made the ruling that the petition was valid and the issue must be put to a vote. The June date was chosen for the measure as the judge ruled that the village was allowed at least six weeks to prepare for the vote.[1]

The first draft of the wording for the referendum was struck down by a state order because it contained a fiscal note which was not necessary. The order noted that the fiscal statement is not authorized under Wisconsin law. The fiscal note stated an estimate of how much the bus services would cost the village if they are reinstated. The village has now to confer with an attorney to ensure that the right language is submitted and printed on the ballots. Officials noted that this measure will be appealed if it does get approved.[2]

The village has filed a motion with the Judge who ruled on the measure to stop or stay his order of putting this measure to vote in June. The attorneys for the village continue to stress their point that they view the measure as illegal, that direct legislation cannot overturn the village's decision. A suggestion was to push the measure to November to vote on.[3]

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