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 village officials would not validate a petition to re initialize bus services in the village. 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 restart the services. Even though there were enough valid signatures, village 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, where the judge ruled 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 gave an estimate of how much the bus services would cost the village if they are reinstated. The village then had to confer with an attorney to ensure that the right language was submitted and printed on the ballots. Officials noted that this measure will likely be appealed if it does get approved.[2]

The village had also 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 had continued to stress their point of view that in their opinion the measure as illegal, and that direct legislation cannot overturn the village's decision. A suggestion was to push the measure to November.[3]

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