Alderman David Shorr. (Contributed)

Shorr requests formal reconsideration on Stanley St.

By Brandi Makuski

In a move that surprised just about everyone in city government, Alderman David Shorr has formally requested a “reconsideration” of the Sept. 17 Stanley St. vote.

Shorr has been a major proponent of the controversial project to place Stanley St. on a road diet: a reduction of drivable lanes from four to two in each direction, with a center turn lane and bicycle lanes on either side of the road.

Shorr was one of seven council members who voted to approve the project’s sole bidder, Century Fence from Pewaukee, which returned an estimated cost of $96,900.

Mayor Mike Wiza said he had been “strongly considering” a veto on the Stanley St. project based on the excessive cost of the sole estimate returned by Pewaukee-based Century Fence.

On Friday, Wiza said a veto would not be necessary.

“I have a written request from David Shorr for a formal reconsideration,” Wiza said.

In his letter to Wiza, Shorr said his request was prompted by “new information.”

“I have learned of a lower-cost option that would both keep up on track to redraw the lines of Stanley St. next spring as well as giving public works an in-house capability to carry out such surface restriping without relying on contractors,” Shorr’s letter read in part.

A reconsideration is a parliamentary procedure covered under city ordinance, which says any voting member of the council who voted in the affirmative of an item approved or adopted may move for reconsideration of the issue by the next regular council meeting.

In essence, Wiza said, it means the council could bring the issue back for reconsideration and a new vote.

Wiza said he didn’t see the move coming but said he was glad it happened. If he were to veto, the council does have the votes to override it, and Wiza said he was concerned the issue could become lost in further debate if it dragged on much longer.

“I’m glad we’re able to work together to reevaluate the costs involved and potentially create an advantage for the city,” Wiza said of Shorr’s move.

Wiza said he’s had internal talks with some on the council highlighting a possible compromise to the expensive bid. One potential workaround, he said, involves purchasing two pieces of equipment—one that removes old paint, another that paints stripes over long distances—so the city can perform the restriping of Stanley St. itself.

It’s still a cost the city wasn’t anticipating in 2018, Wiza admitted, but it would be “less money…not significantly less, but less,” than the $97,000 project that the council approved on Sept. 17.

An early initial estimate released by Wiza’s office was $72,000 for equipment and training.

“But then we own the equipment. So it will help with not only this project, but restriping we have to do anywhere in the city,” he said, adding the new equipment would only work with latex paint, not the epoxy paint sought by the council along Stanley St.

“The reconsideration only gives the council the opportunity to reconsider it,” Wiza said. “The council may still say, ‘We’re doing this’.”

The council will reconsider the bid and could instead choose to use the money to buy the recommended equipment, Wiza said, during its regular meeting in October.

Wiza admits the reconsideration only addresses cost, not the controversial project itself. When asked for comment, Wiza said,¬†“The council’s vote made it clear they want to move forward with the project.”