Mayor gunning to spend more on City Hall

Because a colonnade and facade weren’t enough, folks. (Has anyone noticed the nice red velvet rope that now separates you, the taxpayer, from the Mayor’s office? Ah, the benefits of remodeling…)

Here’s the standard thinking at City Hall. There’s $90,000 available from the cable revenue to upgrade sound equipment so the Mayor (as represented by his Director of All Things Dean Marquardt) is asking the Council to consider spending $175,000. Yes, he’s asking to spend DOUBLE what has been set aside.

Now I’m a fan of televising – heck, some will even say I’m the reason Brookfield started televising as others had tried and failed until I joined the Council and made the successful effort – but it’s silly to spend money like this just because it’s there to spend.

The sound problems experienced in recording can be managed with aldermen/women actually using the provided microphones. That’s been a problem for years. While I’m sure there are other pieces of equipment that would take the setup to “state of the art,” that’s not really necessary here, is it? Sometimes good enough is indeed, good enough.

Here are the minutes from April 7th Finance Committee meeting:

12. Discussion and possible action regarding facility and audiovisual modifications to the Common Council Chambers.
Director of Administration Marquardt presented an overview of the concepts prepared by the architectural and audio-visual consultants for remodeling of the Council chambers to provide enhanced broadcasting of public meetings. Total estimated cost of the project based on the consultant concepts is $175,000, and approximately $90,000 is presently available from the cable television fund and other sources. Discussion ensued among the committee members as to the need for the project, availability of funds for the project, and whether it is appropriate to spend monies at this time for such an endeavor. Following discussion, it was moved by Alderman Sutton to direct staff to review the project concepts for potential cost reductions and to place the item on the agenda for the Board of Public Works to review the concept, and request the Board of Public Works to review the project and provide a recommendation to the Finance Committee. Motion was seconded by Alderman Garvens and carried 6-1, with Alderman Reddin dissenting.


  1. Radio Shack
    10-Watt Handheld Powerhorn with Detachable Microphone


  2. That’s funny!