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Neumeyer, Arthur J. (ed.) / The birth of a city: Brillion from village to city April 4, 1944
(April 4, 1944)

Where on earth is Brillion? PDF (110.6 MB)

Lions Club Holds A     Strictly
Business Session
The members of the Lions club
last Thursday enjoyed the novelty
of holding a 'strictly business"
meeting. If we remember rightly,
it is the first of its kind since the
club's activities first began break-
ing into the columns of the News.
The only diversions on the pro-
gram were a fine talk by Pfc.
Lloyd Habermann who was pre-
sented as a guest of honor by Lion
Seip. Lloyd told his experiences
in a camp somewhere in the desert
region of southern California and
showed that while a soldier's life
isn't exactly fun, there neverthe-
less is some fun in it. He is the
son of Mr. and Mrs. Arno Haber-
mann. The other diversions were
the presentation of a "Key" mem-
bership pin to Lion Huibregtse by
Lion Schmiedlin and a gift to Lion
I Flanagan by Lion Schmitt in hon-
- or of another increase in the coun-
ty superintendent's family.
Then the meeting settled down
to "strictly business" and the en-
I suing animated debates and dis-
cussions put president Schroeder's
dignity to some severe strains be-
cause when Lions want to talk
they really want to TALK. So
the session lasted until near elev-
en o'clock which is sure going
some. Three topics accounted for
the long talkfest. These were the
forthcoming Hallowe'en celebra-
tion in charge of Lion Arndt's
committee on Athletics and Our
Youth; the    also  forthcoming
Achievement Day in charge of
Lion Meyer's Rural Committee;
City Incorporation by Lion Neu-
meyer's Municipal Committee.
This last-named topic elicited the
longest discussion inasmuch as It
was new while the others were
already more or less familiar.
Lion Neumeyer read a complete
report of his committee's investi-
gation and asked the club to ex-
press its attitude on the question.
The club's answer was to request
the committee to continue its in-
vestigations and submit a further
report as soon as convenient. Fu-
ture issues of the News will deal
with the above activities more
Upon the suggestion of Arthur
J. Neumeyer, the Brillion Lions
club last May took action to study
the advisability of incorporating
the Village of Brillion as a city.
Accordingly, the club's Municipal
committee for the past three
months has been conducting a
quiet survey in regard to the mat-
ter. During the past week the
committee made known the first
results of its findings. Members
of the committee are Neumeyer,
M. P. Becker and H. C. Horn.
In its report the committee
stated that it first had approached
the League of Wisconsin Munici-
palities. The league last April is-
sued a release entitled "The Ad-
vantages and Disadvantages of
Changing from a Village to a City
Form of Government," a survey
which has been quite explicit and
is the result of careful study. The
committee next spent an evening
with the city council at Weyauwe-
ga, and another eveneing with the
council of New Holstein. Letters
were also received from prominent
civic leaders residing in communi-
ties which in recent years have
converted from a village to a city.
All of these facts were briefly
reported on at the season's first
dinner-meeting of the Lions club,
at the Hotel Brillion. Last Thurs-
day evening, and in complete de-
tail at a meeting of the club di-
rectorate on Tuesday evening.
The directors, in fact, spent better
than two and a half hours in care-
fully reviewing the committee's
At the conclusion of the lengthy
discussion it was decided to have
the committee interview industrial
leaders and "John Q. Public" in
neighboring cities, in an effort to
gain further opinions.  A  club
meeting in October was also set
aside for an open forum discus-
sion of the question. Finally, ar-
rangements were completed to
have the high school debate teams
study the subject and later pre-
sent the pros and cons of the ques-
tion at a club dinner.
All of these investigations will
probably require another three
months, after which the commit-'
tee will make its final recommen-
dation in the matter.
Brillion-The entire energies of the
Brillion Lions club during the month
were directed towards the movement
of converting Brillion into a city.
The activity had its inception nearly
a year ago when Lion Arthur J. Neu-
meyer proposed that a survey he
made to reveal both the advantages
and disadvantages of the change. New
Holstein and Weyauwega, communi-
ties which converted to a city form
of government several years ago,
were visited. The club invited the
village board to their Jan. 27 and the
plan was further discussed. Pros-
pects that Brillion will become a city
on April 1 are favorable . . . Rev.
Henry Schmitt of Gresham was the
speaker at our dinner-meeting of the
month and one of the best meetings
in th'e history of the club was held.
A Summary of Committee Report
on City Incorporation
At a recent meeting of the Bril-' 2083, Omro 1410, and a number of
lion Lions club its Municipal Com-  others, most of them comparable
mittee consisting of A. J. Neu-  In size to Brillion. A comparison
meyer, chairman, Henry Horn and  of tax rates is also of interest.
M. P. Becker, submitted a report  The following are given as illus-
on the subject of incorpbrating our  trations:
villagd as a city.                Brillion Village-------.02432
Subsequently the same report,   Fountain City--------.02862
was submitted to the Brillion     Independence---------.03171
Chamber of Commerce. In both      Juneau---------------02350
cases a great deal of interest wae  Lodi----------------.03200
created and the committee was     Marion--------------.03065
urged to pursue its investigations  Montello--------------02334
further and submit a detailed     Mosinee--------------02358
plan of the proposed change from  New Lisbon---------.02000
the village to a city form of gov-  Princeton-------------02540
ernment. The results of its studies
will be laid before the local civic I One otherand th   arelvi-
organizations at a future date. whoae  'cmrae    to rimaion
Through the courtesy of Mr. Neu- wo ax ras run aprxite-
meyer the News has been permit- Fy ashas           ml     i
ted to examine the committee's F     ane:
correspondence with a view  to    Clwphp--------.026
present some facts and statistics  Fox Point-----------.02920
gathered from other communities,
most of them smaller than Bril-   Grafton------------.027
lion, where the change from vil-  Randolph------------.02927
lage to city was made. This infor-  Rib Lake-------------04380
mation of course does not com-
plete the picture, but does go to
show how the change has worked  that rate of taxation is not a fac-
out elswhere and how it therefore tor as between the cost of village
might work in Brillion.         government and the cost of city
The question is still in the dis- government. Tax rates are derived
cussion stage. At any rate, the from the assessed property valu-
committee is to be commended for ation. And the testimony of city
the efforts it has made to get officials contacted by the commit-
much valuable and authentic in- tee is to the effect that the change
formation that will stimulate dis-' had but little effect on the tax
cussion so that intelligent action  rate, though they admit that there
can result. In the opening state- is a slight trend upward. The net
ment of its report, the committee deduction is that a city form will
says concerning   the  proposed certainly not cost less to run, but
change:                         whatever the increase is will de-
"It is our contention, frpm the pend on what the community de-
Information we gathered, it is de- mands for its tax moneys. As far
finitely a move in the right direc- as taxes are concerned it's still up
tion, and feel the change-over will to the people acting through their
be made before long anyway, so governing bodies.
why not fall in line with the many  Now, as to testimony of officials
other towns and obtain the ad- and others in communities that
vantages now? We are one of the changed from village to city. We
few large villages in the state that quote the following excerpts from:
have not done so."                G. J. Hipke, New Holstein-
The report listed the smaller vil-  "I can assure you that city or-
lages that are now under the city ganization assumes a more syste-
plan. Some of these communities matic and business-like adminis-
are, by population, Buffalo 293, tration. As a county board mem-
Colby 903, Fountain City 985, Fox ber for quite some years, I can
Lake 1016, Glenwood 811, Green- truthfully say that supervisors
wood 776, Lodi 1116, Weyauwegamore con-
1173, and a number of others.
There are also several communi- priations concerning Agriculture
ties larger than Brillion that still than have the town supervisors, in
retain the village form for reasons most cases. I have never heard
that might be interesting: Cornell a regret that we changed from
1759, Ellsworth 1340, Greendale village to city and trust my few
2527, Kimberly 2618, Kohler 1789, words will he helpful in finding
Little Chute 3360, Menomonie Brillion listed as the third city in
Falls 1469, North Fond du Lac Calumet county."
county board.
City Incorporation Studied       2. More highway aids.
3. Operating cost is not much
Richard S. Henry, Mosinee:    higher.
"Mosinee changed from the vil- 4. City school system may be
lage form  to a four-ward city adopted.
form of government about fifteen  Ite  4 wiuson   create a
years ago and there appears to be good deal of discussion hinging on
very little difference in actual gov- the fact that the north portion of
ernmental costs. It appears that our village is outside of Jt. School
in the ward system people take District No. 2, which is maintain-
more interest in their local gov-  ingthe present high school and
ernment. No one here has expres- grades. An effort to bring the en-
sed regret relative to the change." tire village within the school dist-
Geo. H. Dobbins, Weyauwega: rict, was made a number of years
"There are a number of ad-! ago but was defeated when a
vantages in a city form of gov- member of the village board re-
erment. 1. 1jighway allottments siding in the north portion of the
are about double the amount to a village voted No.  The present
village. 2. It increases represent- discussion about city incorporation
tation on the county board. will undoubtedly revive agitation
Scott B. Nichols, Whitehall:  for the change to convert the en-
"Here in Trempaleau county, tire city into a single school sys-
our village incorporated as a city tem. The change from village to
several years ago. That unbalan- city might make it advisable to
ed representation on the county repeal some ancient ordinances, to
board, so within the past three amend some, and retain others as
years four other villages did like- they stand. Some revised zoning
wise. From a cost standpoint, may be in order. Are our build-
there is very little difference in Ing regulations up-to-date and en-
operating as a village or as a forceable? Where would the ward
city."       h                  boundaries be? How would street
John  A. Markham, cIty f     mplveae     be handled?  Per-
dence:                          haps one or two new streets could
"There is this to be said about be opened up. Or a bit of addition-
a city. You then have two alder- al territory annexed?  These of
men from each ward which is a'1 course, and other matters that
better representation of the people may come up, could be attended to
You have one member from each' AFTER incorporation as a city
ward on the county board. The as well as now. Nevertheless, since
school system here was made part the matter is wide open for dis-
of the city and we had a five-man cussion, it might be prudent to
board instead of a three-man think things over beforehand. We
district board, but it was changed are sure the committee studing
back."                         the matter of incorporation will
H. W. Belter, Wautoma:        welcome any suggestions citizens
"Wautoma   has been under the may have to offer, so that when
city form     of government since the time comes for action, they
April, 1940. Under the city form will be able to lay before the vil-
you will have more representation lage board a complete program of
on the county board. In addition proceedure.
you will have in ore highway aid.'
You may also choose to come un-
der the city form of government
school administration. When we,
changed over to the city form of
government we had the arguments
In opposition-the cost would be
greater. We have found that this'
is not the case.
There are other letters besides
the above which the committee ob-
tained to testify that the commun-
ities where they changed from vil-,
lage to city form of government
are satisfied with results. These,
briefly are:
1. Better representation on the

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