Town of Waukesha meeting gets heated as former chairwoman questions new chairman

Published on: 4/23/2013

The lead-up to the 2013 Town of Waukesha chairman election got heated at meetings and in social media.

It appears the aftermath of the election that saw challenger, John Marek, defeat Town Chairwoman Angie E. Van Scyoc won't be dull, either.

In the citizen comment portion of last week's joint Plan Commission and Board meeting, a section that lasted 45 minutes, Van Scyoc, like others, spoke on the water service area.

She referenced a previous commenter who said there was good information in a newspaper article on the Town of Waukesha's current water situation in regards to the City of Waukesha's future water service area.

Van Scyoc, who was part of a decision the board made that includes only a small portion of the town in that service area, didn't have that same viewpoint.

"There wasn't good information in there," Van Scyoc said. "There was information that Mr. Marek contrived and got for his own personal use and for his own personal agenda."

Marek is attempting to rescind the previous board's decision on the water service area to include the entire town in that area. Including the town in the city's water service area remains a hot-button issue among those worried about possible annexation by the move vs. others that believe the town should have a backup water source.

After Van Scyoc made that claim, Marek cut her off.

"One of the things we talked about early on was I said I wasn't going to tolerate any personal attacks," Marek said. "If that's what you're going to do, we're done."

Van Scyoc then asked if Marek removed information on the town website regarding the water service area that she had up when she was chairwoman.

After denying it and saying he had no idea what she was talking about, Van Scyoc questioned the clerk.

At that point, the crowd, like in meetings past, became animated and began bickering with each other.

Some yelled “point of order” at Van Scyoc and ordered her to sit down.

“You’re not the chairman anymore,” one woman screamed from the back.

Others from the audience fired back.

“She has a right to speak,” another man said.

After a brief deliberation with the town attorney and Marek, Town Clerk-Treasurer Jamie Salentine said that she was directed to remove the front page off the website, but that the items that were taken off the front did not affect the links that are still under the current topics section. There are 14 PDF file items on the water service area under the current topics section.

Van Scyoc wasn't satisfied.

"The front page contained very specific information regarding the water service area," Van Scyoc said. "Very good information for the issues being addressed tonight. Those items were removed. What was put in its place were the two items that you (Marek) requested (on the water service area). Those documents are not official town documents. That is inappropriate to do."

After about four minutes at the microphone, Marek told Van Scyoc her time was up.

Town attorney Douglas Hoffer then tried to regain order in the room.

“I would remind the board and the citizens making comments that it is inappropriate to have a discussion during citizen comments,” Hoffer said. “The only discussions that should be had during the meeting should be agenized items.”