By Dave Fidlin

Correspondent

The Whitewater Community Development Authority’s board of directors has announced new leadership as the appointed body begins a new organizational year.

At the group’s most recent monthly meeting May 23, resident Al Stanek was named chair of the CDA board, which oversees a range of issues related to economic development in Whitewater. Stanek has held a seat on the CDA in recent years.

Stanek, who was appointed to the leadership role through a unanimous vote, succeeds Larry Kachel, who announced plans of stepping down from the CDA.

Ray Bucholtz, who recently joined the CDA, has been named vice chairman.

The CDA also made appointments to several offshoot panels that take up issues. Stanek will represent the CDA on the University Technology Park Board, while Bucholtz will serve on the Seed Capital Screening Committee.

Toward the end of the May 23 meeting, the prospect of moving the CDA’s monthly sessions to a different venue — including, possibly, city hall — also was discussed. The CDA in recent years has been meeting at the Whitewater Innovation Center.

CDA board member Greg Meyer said he fielded inquiries from developers who asked to have the meetings in a more accessible location. The prospect of live streaming the meetings also was discussed.

“They asked to have the same transparency that the other meetings have,” Meyer said of his discussions.

Live streaming the meetings also was discussed as a possibility to improve the public’s access to the information. CDA meetings historically have been recorded and broadcast later, including through Whitewater Community TV’s Vimeo channel online.

“We can look and see what the capabilities are,” said CDA Executive Director Dave Carlson, who followed up his statement saying he would confer with Kristin Mickelson, the city’s public relations and communications manager.

Several board members noted holding the CDA meetings at a venue such as the Innovation Center gives the appointed group the opportunity to use the amenity.

But even before its construction, council member James Allen, who serves on the CDA, said the group’s meetings were held at other venues, including the White Memorial Building.

“We don’t want the appearance of outside forces, like developers, to think that what they tell us confidentially is in city hall and can spread that way,” Allen said. “They’ve never been in city hall, and that’s a major reason why.”

Council President Patrick Singer also inquired if the CDA should improve some of its processes, such as a uniform application process for developments and proposals that come before the group.

“I think a codification of policies is an ongoing endeavor,” Stanek said in response to the proposal, agreeing that refinements could be beneficial.

Pointing to the CDA board’s working relationship with Carlson, Stanek said, “I think a clarification of responsibilities would make your job easier and our job easier.”

 
 

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