Board works to fill open posts for public works, police

The Village Board on Monday took preliminary steps toward hiring a new public works director and chief of police.

With public works director Mark Below retiring in September, the board accepted village administrator Mike Gracz’s suggestion not to include a residency requirement. 

The village’s policy for both public works director and police chief is that they live within 15 miles of the village as a condition of employment, but Gracz said including the requirement might limit the pool of candidates.

The board also agreed to Gracz’s request to increase the top of the salary range to $93,000. The salary range listed in the ad is from $78,852 to $93,000.


Brooklyn Veterans Memorial groundbreaking May 24

The public is invited to a groundbreaking and ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Brooklyn Veterans Memorial, located at the west edge of the village on Hwy. 92 across from the fire department. There will be local veteran recognition, musical events and, in the Brooklyn Town Hall, food served by the Oregon/Brooklyn VFW.

Also in the hall on display will be the renditions of the memorial, a “Working Warriors” traveling display from the Wisconsin Veteran’s Museum commemorating veterans who were not in combat and a Brooklyn Area Historical Society display on Brooklyn’s military veterans.


Board seeks restitution in Pettit case

The Village Board last week voted in closed session to seek restitution from former Village of Oregon police chief Doug Pettit, whom the Department of Justice charged in December with two felony counts of filing false tax returns.

The board authorized village attorney Matt Dregne to seek restitution from Pettit in the pending case involving the criminal charges against him.

Pettit had an initial hearing April 27 and has another hearing slated for May 18. He is free on a $500 bond following months of delayed initial hearings due to health complications.


Board adopts misconduct reporting system

The Village Board has adopted a new village employee misconduct reporting system, but there is some debate whether it provides enough protection for potential whistleblowers.

The new system includes a document that the complaining employee would be asked to fill out, submit and discuss with the official in charge. In adopting the new policy, the board asked the Public Safety committee to determine if an anonymous reporting system is also needed.

At the board’s last meeting, Trustee Jeanne Carpenter reported that the committee agreed the village should implement the new system and allow time to evaluate it before considering an anonymous system. That, she said, reflected village administrator Mike Gracz’s opinion.


Trades class holds open house

Photos by Scott De Laruelle Kash Musehel from the Oregon High School Construction class makes some measurements on Monday afternoon at a house on 117 Onyx Court that the class has been working on all year. The class will host an open house at that location from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday.

Sometimes, people don’t give high school students enough credit.

But when you’re standing in front of a two-story house that students spent an entire year building from the ground up, it’s hard not to be impressed.

People can check out the students’ handiwork at an open house from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday at the house, 117 Onyx Court. The house sold for around $389,000 in March.

The three-credit Home Construction class, taught by Chris Prahl, is serious business. It lasts all year, and students put in a lot of time – three hours a day – building a house “from foundation to finish,” he said. And not just anybody can sign up and take the class.

“They have to apply like a job every year,” Prahl said. “They do a job application and apply for it with that.”


Oregon Welcome Center grand opening set for Saturday

The village’s historic pump house officially becomes the Village of Oregon Welcome Center Saturday in a grand opening event at 10 a.m.

The event is the culmination of almost two years of fundraising and building improvements organized by resident Randy Glysch.

He organized the landscaping and construction improvements to the building with the help of local design/builder Scott Meier.

Glysch raised more than $58,000 for the project, some of which came from selling 80 pavers that are now part of the front walkway. He said approximately 195 businesses, organizations and individuals donated to the project.


Oregon man charged with sexually assaulting a child

An Oregon man faces a felony sexual assault charge after police allege he touched the buttocks of an 8-year-old girl sitting next to him at a library computer.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Dane County Circuit Court, Alexander M. Cook, 18, and the victim were using computers around 12:30 p.m. Saturday, March 28, at the downtown branch of the Madison Public Library. Cook told police that he was looking at “hook-up sites” and that he had tapped the girl on the shoulder to get her attention.

The complaint states that in an interview with Safe Harbor, the girl told interviewers that Cook had said “Oh, baby, you are so hot,” made reference to her genitals and touched her buttocks. 


A Welcome Restoration

File photo. The pump house in 2011.

Sometimes it takes a village to restore a historic building.

That’s certainly been true of the village’s 1899 pump house restoration, an effort that has garnered donations from 195 individuals, businesses and organizations, most with a local connection. But restoration of the small building on Janesville Street almost certainly would not have happened in the foreseeable future without the efforts of project organizer Randy Glysch.


Four thefts from unlocked cars Saturday night

Image courtesy of Google Maps. Four vehicles had items stolen from them, all after 8:30 p.m. last Saturday, May 2. The map locations are approximate.

The Oregon Police Department is warning car owners to keep valuables out of their cars after four people reported thefts over the weekend.


Board questions liquor transfers

Alpine Liquors owner Ted Wallace appeared before the Village Board Monday to answer questions about a state investigation and complaint that he had been illegally transferring alcohol products between his stores in Madison and Oregon.

Wallace had previously told Village President Steve Staton that he was not transferring alcohol but admitted Monday that he did. He assured the village board Monday that he was no longer moving the products.

Wallace said Monday that he quit transferring liquor eight to 10 months ago after learning it was illegal. But a complaint filed April 3 by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement Unit alleges that on Tuesday, March 3, a number of agents inspected Wallace’s stores and found evidence that the alcohol transfers were ongoing.

State investigation


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