Some community leaders calling for recall of Fitchburg mayor

Published: Oct. 3, 2017 at 6:33 PM CDT
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FITCHBURG, Wis. (WMTV) -- Some community leaders say they are starting the recall process of the Fitchburg mayor after controversy over budget cuts to nonprofits.

Mothers in the Neighborhood and other local groups and community organizers held a press conference Tuesday announcing their plans to start the recall process of the Fitchburg mayor.

Mayor Jason Gonzalez's 2018 operating budget proposal would cut $125 thousand dollars in city funding to local nonprofits like the Boys and Girls Club and Badger Prairie Needs Network.

The release of the proposal sparked controversy between Boys and Girls Club of Dane County CEO Michael Johnson and Mayor Gonzalez.

On Tuesday community leaders said they would file for a recall citing the cuts as detrimental to the growth and safety of the Fitchburg community.

"You are not keeping up with public safety if you omitting to serve the communities of your poorest population and your most undeserved population," Minister Caliph Muab'El said.

Mayor Gonzalez responded Tuesday saying the proposal is nowhere near final. He says he left room in the budget for city alders to come forth with their own proposals for how to distribute money to local organizations.

"We're actually taking a step that's going to be more transparent, more accountable and I need accountability when I'm using tax payer dollars to give to non profits or other charitable organizations," Gonzalez said.

On Tuesday evening the Fitchburg Common Council's Committee on Finance will get a first reading of the budget from the mayor. At that meeting there will be time for the public to make comments.

Mayor Gonzalez says the budget is scheduled to be finalized by the middle of November.

Copyright 2017: WMTV