As it turns out, a nearly half-million-dollar gift to the city of Ripon will not be used to upgrade a pavilion at Murray Park — at least, not right now.

   Mayor Gary Will today (Friday) issued the first veto of his nearly decade-long career at the helm of the city to overturn the Ripon Common Council’s decision from Tuesday night.

   His reasons? According to Will, they are twofold:

  • One, that certain council members were ill informed as to what weight to give a recommendation made by the park and recreation committee supporting the park pavilion concept, and
  • Two, that he believes the city may have the opportunity to do more with the money if it were combined with dollars that are available from a revolving loan fund the state controls.

   “I’m not against anything. I’m just making sure that we do the best we can for Ripon, for the residents, for our future with one, two or three, or any of the projects combined,” Will said.

   Tom Moniz, who was among the residents who had proposed the improvements at Murray Park, was disappointed with the veto.

   “Very disappointed in the fact that a process has played out over the last year that culminated in numerous public discussions, presentations, a well-thought-out plan, budget proposal, subject to public scrutiny, the paper — and all of that has been vetoed with the stroke of a pen behind closed doors,” he said. “And [I’m] very disappointed by the lack of transparency in that decision.”

Read the full story, including more explanation by Will regarding his decision and what he'd like to occur next, in the Sept. 19, 2019 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.