Town Incorporation Hearing Blocked as Waukesha Rips Brookfield
An Oct. 23 public hearing on whether the Town of Brookfield should be allowed to become a village is now off, as the Town of Waukesha appeals issues and rips its neighbor for what it calls a "shameful" land grab.
The Town of Brookfield's request to become a village is on hold as a judge allows the Town of Waukesha to appeal issues before the incorporation bid proceeds.
Waukesha County Circuit Judge James Kieffer on Monday granted the Town of Waukesha's request to stay the incorporation proceedings until the District IV Court of Appeals rules on Town of Waukesha appeals.
Kieffer's ruling effectively cancels an Oct. 23 public hearing at Brookfield Town Hall, in which the state Department of Administration had planned to seek public input on the incorporation request to aid in its decision-making.
Town of Waukesha Chairwoman Angie Van Scyoc minced no words Tuesday as she blasted the Town of Brookfield's proposal to include 288 acres of Town of Waukesha land in order to have the four square miles of land required to become a village.
"The clearly selfish actions of the Town Board of the Town of Brookfield and incorporator Jay Walt through town attorney Jim Hammes are shameful, unconscionable and unheard of among reasonable and respectful community leaders," Scyoc said in an email to Patch.
Attempts to obtain comment from Town of Brookfield officials, including Town Administrator Rick Czopp, were not successful.
Town of Brookfield wants to protect future
Scyoc said her town leaders appreciate the support of other municipalities who also have objected to the incorporation: the cities of Brookfield and Waukesha and Village of Sussex.
"(We) view their support as an example of intergovernmental cooperation," she wrote. "This concept must be foreign to the Town of Brookfield elected officials who have authorized the actions to attempt, through incorporation, to steal our constituents right to choose where they wish to reside."
Town of Brookfield leaders have fought for more than a decade to become a village in order to stop losing land to those neighboring cities and protect its future tax base and governmental autonomy. The efforts have not been successful to date, with the state Department of Administration ruling in 1999 and 2001 against the Town of Brookfield, largely on the basis that its remaining land contained noncontiguous islands.
This time, the Town of Brookfield is seeking to remove its noncontinguous land near the Capitol Drive Airport, and pick up Town of Waukesha land instead.
Brookfield City Attorney Karen Flaherty said including another town's land in an incorporation request without its consent is an unprecedented move. Town Attorney James Hammes has said there is precedent and the inclusion is legal.
One of the issues the Town of Waukesha is appealing is a court order that prohibited it from intervening in the Town of Brookfield incorporation case.