An Assembly resolution honoring retired Madison Police Chief Mike Koval has not been co-sponsored by any area representatives — several of whom complained the resolution was never shared or opened for sponsorship.
The resolution was introduced Friday by Rep. Jon Plumer, R-Lodi, to honor Koval, who last month announced his immediate retirement after 36 years with the Madison Police Department, including more than five years as chief. The resolution notes Koval’s “leadership, passion, hard work, and dedication.”
Plumer, who lives more than 20 miles north of Madison in Columbia County, said he spent the first 19 years of his life in Madison and introduced the resolution because he has always respected Koval.
Plumer said the resolution did not go out for co-sponsors because he wanted to see it go before the Assembly on Thursday, when lawmakers are scheduled to recognize first responders around the state.
“We didn’t think we would have enough time to introduce it for co-sponsors and get it on the calendar for tomorrow, so it wasn’t like we were trying to shut anybody out by any means, it was just a timing issue,” Plumer said Wednesday. “There’s nothing sinister here. We’re just trying to honor the man.”
The resolution was introduced and referred to the Assembly Rules Committee on Friday. On Tuesday, the committee placed it on the Assembly’s Thursday calendar.
Rep. Melissa Sargent, D-Madison, expressed frustration that Plumer never shared the resolution with her, as it pertains to a resident of her district.
“The collegial thing to do would be to reach out to the folks who represent that community, and he did not do that,” she said. “My door is literally open.
“I appreciate the service that Chief Koval has provided to Madison all these years,” Sargent said. “This has turned into an unfortunate partisan conversation as opposed to the ability to be able to recognize and appreciate what it is that he has provided.”
A spokesman for Rep. Chris Taylor, D-Madison, also said her office did not receive notification of Plumer’s resolution.
Lawmakers can request that their names be added in support of a resolution during a floor reading.
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Koval joined the Madison Police Department in 1983, and has worked at the department ever since, except for two years he spent with the FBI. He has served as a police officer, field training supervisor, SWAT hostage negotiator, critical response team supervisor, primary legal instructor and sergeant.
For much of that time, Koval was in charge of recruiting and training, serving as the sergeant of recruitment and training for 17 years. He was named chief in April 2014.
Plumer’s resolution is the latest in a number of measures over the years introduced by legislators who live outside of Madison that pertain mainly to city matters.
On Tuesday, the Senate approved a resolution introduced by Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, and Rep. Tony Kurtz, R-Wonewoc, expressing support for bringing F-35 jets to Madison’s Truax Field. The Democratic senators who represent the Madison area weren’t consulted on the resolution and were split in their support, with Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-West Point, and Mark Miller, D-Monona, voting in favor, and Sen. Fred Risser, D-Madison, voting against.
In 2010, Rep. Steve Nass, R-Whitewater, threatened to propose legislation to ban “bike boxes”, European-style pavement markers installed in Madison to minimize conflicts between motorists and bicyclists at busy intersections.
Nass argued at the time that the boxes were for “liberal extremists in Madison” and made the use of motor vehicles more difficult.
And in 2009, Sen. Glenn Grothman, R-West Bend, proposed a bill to strip Madison officials of their ability to set policies relating to salt application and plowing on main roads. The bill would have given that authority to the state Department of Transportation and was based on Grothman’s frustrations over the city’s snow-clearing efforts following a major snowstorm.
Neither proposed bill came to fruition.
“The collegial thing to do would be to reach out to the folks who represent that community, and he did not do that. My door is literally open.” Rep. Melissa Sargent, D-Madison