By Roger Utnehmer
The Sturgeon Bay city council moved forward on efforts to dismantle its controversial Waterfront Redevelopment Authority Tuesday.
City Attorney Randy Nesbitt informed council members he could not offer legal advice on the WRA because he represented both the city council and the authority.
As a result of Nesbitt’s ethics concern, the city will seek legal advice on dismantling the WRA from Green Bay attorney James Kalny.
Council member Kelly Catarozoli said she does not see much use for the WRA in the future. She also pointed out that some members of the WRA have not provided the public with their phone numbers or email addresses. That, she said, means citizens cannot even contact members of the authority.
Council member David Hayes suggested the city could simply dissolve the WRA without needing additional legal advice.
The authority is entangled in litigation over the west-side waterfront hotel project. Members of the WRA voted to oppose a compromise settlement approved by the city council that would have settled a lawsuit brought by Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront.
The Friends won a case in Door County Circuit Court that prevented Sturgeon Bay developer Robert Papke from building a hotel on the waterfront. That action prompted some council members and citizens to call for the abolition of the WRA.