Dane County meetings for the week of Aug. 31 to Sept. 4; Fitchburg and Sun Prairie budget hearings

By Brenda Konkel — Hmmm . . . I don’t know how we are supposed to know this, but the Sun Prairie Star says Joe Parisi is holding budget hearings: September 1 — 5:30–7 p.m., Fitchburg Public Library, 5530 Lacy Rd., Fitchburg. September 2 — 5:30–7 p.m., Westside Community Service Building, 2598 W. Main St, Sun Prairie. Continue reading

City of Madison meetings, week of Aug. 31 to Sept. 4; this could get very ugly

By Brenda Konkel — It’s a real shitshow this week ... A LOT going on ... A LOT! Continue reading

Board of Estimates recommends Judge Doyle Square project passage to Council, with weak caveats

By Brenda Konkel — So, cutting to the chase, after about 5 hours of talking about or listening to people talking about Judge Doyle Square, the Board of Estimates passed the following regarding Judge Doyle Square: Continue reading

Untangling the Inequities of Incarceration

By Mary Anglim — Reducing the number of prisoners in the Dane County jail, providing better supportive services to prisoners, especially those suffering from mental illness, and above all reducing the racial disparity in arrests, charges, convictions, and sentences in our criminal justice system, are the goals of three workgroups established by the Public Protection and Judiciary Committee of the Dane County Board. Continue reading

Dane County and City of Madison meetings, week of August 17 through 21

By Brenda Konkel — DANE COUNTY: 15 meetings, 5 before 4:00, 5 at 5:30 or later. Continue reading

When is a loan not a loan?

Four Progressive Dane alders made headlines with this letter on August 7. Here is the full text, with thanks to David Ahrens, Samba Baldeh, Rebecca Kemble and Barbara McKinney-Harrington. Look to the August 24 Board of Estimates meeting and Common Council on September 1 for some resolution to the city’s efforts to subsidize Edgewater developer Bob Dunn, who faces substantial construction liens on that project, and Exact Sciences, including free downtown parking.George Austin, JDS Project Director. Continue reading

Development versus Democracy

By Sue Pastor — The city’s Urban Design Commission suggested additional very minor changes and approved T Wall’s Portage Road Apartments on July 29. My comments to the commission, which I have also sent to the new Director of Planning and Community and Economic Development Natalie Erdman, follow. These should be accompanied by thanks to Alder Baldeh of District 17, who pressed for a reduction in the density, resulting in a smaller building facing Portage Road. The setback of two stories in front dramatically improves the view of the building for immediate neighbors. Continue reading

Dane County Budget Process Needs Reform

Written by Matt Kozlowski, Co-Chair of Progressive Dane As the entire State of Wisconsin continues to live with the shock of our new State Budget, Dane County residents, activists, and agencies are gearing up for yet another round of budgeting (no, not more horror from our state legislature): the Dane County budget. While the County budget is rarely examined with the same expectation of horror and disbelief as our state and federal budget, the community should treat our municipal budgets with the same degree of importance.  Some of the highlights from this most recent state budget deliberations include attempts to sideline public oversight of government, complete disregard for the opinions of constituents, and drastic changes made behind closed doors. All of these elements can also be found in previous Dane County budget cycles. Continue reading

Madison’s Panhandling Ordinance Is Likely Unconstitutional

By Brenda Konkel — Press release, letter (and attachment) from the ACLU that the Mayor and alders received this morning. Continue reading