April 23, 2010 3:25 PM
The Wisconsin State Legislature ended its two-year term with a thud the other day. As usual, legislators representing Madison worked hard on behalf of the city, their constituents and the best interests of the state and they deserve our thanks. But the legislature as a whole missed important opportunities to improve our state.
One failure of special note is the energy and clean jobs bill, which went down to defeat in part because of conflicts among members of the same party or between branches of government. I mention this because it's in stark contrast to the way City of Madison government is functioning these days.
For the most part we've had good cooperation between the executive and legislative branches here. That's been especially true during the last two years when Alder Tim Bruer has served as Council President. Bruer made it clear from the start that he wanted to build a strong working relationship with me and my office and he was good to his word. Now, having said that, anybody who knows Tim knows he's no pushover. He never hesitated to tell me when he thought I was heading in the wrong direction and he could always tell me if some proposal would have much council support or not.
Tim Bruer served the city and the council well as president and I'm sure he'll continue to be a leader as the dean of the council. But I'm also very pleased that the council has continued its cooperative approach by electing Mark Clear as its new president and Lauren Cnare as pro tem. Mark has served admirably as pro tem with Tim and is a seasoned leader and I've always respected Lauren, appointing her to the Plan Commission even as a rookie.
So, while other levels of government struggle with gridlock caused in part by bickering between branches of government, Madison continues to move forward with a good spirit of cooperation, even when there is disagreement on policy.