Alder David Ahrens
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
WI Relay Service
Alder Ahrens’ Updates
Ending 2017 and Starting the New Year
Two major consultant reports were released that may have local and city-wide importance.
MPD Study: About a year and a half ago, many residents were either angry or pleased about a proposed study of the Madison Police Department at a cost of $400,000. Initially, I thought a less expensive study was a good idea because of the importance of police services and the price we pay ($67 million). When the contract was presented, I voted against it because I thought it focused almost entirely on the already well-researched topic of racial disparities.
The Mayor approved the contract (although the Council got all of the blame) and two weeks ago the report was made public. You may not know it because it got almost no publicity. Why? I think it was because the report was largely positive.
The 258-page report reviewed nearly every aspect of departmental operations and policy. They interviewed dozens of line officers, supervisors and managers. They spoke to hundreds of individual citizens and group, conducted anonymous surveys of police and residents and studied mountains of data.
The report included 146 recommendations for changes in operations and policy, including 24 recommendations pertaining to the investigation and review of citizen complaints. It recommended the adoption of an independent auditor to review complaints.
The report noted, "MPD's well-deserved reputation as pioneers in police science and as a cradle of progressive "problem oriented policing" strategies." However it also found that "Until an agency fully values and embraces insight and criticism from all of its community, it will not be able to fully engage with that community."
The most important issue now is how this report and its recommendations will be treated by the MPD, the Police Fire Commission and elected officials. Chief Koval said that he has appointed a committee to review the recommendations. The Council has a committee that will do the same. And then what? I will make sure that the report is not simply filed but that each recommendation is fully considered.
Here's a powerpoint developed by the consultants that summarizes the main points in the report.
Monona Golf Course: A consultant brought in to analyze the finances and capacity of the city golf courses has submitted a summary of his report an recommendations. The conclusion to the report said in part:
"Absent available funding to address the issues outlined above, another possible alternative would be to consider the sale of some acreage to fund the Capital Improvement needs outlined in this report. Glenway provides the "entry level" golf experience also provided at Monona and is less costly to operate. Monona has relatively low course utilization (even though consistent) that was well below that of Yahara prior to the development of the new drainage issues.
It is our considered opinion that the potential closure and sale of part of the onona property is an alternative that should be explored. As we see similar situations facing municipal golf operations across the US; this type of solution is becoming a more commonly explored option. In this case, this alternative would potentially allow Madison the ability to continue offering "affordable" golf experiences in the Madison golf market."
The Parks Dept. senior staff have said that they will make their recommendations at the March meeting of the Parks Board.
Curbside leaf and yard waste collection for the 2017 fall period has officially ended.
Curbside collection of yard waste material will resume for the spring collection period sometime in March or April of 2018.
Residents who still have yard waste for disposal should take the material to one of the Streets Division drop-off sites. Yard waste piles should not be placed to the terrace or road edge for collection again until the start of the spring collection rounds in 2018.
Even though the leaves fell late this year, the lack of snow allowed the Streets Division to perform yard waste collection much later into December than in years past. While the Streets Division usually has three curbside collection pickups during a typical fall, the absence of snow meant crews provided every Madison resident with six curbside collection chances during this year's fall collection period.
Pinney Library Update: Yes, we're getting a few steps closer to getting Pinney Library underway. The City and the developer, Ruedebusch reached an agreement on the cost of the "gray box" that will house the library. The developer will build the rough building and infrastructure and the city will build the interiors, fixtures and of course, furniture.
At the next Council meeting on Jan. 2, I will introduce a resolution authorizing payment of $3.163 million for its acquisition. We hope that construction can begin in late February and the opening in October 2019.
Schenk and Richard Street Construction: Yes, it's not too early to start thinking about summer street repair. Next summer, the Eastmorland neighborhood will see Schenck Street from Tulane Avenue to Milwaukee Street;and Richard Street from Walter Street to Schenk Street undergo major repair. This project will include the replacement of the sanitary sewer main and laterals, storm sewer and private storm sewer connections, water mains, curb and gutter, street pavement, drive aprons, street lighting and sidewalk as needed.
We will have a neighborhood meeting with the City Engineers in early February to discuss all elements of the project.
How to Have Your Christmas Tree Collected: Residents who wish to have their trees collected at the curb should wreaths, evergreen rope, garlands, and boughs. These items contain wires or metal that can damage wood chipping equipment. These should be placed into the refuse for disposal.
? Remove all tree stands regardless if they are metal or wood.
? Remove all tree decorations such as lights, ornaments, or other metal objects.
? Remove any tree bags, and any other foreign object.
Trees must be placed at the road edge. Also, if the trees become buried with snow while awaiting collection at the curb, residents are asked to dig out the trees so they are accessible to the crews.
The Streets Division performs two rounds of Christmas tree collection.
? Round One Begins January 2, 2018 : Residents should have their tree to the curb by 7am on January 2. These trees will likely be collected prior to January 16, 2018, depending on weather conditions.
? Round Two Begins January 16, 2018:Residents should have their tree to the curb by 7am on January 16. These trees will likely be collected prior to February 1.
Trees set to the curb after the second curbside collection opportunity will be collected until the start of regular brush collection in March 2018.
Drop-off Sites: You may also bring Christmas trees to one of the Streets Division drop-off sites. The east side site is at 4602 Sycamore Ave. The drop-off sites are open from 7:30am to 3:00pm Monday to Friday.
A Message from the MPD: Lock Your Car:
· The City of Madison has experienced over 1100 thefts from autos so far this year.
· There have been 40 guns stolen out of vehicles this year
· There were 41 guns stolen out of cars in 2016
· Since 2016, 81 guns have found their way into criminal hands due to simple negligence.
· The majority of these cases occurred with unlocked cars
New Fish Restaurant: This new year we will welcome the Lake Edge Seafood Restaurant at the Lake Edge Shopping Plaza on Monona Dr. (Next door to Ellie's Restaurant) to our neighborhood. The restaurant will include a fish market, to-go specials and tables for eating in. They will have a license for beer and wine.
Have a Happy New Year.
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