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
May 2016 District Update
Upcoming Street Projects: The Cottage Grove Rd. and Dempsey Rd. reconstruction projects underway confirm the truism that construction season in Wisconsin only pauses for a few months during the winter. Our area will see quite a bit of road construction activity in the next few years. Some of the projects include:
E. Dean from Monona Dr. to Allis Ave: Reconstruction, sidewalks. 2017
Allis Ave from E. Dean to Turner Ave: Reconstruction, sidewalks, 2017
Buckeye Rd from Monona Dr. to Hwy 51: Reconstruction, bike lanes, sidewalks: 2018
Anderson St from Wright to Stoughton Road: Add sidewalks, bike lanes and resurface: 2020
Atwood Ave. from Fair Oaks to Walters St: Reconstruction: 2020
Atwood Ave from Walters to Cottage Grove Rd: Reconstruction: 2021
Reforming city government: There was a flurry of news articles on the proposal that Ald. Clear and I put forth to reform city government. The major purpose of the effort is to allow the Council to "run its own show" and not have the Mayor make the appointments of Alders to committees. This is how government is run at the federal, state and county level and in most major cities in Wisconsin. I think it's a "good government" measure because it gives equal power to the locally elected official as it does to the Mayor. This gives voters two kicks at the cat in terms of representation, not one and a half.
The City Attorney, who is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the Mayor, was told by the Mayor to conduct an investigation to determine if Alders violated the Open Meetings Law.
Thus, it was no surprise when the City Attorney said that he thinks that two council members violated the law when they had a phone conversation without posting an open meetings notice prior to the phone call. (!!!) Further, he said he wasn't sure but I may have also violated the law when I had a phone conversation with the same two individuals although they occurred on different days. This is, of course, an absurd reading of the law. Any organization, including the city council, could not operate under those kinds of restrictions.
But the "investigation" served its purpose by focusing attention away from the real issues to a series of phony legal issues. For a good description of the issues involved read the column by Mayor Dave in this week's Isthmus:
Police Chief Meets with Glendale Neighborhood Association: The Glendale Neighborhood Association had Police Chief Koval as guest speaker this month. He was, as always, passionate, informative and direct in his presentation. Chief Koval emphasized a few major points in this talk. First, that Glendale and the immediate surrounding neighborhoods are "safe" and have very few criminal events. Second, that violent crimes, particularly with the use of guns, has substantially increased. This is in part related to major increase in heroin use in the city, county and nationally. He noted that at least once per day a police officer assists a person who has overdosed by administering an anti-narcotic. Third, the gun violence is almost entirely related to gang activity and of that to no more than 200 individuals. He recalled that last summer the arrest of a dozen individuals substantially reduced the level of gang violence.
What can we do? Most heroin use is subsidized by petty-crime such as home burglaries. The Chief's Robbery Unit reports that most people who experience thefts from their home, garage or car have not locked-up. They drive away with their garage door open and bikes, lawn mowers, etc are easily stolen and then sold.
Second, don't let fear keep you inside. Safe neighborhoods are those with people walking around, having kids play outside, etc. Don't give up the right to our streets.
Sex Offender Neighborhood Meeting: As you know when a sex offender is released from prison and located in a neighborhood, we are notified of that fact and given information on his background and location.
The Division of Parole and Probation has proposed locating Stanley Jessick, an offender, at 722 Mayfair Ave. Details of the meeting follow:
Date of Meeting: Tuesday May 3, 2016
Time of Meeting: 5:30 PM-7:00 PM
Place of Meeting: Madison Police Department
East District Community Room
809 S. Thompson Dr., Madison
Turner Ave Street Reconstruction: I've secured a 15 year payback schedule for homeowners on Turner Ave. who will have a major renovation of their street this summer. For those residents of Turner who had their street repaired last summer, expect to get your bill in July or August. (I don't know why it takes so long to determine the assessment.)
It is a real honor to represent you and all of the residents of our district on the Council. If you have questions or concerns about city policies or practices you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 334-1156. Please note that I'll be on vacation from May 20 to June. You can write and I'll get back to you when I return.
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