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Alder Lauren Cnare

Alder Lauren Cnare

Home Address:
5218 Kevins Way
Madison , WI 53714

Phone: 608-235-9179
Common Council Office:
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Room 417
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
WI Relay Service

Community Budget Conversations Start This Week!

April 9, 2012 7:24 PM

Please join us at any one or all of the meetings.

  • Thursday, April 12, 7-9 pm?  Warner Park Recreation Center?, 1625 Northport Drive?
  • Monday, April 16, 7-9 pm?  Olbrich Gardens Evjue Commons?, 3330 Atwood Avenue?
  • Thursday, April 26, 7-9 pm?  Madison Senior Center?, 330 West Mifflin Street
  • Monday, April 30, 7-9 pm?  Wright Middle School Gym?, 1717 Fish Hatchery Road?
  • Tuesday, May 2, 7-9 pm ?Toki Middle School?, 5606 Russett Road?

Last year, the mayor and Common Council began this new program to get input on the city's budget called Community Conversations. It was series of five, two-hour meetings in different parts of the city, attended by about 550 people, to explain where your tax dollar goes and ask citizens to rank six different values and all the city services in importance to themselves, their neighborhood and the city overall. In addition, 1563 on-line surveys were completed.

It was such a successful program that we are doing it again this year, and earlier in the process so that your thoughts can have even more impact as city departments start to develop their budgets for presentation to the Mayor, who develops a budget to present to the Council for debate, amendment and passage with committee meetings and public hearings along the way. (Yes, we can pass budgets on time! Sometimes it takes three late nights, but we've done it in two nights in recent years.)

Last year, we learned that while overall, citizens rated nearly every value and its associated services important, Basic Services and Daily Life were ranked highest, with Social Justice and Community Services second. Responsibility, Sustainability and Planning Growth and Economic Development and Public Space and Community followed closely behind.

The input did guide our decisions and discussions at the Common Council and we so valued the input that we are all enthusiastically looking forward to this year – especially because we will have more time to digest and implement the feedback. City staff and alders will be on hand as listeners and to answer questions – we are there to learn from you!

In addition to meetings, there is an on-line survey available at the City's Budget Website: If you can't make a meeting, please complete the survey on-line.

Other information on the Website is: 2012 Budget Conversation meeting information, ways to promote the process to your neighbors, book club, work colleagues and family; prior budgets, FAQ's about budgets and taxes, and charts that illustrate the areas of revenue and spending.

Please join the Conversation and let me know if you have insights and ideas, especially something you have observed for District 3.

Here's a link to Channel 3's "For the Record" with the Mayor, President Pro Tem Shiva Bidar-Sielaff and me discussing the upcoming meetings. 

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