District 3 Blog
Go Lancers, Sprecher Area Developments, and MPD
I hope this beautiful week has started off very well for you. As the school year draws to a close I hope you will join me in wishing our La Follette Lancers good luck on their final exams and wishing congratulations to La Follette's Class of 2016. Go Lancers!!
If you live in Ward 8 or Ward 9 you're going to receive a postcard about this as well, we are having another neighborhood meeting to review and discuss a proposal for a two proposed developments in our area, a multi-family development on Milky Way in Grandview North, and a senior living community in Metrotech. The meeting is at Door Creek Church Rm 200 on Wednesday June 22nd from 6pm-8pm.
You'll recall that at the first neighborhood meeting on these two proposals we made a list of alterations and updates we'd like to see to the two proposals. The development team has incorporated our input and that of the Urban Design Commission to whom the developers gave an informational presentation, and is ready for us to take another look. Please join us Wednesday June 22nd to continue our discussion and hopefully reach consensus on these proposals.
Switching topics, I know you are all anxious to hear how the Madison Strongman even went this past weekend (that or you forgot I mentioned it in the last blog, either way), and you will be pleased to hear that I won 3 of the 5 individual events and the overall event, and brought some medals and a nice trophy home to District 3. We grow strong people here on the east side.
East siders are strong in lots of ways; in few examples is this more evident than the many first responders including police officers who live here.
Many of you have read Madison Police Chief Mike Koval's blog regarding proposed spending on a study taking an objective look at the structure and approach of our police department. This would authorize $350k in spending, or, by way of comparison, less than one percent of MPD's annual budget. To be clear, this money would not be coming from MPD's budget but from other city funds.
In Chief Koval's blog I was disappointed to read accusations, threats, and other nonsense more reminiscent of a schoolyard fight than the blog of a city of Madison department head. The Chief has a powerful microphone from which to educate and reason with us, his fellow Madisonians. I was truly disappointed to see him use it to try to stir up sentiments rather than offer us his perspective and that of his officers. I would have listened to that perspective, and I know each of you would have too. Instead of data and information, we got pages of heated rhetoric.
Well, if I was going to be intimidated by white men throwing tantrums, I wouldn't be in politics.
Tonight I will be casting a vote on whether to authorize additional funds for this proposed study.
I believe in the Madison Police Department. I co-sponsored a budget amendment to fund building Midtown Police Station. I've been on a ride along with one of our east side officers, I have a great working relationship with and the utmost respect for the east district captain, and I've even been known to drop off baked goods at the station for our officers. Our police officers do an almost impossible job and while I can't make their job a whole lot easier, I can and do demonstrate my respect for it. They're tough, tenacious people and we're lucky to count them as our neighbors.
Having the city check in on their structure and performance, then, is hardly a problem. I'm confident a study would find what we all know, that MPD is a largely fantastic department; moreover, it will identify ways we can further improve the department and make it maximally effective for everyone in Madison. Let's face it, when there's a government force operating with this many guns, a little more oversight is rarely a bad idea.
Much has been made about the potential impact of this proposed study on our officers. To me, a paper document raising questions or suggesting improvements for our police department doesn't take anything away from the sacrifice and effort of our officers. Frankly, I believe our police department is a whole lot tougher than that. To suggest that the department would be so sensitive to and miffed by a study is, to me, something of a disrespect in its own right.
As always, I welcome and look forward to discussion on this issue.
Thank you all who have already reached out to me on this issue, both against and in favor of funding this study. Thanks to all of you reading this for being engaged and thoughtful citizens.
I hope to see you tomorrow evening at our Capitol View Farmers Market. Until then, be well
Alder, District 3
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