City of
Madison

District 15

Alder Grant Foster

Image of Alder Grant Foster

Alder Grant Foster

Contact Information

Home Address:

3930 Anchor Drive
Madison , WI 53714

Council Office

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

Alder Foster’s Updates

F-35 Update - 9/19/19

September 19, 2019 10:28 AM

people outside after fire alarm
A fire alarm interrupted the meeting just as public testimony was getting under way. MFD responded and gave the all clear after determining that the alarm was triggered due to a faulty sensor coming from the jail.

On Tuesday of this week, the Common Council debated a resolution opposing the selection of Truax field as a preferred location for the F-35A beddown based on the significant adverse impacts described in the Draft EIS. This was a resolution that I co-authored with Alder Kemble and that was co-sponsored by Alders Rummel, Abbas, Heck, and Evers. The resolution concluded:

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Madison Common Council concludes that the adverse impacts described in the Draft EIS will substantially reduce the quality and quantity of current affordable housing stock, decrease the value of the property tax base, reduce opportunities for Transit-Oriented Development, significantly increase carbon emissions, disproportionately affect children and families of color, and are contrary to the City of Madison's values of equity, sustainability, health and adaptability as codified in our Comprehensive Plan adopted in 2018, the City's Racial Equity and Social Justice Initiative, and undermine multiple long-term goals of City policy makers; and,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that based on the significant, negative impacts highlighted in the Draft EIS that will disproportionately impact children and residents with low-incomes and communities of color, and given that there is no guarantee that sound mitigation or abatement will take place and that the City of Madison would have no official role in any potential mitigation program, the Madison Common Council does not support the selection of Truax Field as a preferred location for the 5th Operation Beddown; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Madison Common Council requests that the Air National Guard reconsiders the selection of Truax Field as a preferred location until and unless the findings of the EIS are shown to misrepresent the significant environmental impacts to those living, working, and visiting the north and east sides of Madison;

Six members of the public registered in opposition to the resolution and 139 people registered in support, many of whom gave emotional and compelling testimony lasting until 10pm.



Following public testimony and questions, and a reading of the proposed resolution into the record, Alder McKinney moved an alternate resolution that was co-sponsored by Alders Carter, Albouras, Bidar, Furman, Martin, and Moreland, and that replaced language opposing the beddown with language that asks the Air National Guard to 'seriously take into consideration all the potential adverse impacts'. Their alternate resolution also replaced the word 'adverse' with the phrase 'worst-case' to describe the findings of the EIS report. This phrase has been used repeatedly in the lobbying efforts of the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce and the Badger Air Community Council and is often repeated by proponents of the F-35 beddown to undermine and discredit the significant findings of the EIS. The alternate resolution concludes:

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Madison Common Council recognizes that the worst-case impacts described in the Draft EIS would substantially reduce the quality and quantity of current affordable housing stock, decrease the value of the property tax base, reduce opportunities for Transit-Oriented Development, disproportionately affect residents who are low income and people of color, and are contrary to the City of Madison's values of equity, sustainability, health and adaptability as codified in our Comprehensive Plan adopted in 2018, the City's Racial Equity and Social Justice Initiative, and undermine multiple long-term goals of City policy makers and; and,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Madison Common Council calls on the Air National Guard to seriously take into consideration all the potential adverse impacts outlined in the draft EIS in its final selection process, and to re-evaluate the selection of Truax Field as a preferred location if the final EIS does not provide strategies to affirmatively mitigate the noise and/or reduce the number of training flights;

Following Alder Harrington-McKinney's statement, I made my case for the original resolution (called a 'substitute' since it was an updated draft) and 7 hours into the meeting the question was called with alders voting to replace the substitute resolution (Foster) with the alternate (McKinney) as the main motion. Ten alders voted in favor of the alternate (Bidar, Moreland, Skidmore, Henak, Martin, Carter, Tierney, Furman, Albouras, and Harrington-McKinney) and ten voted against the alternate and in support of keeping the substitute the main motion (Heck, Lemmer, Verveer, Rummel, Reddy, Abbas, Evers, Foster, Baldeh, and Kemble). 

Prior to the vote, many of the alders in support of the alternate (in opposition to the original resolution) insisted that any description of the debate as an east-west issue was unfounded and irrelevant. 

vote map
Green = Districts represented by alders voting against the alternate (in support of the substitute)
Red = Districts represented by alders voting in favor of the alternate (against the substitute)

The 10-10 tie vote would have resulted in the motion failing, but in the case of a tie vote by the alders the mayor is allowed to cast a vote. In this case, the mayor did choose to vote and voted in favor of making the alternate the main motion (against the substitute).

Over the next 30 minutes, amendments were considered to the alternate that led to the removal of the 'worst-case' language and ultimately replaced the primary 'Be it resolved' clause of the alternate with one of the primary clauses from the substitute. This amended alternate was then voted on and passed with 16 votes in favor (with Alders Henak, Abbas, and Kemble voting no, and Alder Harrington-McKinney abstaining). The adopted resolution concludes:

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Madison Common Council recognizes that the impacts described in the Draft EIS would substantially reduce the quality and quantity of current affordable housing stock, decrease the value of the property tax base, reduce opportunities for Transit-Oriented Development, disproportionately affect residents who are low income and people of color, and children, and are contrary to the City of Madison's values of equity, sustainability, health and adaptability as codified in our Comprehensive Plan adopted in 2018 the City's Racial Equity and Social Justice Initiative, and undermine multiple long-term goals of City policy makers and; and,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Madison Common Council requests that the Air National Guard reconsiders the selection of Truax Field as a preferred location until and unless the findings of the EIS are shown to misrepresent the significant environmental impacts to those living, working, and visiting the north and east sides of Madison;

While I advocated strongly for the substitute resolution and the language that unequivocally rejected the Air National Guard's proposal as outlined in the Draft EIS, I ultimately voted in favor of the resolution as amended. I believe that the resolution as adopted clearly and strongly articulates the many significant consequences of siting F-35A jets at Truax Field and asks for reconsideration of our selection as a preferred location 'until and unless the findings of the EIS are shown to misrepresent the significant environmental impacts to those living, working, and visiting the north and east sides of Madison'. This resolution will be forwarded to local, state, and federal elected officials that represent Madison residents as well as to the National Guard Bureau and the Secretary of the US Air Force. You can read the full text of the adopted resolution here.

 

I'd like to sincerely thank all of you that reached out to me with your thoughts, questions, concerns, and opinions and especially those that shared your thoughts with the entire council and those that came to testify. It's easy to feel powerless or that your voice won't count, but the truth is that your voice does count and that speaking up does matter. Please continue to stay engaged with the issues that matter to you and continue to reach out to me with your questions and perspectives. As a member of the Common Council I'm charged with representing the best interest of the residents of the City of Madison and, in particular, with representing the people that live in District 15.

For those that are interested in continuing to speak up, there is a Letter in Opposition authored by County Supervisor Rusk and being circulated to other County Supervisor's for signature. Supervisor Audet, representing some District 15 residents, has more details in her latest blog post and intends to add her name to the letter. If you're not sure who represents you on the County Board, you can find out here and find their contact information here.

Due to the significant adverse impacts of the F-35 beddown for children that are described in the Draft EIS and due to the number of schools in close proximity to Truax Field that would be impacted, several school board members are also working on a resolution in opposition to the proposed beddown. I will provide information on that resolution once it's available.

You can also still submit comments to the National Guard Bureau through September 27th. These comments will be considered prior to publication of the Final EIS in January 2020. A record of decision on the beddown is expected in February 2020.




Email to a friend Email to a friend

Subscribe to Email List

Subscribe to the District 15 – Alder Foster email list:


By participating on this list the Wisconsin Public Records Laws may subject your email address to disclosure to third parties. By selecting "Yes" you are requesting that we treat your email address that you have provided to this list as confidential and you are also stating that you would not participate in this service if the City is obligated to release your email address to such third party requesters.


Archive

2021
2020
2019

Labels

Uncategorized
Weekly Update

Tags