Alder Grant Foster
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
WI Relay Service
Alder Foster’s Updates
Neighborhood Meetings, Hiestand Park NA, Snow! - D15 Update 12/14/20
Blog Subscription Alerts Suspended
Last week, following guidance by the city attorney, city staff turned off email notifications for new blog posts for any alder blog page where the alder is a candidate in the spring election. This is based on an interpretation of Wis. Stat. section 11.1205 which states that local elected officials who are candidates for state or local office may not use public funds for the cost of materials or distribution of 50 or more pieces of substantially identical material. I asked the city attorney to request an opinion from the Wisconsin Ethics Commission as to whether this rule should apply to residents' ability to opt in to email notifications when new posts are available and he initiated that request last week.
As it stands now, no email notifications will be sent to subscribers of any blog that is authored by an alder that is a candidate in the spring election. I will continue to post blog links on neighborhood Facebook groups and on Nextdoor and am also working on an email notification that I can send from a non-city email server. Unfortunately, 2/3 of those that have subscribed to email notifications are set as 'confidential' so I will not be able to send to you via this alternate method unless you send me an email requesting it. In the meanwhile, you may want to bookmark the blog page and set a reminder for yourself to check it. I typically publish my updates every Monday by noon.
The snowfall sure made everything pretty, but it also means brushing up on winter rules for parking and snow removal. You can find all kinds of good information at the city's Winter page here including links to sign up for email alerts and for reporting snow related issues.
Residents should also review the Snow Removal Regulations that apply to city sidewalks here. In general, residents and property owners are required to clear snow from their sidewalk by noon of the day after the snow has stopped. Prompt removal is always in your own best interest. If after removing the snow there is any ice on the sidewalk that cannot be removed, keep the sidewalk effectively sprinkled with sand or another suitable substance to prevent the ice from being dangerous. If possible, please help your neighbors that may be unable to remove the snow. Free sand is available at a number of locations that can be found here.
Hiestand Park Neighborhood Association
One item that came up as a priority for many residents when I spoke with them two years ago was a desire for an active neighborhood association in areas where they didn't have one. Eastmorland and Lake Edge neighborhoods both have associations that meet monthly and Glendale, Burke Heights, Truax, and Carpenter-Ridgeway associations meet several times per year. But a few neighborhoods do not have an active neighborhood association at all. These include Hawthorne, Ridgewood, and Hiestand Park. You can find a map with all of the city's neighborhoods here.
I've had conversations with residents that have expressed interest in organizing associations in a couple of those neighborhoods and I'm excited to announce that Maggie Weiser has taken the lead to get things going for Hiestand Park! Things are just getting going, but if you're interested in learning more or helping out you can contact Maggie at email@example.com. You can also check out the new Facebook group here and sign up for the listserv/Google group here. If you're a resident of the Hawthorne or Ridgewood neighborhoods and are interested in revitalizing your association, send me an email and I can help you get started as well!
PFC Finalists for Madison Chief of Police
The Police & Fire Commission held interviews last week with the four finalists for Madison's next police chief. You can find links to excerpts from those interviews here. The PFC will be meeting in closed session on Monday to consider the candidates and public comment is encouraged at the beginning of the meeting. You can find a link to the agenda and for registering to provide comment here.
The Transportation Commission voted unanimously to recommend the 'Advisory Bike Lane' alternative for the E. Dean project and the narrower, 1-side parking alternative for Allis. Both of these alternatives were the ones preferred by the majority of residents that provided feedback. A second public meeting will be held on Thursday of this week to review the next steps and timeline for the project and to answer any outstanding questions. You can find all of the details including a link to register for Thursday's meeting on the project page here.
The Eastmorland Area Antiracism group watched the first half of 13th on Sunday and shared some tough conversation. They will meet again next Sunday at 6:30 pm to finish watching the movie and to discuss actions that we can take locally that try and address the issues identified in the film. I mentioned this film in an earlier blog post here and would strongly recommend that everyone watches it at least once. It's available to stream for free here.
Other City Updates:
- Streets Division Drop-off Sites Now on Winter Hours
- Remember to Renew your Dog & Cat License for Next Year!
- Supporting Greater Madison's Recovery Across Music, Equity, And Economic Development
Dempsey/Davies/Maher Neighborhood Meeting
On Monday, city staff will present their initial design alternatives for the Dempsey/Davies/Maher street reconstruction project at a virtual neighborhood meeting. This meeting is intended to provide residents with background on the project and to get feedback to help inform a final design. You can find more information on the project including a link to register at the project page here.
Proposed Family Shelter at 4502 Milwaukee (formerly Karmenta)
On Tuesday beginning at 6pm, Alder Lemmer and I will be hosting a virtual neighborhood meeting to hear from city staff and the Salvation Army about a proposal to temporarily site a family shelter at 4502 Milwaukee. You can register for the meeting here. If you have any questions you'd like to ask in advance you can send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Alcohol License for Freymiller's (formerly Jo Beck's)
On Wednesday, the Alcohol License Review Committee will consider a new alcohol license for Freymiller's on Cottage Grove Road. The applicants shared information about their plans at a neighborhood meeting last month. The committee will consider approval of the license and may also consider conditions and restrictions on the license based on neighbor feedback and concerns. If you would like to provide comments to members of the committee or have suggestions for conditions of approval, you can find details for how to do that here.
MMSD Reopening Conversation
On Thursday, MMSD will be hosting A Conversation about our Process and Timeline for Reopening on Facebook to 'give our community an interactive opportunity to ask questions.' You can find more information on plans to reopen on their website here.
Other City Meetings
There are a number of city meetings not highlighted in this update. You can find a full schedule of city meetings here.
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