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
Golf, Wheel Tax, Halloween - D15 Update 10/26/19
The Task Force on Municipal Golf in Madison Parks held its first meeting on Wednesday with introductions of task force members and a program overview of the current golf enterprise. A number of task force members are District 15 residents including avid golfers and neighbors of Monona golf course.
As part of the introduction to this work, Parks staff will be giving a tour of the four municipal courses to task force members. This Sunday will be the tour of Monona and Yahara Hills and next Saturday will be the tour of Glenway and Odana Hills. Members of the public are invited to attend. See the D15 calendar below for additional details.
The task force will meet on the 3rd Wednesdays of the month with a final report and recommendations expected by April of next year.
Budget and Wheel Tax
On Tuesday, there will be a special Common Council meeting to vote on approving a $40 wheel tax for vehicles that are kept in the City of Madison. I shared some initial information about the budget and this proposal in an earlier blog post and will share more details about how I intend to vote in another post ahead of Tuesday's meeting. Anyone wishing to comment on this proposal can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you'd like to reach the full common council you can do that at email@example.com. I encourage anyone interested in providing public comment at Tuesday's meeting to do that as well.
For those that are opposed to adopting the proposed fee, it would be good if you could also recommend which services you would be willing to reduce in order to offset the $7.9M in lost revenue. At Finance Committee last week, there were 7 proposals to reduce expenses and all of them failed. These proposals would have: reduced funding for lifeguards ($15K), closed the Goodman pool one week early ($30K), postponed the start date of new Olbrich Botanical Gardens staff ($58K), reduced support of community centers ($115K), eliminated 2 new Metro positions ($150K), removed funding for the police auditor position ($200K), and eliminated the general pay increase for city staff to give pay equity to that of police and fire personnel ($208K). None of those amendments passed Finance and none are cuts that I support. Even if all of them would have passed, the reduction in expense would still not cover the $7.9M anticipated with the $40 wheel tax. To date, I have seen no proposal to balance our 2020 budget without the proposed wheel tax.
While I remain open to considering alternatives to the proposed fee, I believe that it would be irresponsible for any member of the Common Council to vote against it without putting forward some proposal to balance the budget. If you have any ideas, please send them my way for consideration.
In the news:
- City Council size a sticking point for task force studying local government structure
- Fitzgerald: No State Senate Hearings Or Debate On Evers' Gun Proposals
- Impacts of Alcohol Outlet Density on the Provision of City Services
- More than 2 dozen groups urge lawmakers to act on PFAS contamination
- Sewage treatment plants pass on DNR request for PFAS testing
- DNR investigating foam on PFAS-tainted Starkweather Creek
- Take Action to Prevent Childhood Lead Poisoning
- Pennsylvania company targets Madison with confusing mailers
- Protect your Wallet, Check Out New Sewer Line Coverage Options
- City of Madison leads the state with first public fleet to use 20 percent biodiesel
- It Takes a Team: Rake before the Rain, Reduce Phosphorus
- Brush Collection Completed for 2019
- Marlon Anderson Gets Job Back
This week's highlights:
Monday, October 28, 2019
4:30 pm - Sustainable Madison Committee: The Sustainable Madison Committee will take up a proposed ordinance that would prohibit bars and restaurants from distributing plastic straws to customers that do not want them. I am one of the cosponsors of this ordinance change and believe it's an important (though small) step in the right direction to start to deal with the unsustainability and harm caused by our casual use of single-use plastics.
Regulating the use of plastic bags and other containers would have a much larger impact, but local municipalities in Wisconsin are currently prohibited from regulating these items under state law. A proposed assembly bill would remove this prohibition and allow local jurisdictions to regulate these items. You can read more about this proposal and voice your support via this action alert from the League of Women Voters.
Tuesday, October 29, 2019
11:30 am - MMSD 2020 Referenda Forum: Madison Metropolitan School District referenda! What do you know? GRUMPS is holding a forum with district staff and BOE members to give you the answers. These referenda, the largest in state history, will fund major renovations in the high schools, construct a new school in the Rimrock Road neighborhood, and allow the District to increase spending for the purpose of classroom instruction. Learn the details; ask questions; communicate your opinions/concerns.
4:30 pm - Special Common Council Meeting: A special Common Council meeting has been scheduled to take up the vehicle registration fee ordinance. See more details above.
6:30 pm - BRT Public Involvement Meeting - Downtown Route Options: City project leaders will present details about the overall BRT project, and more specifically, will review BRT station locations and route options for the downtown portion on the service. Members of the public and downtown stakeholders will be encouraged to provide feedback at the meeting.
Wednesday, October 30, 2019
6:00 pm - Community's Speak Out Against F-35s: In coalition with Northside Planning Council and Safe Skies Clean Water, come for the simple dinner at 6, and stay to hear and speak out about how F-35s would impact you. Alder Rebecca Kemble will share what she's learned from her trip to Burlington, VT and Alder Samba Baldeh will speak on actions in District 17 and beyond. The last day to submit comments to the Air National Guard is Friday, November 1st.
7:00 pm - MMSD Superintendent Search: Community Input Session: The Madison School Board is searching for the next Madison Schools - MMSD superintendent, and needs your help. The board is starting the search process by asking the community for input. That input will create a unique leadership profile of what the community is looking for from its next school district leader and will help guide the board through its process.
Thursday, October 31, 2019
10:00 am - Free Mending: We are here to mend anything you need as the weather changes from Summer to Fall, including clothing, coats, and other fabric-related repairs. Sewers from the Sewing Machine Project will be available to mend your things for free every Thursday.
5:52 pm - Halloween Trick or Treat: Rembember to get your treats ready or hide in the basement!
Friday, November 1, 2019
5:45 pm - First Friday Film - The River and the Wall: The River and the Wall follows five friends on an immersive adventure through the unknown wilds of the Texas borderlands as they travel 1200 miles from El Paso to the Gulf of Mexico on horses, mountain bikes, and canoes. They set out to document the borderlands and explore the potential impacts of a wall on the natural environment, but as the wilderness gives way to the more populated and heavily trafficked Lower Rio Grande Valley, they come face-to-face with the human side of the immigration debate and enter uncharted emotional waters.
7:30 pm - SoundWaves: Looking Up/Looking Down: Explore how waves inform our existence, from the interior of the Earth to the origin of the universe, with the band Mr. Chair; film segments by Ethan Parrish, Alex Miranda and Mike Gorski; art by Rhea Ewing; and Vilas Distinguished Professor Stephen Meyers.
11:59 pm - Public Comment Closes for F-35 at Truax Proposal: You can submit your comments online here.
Saturday, November 2, 2019
9:00 am - Mayor's Neighborhood Roundtable: Housing specialists talking about trends, what's been accomplished, and ways neighbors/neighborhoods can help with affordable housing initiatives; community-based groups presenting on innovative neighborhood engagement, and how neighbors/neighborhoods can make it happen; and much more!
1:00 pm - Winter Bike Fashion Show 2019: Whether you've been riding a bike in the winter for a long time or are just curious, come join us for the Winter Bike Fashion Show at the High Noon Saloon. Share your expertise, your excitement for winter riding, and celebrate the season with others at a family-friendly event. In addition to the runway show, there will be plenty of opportunities to chat and ask questions about how to keep riding through the cold season.
Sunday, November 3, 2019
2:00 am - Daylight Saving Time ends: Don't forget to turn back your clocks!
1:00 pm - Touring the Lost City: In the 1920s, developers planned a "Venice of the North," to be called Lake Forest. That land is now part of the Arboretum. Join our naturalists on a free hike to the site of the failed subdivision, discovering construction remnants along the way.
Click on 'details' in the events below for links to additional details and meeting agendas. You can find a full list of city meetings here.
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