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Alder Denise DeMarb

Alder Denise DeMarb,
Council President

Home Address:
6010 Fredericksburg Lane
Madison , WI 53718

Phone: 608-358-3195
Common Council Office:
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Room 417
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
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Judge Doyle Square

September 30, 2015 10:49 AM

I wanted to put more context around a quote " I guess I'm ok with it" - from this morning's paper and provide you with explanation on last night's meeting and my vote.

I did say "I guess I'm ok with it" - A line of what I said last night taken from a lot more discussion.  The line summed up the meaning I had decided to vote for moving forward on the Judge Doyle Square project.  This was a very difficult decision.  A decision that came with the knowledge that a lot of money would be spent to subsidize the project.  A project that will build three large buildings behind the Municipal Building and on the block containing the Government East Parking Garage, and move a larger employer, Exact Sciences, downtown. This development will change downtown.  ITs critics will tell you for the worse and will inform you of all the risk on the shoulders of the City, on you.

Growth and progress are risky ventures.  I am not a person who weighs risk easy or quickly.  I take my time,  I solicit opinion, I listen, I learn.

I hope you were able to listen to the staff presentation at last night's meeting.  If you were not and you are interested you can find the video on line for last's nights Council meeting.  The staff presentation is at the beginning of the meeting, and it is followed by many questions from the Council.  As the Council's President I was able to influence how the meeting was laid out.  My intention was to run a meeting that was orderly and laid out in a manner that would allow the public to learn about the project.  There has been a lot of mis information circulating, I had fielded many phone calls and emails that contained information that was incorrect.  I don't wonder why - this is a complex project and the use of TIF (tax incremental financing) is often misunderstood.

However this ends up.  In a nutshell this is what we get.

- 2 large parcels of land, taken from public property and put on the tax rolls

- a replaced parking garage

- a large employer moving downtown, that will have a multiplier affect

- most of the money spent on the City's behalf is cash being collected is incremental taxes collected in TID 25

There are many questions still to be answered.  Such as added traffic congestion downtown and the City will need to figure this out.

I received a phone call this morning, thanking me for my work and providing me with a history lesson:)  I was told that long ago the City of Madison provided a subsidy for a manufacturing company, that grew the east side.  It appears the manufacturing company needed labor and the subsidy was used to build and provide housing for workers to come and make Madison their home.  He said it forever changed the look and feel of Madison.  Perhaps Judge Doyle Square is today's subsidy that will again forever change Madison. Taking the City into the next phase of growth and change.  It may be the development for this generation.

Whatever it ends up being - this was a vote for the future.  It is a vote to strenthen our City.  As all decisions made we will need to work together to make it a success.  Our work here is only begun.




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