Alder Samba Baldeh
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
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Alder Baldeh’s Blog
District 17 and COVID-19 Updates
We are all focused on the effects of the Coronavirus on our individual lives and the community. As a result of the community's adherence to the practice of social distancing, Madison has one of the lowest rates of infection of US cities.
There are a few items that are not virus-related that might be of interest to you.
F-35s at Truax: At our April 1st meeting, the council adopted an advisory resolution that opposes the fighter jets and calls on the Secretary of the Air Force to station them elsewhere. The Council had passed a similar resolution before the Environmental Impact Statement conducted by the Air Force. The report found significant negative effects on many people in the immediate vicinity, describing the noise as contributing to making the homes "unsuitable" for occupancy.
Over 400 individuals registered on the resolution; the vast majority were in favor of the resolution and opposed to the placement. Unfortunately, the meeting lasted until 3 AM and the resolution was the last item on the agenda. As a result, very few people watched the meeting (which was conducted entirely online) until the early morning when they had the opportunity to speak.
The Air Force may announce their decision on placement at any day although it may be delayed by the pandemic.
Imagination Center/ Library at Reindahl Park: The proposed new library at Reindahl Park took another step towards realization. The Library Board and the Parks Commission held a joint meeting to discuss the project. The sole item on the agenda was for the Parks Commission to agree, in principle, to allow the library to be built in the park.
A number of residents spoke in favor of the project including former Alder Joe Clausius. He told the committees that a number of years ago when he was the Alder for this district, he invited Mayor Soglin to drive through the area and identify likely sites for a new library. Both committees voted unanimously in favor of the resolution to locate the Imagination Center at Reindahl.
Council and Mayoral Responsibilities: In response to the tremendous challenges presented by the virus to nearly every aspect of city services, the Council quickly voted to grant the Mayor nearly complete power to enact resolutions, ordinances, policy changes and appropriate funds. In the following week, the Mayor appropriated over $1 million to cover costs and made many changes in city policies.
While no member of the Council would want to delay changes that may affect the health and safety of our residents, there are policies that are not remotely related to the virus that should still have review by the Council and citizen-committees.
At our most recent meeting, I joined five other members of the Council to modify the resolution and retain some powers to the citizen committees and Council. Although we did not prevail in our effort, I believe that the Mayor and other city officials will agree to relinquish their powers at the end of the virus pandemic.
COVID 19: For more upto date on the coronavirus visit https://www.cityofmadison.com/. Also this week the City launched its first ever COVID-19 weekly newsletter. Each week, the City will email this newsletter to subscribers with the latest information, changes to City services and resources to stay connected. To receive weekly updates subscribe here.
Gov. Tony Evers announced on Friday that the state is seeking volunteers to support Wisconsin's healthcare system during the COVID-19 pandemic. Active and retired healthcare professionals and those who wish to help in non-clinical support positions are encouraged to sign up to volunteer through the Wisconsin Emergency Assistance Volunteer Registry (WEAVR).
As always, let me know if you have any questions or concerns. You can reach me at email@example.com or call 608-501-1424.
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