City of

District 17

Alder Samba Baldeh

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Alder Samba Baldeh

Contact Information

Home Address:

5150 Crescent Oaks Dr
Madison , WI 53704

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 Baldeh’s Blog

The future of East Towne, Food Pantries, Dog Parks, and Drop Off Site at Sycamore

May 4, 2020 10:32 AM

Dear Neighbor - 

I hope this finds you in good health. These are difficult times. For many, the health issues related to the pandemic are only magnified by the intensifying economic collapse that has left too many of us with job loss and uncertainty about the future.

At times, it is helpful to think about issues other than the COVID-19 (though I'll get back to that later). As your representative in city government, there are problems that preceded the virus and others that will continue afterwards. However, many of these issues have been reshaped or worsened as a result of the virus.

Future of East Towne: As you know, East Towne has faced some difficult problems in the last few years. Internet shopping has taken an enormous toll on retail stores and particularly department stores. The onset of the virus has closed East Towne for more than one month and when it reopens, it remains to be seen if shoppers are ready to return to it.

A Virtual Online Meeting on the East Towne area: For some time, the City Planning Dept. has worked on developing information and scenarios not only for East Towne but the commercial and residential area that surrounds it. The future of this area will certainly define much of how the entire Eastside looks and functions. (Note: A similar process is taking place for the West Towne area.)

There will be a series of brief on-line (phone and video) meetings to discuss different aspects of plan development.  The first week's engagements will focus on issues associated with malls and large commercial areas.  It will also provide an opportunity to discuss how Covid19 presents new challenges for these areas.  The second week will focus on examples of mall redevelopment from around the country. The third meeting will take a look at the Greater East Towne area and the unique issues and opportunities present.

These webinars will use Zoom and are accessible via computer, smart phone or phone (audio only).  To participate in these meetings, advance registration is required.  Sign up here to participate.

Week 1:  Issues facing malls and potential impacts from Covid19
Monday May 4th 12:15-1 pm, and Thursday May 7th 5:15-6 pm
Week 2:  Case Studies - Mall & Office Redevelopment Examples
Monday May 11th 12:15-1 pm, and Thursday May 14, 5:15- 6 pm
Week 3:  Greater East Towne Area Plan Focused Discussion
Monday June 1st 12:15-1 pm, and Thursday June 4th 5:15-6 pm

You can find more background information on the area under discussion here Greater East Towne Area Plan - Planning - DPCED.

Dog Parks: Earlier this year, Madison changed its policy on dogs in parks to allow dogs on leashes in most parks. There are 20 parks in which dogs are still not permitted. In our area that park is Churchill Heights.

The following rules apply to taking your dog to a city park:
Dogs must have a dog park permit and a license. (Both can be purchased at the City Treasurer's Office.
Dogs must be under the immediate physical control of a person at all times with a leash.
Dog handlers are required to pick up waste and have bags or scoops when in the park.
Dogs must not dig, chase or harm wildlife, damage park property, or interfere with other Park users.

Drop Off Site Reopened: Now that you may be spending more time around the house, you may have collected garden waste or just Stuff that you would like to get rid of. After a one month closure, the city waste drop-off site on Sycamore Rd. has reopened.

Also, note that garden mulch is often available. You can check the availability at the city Streets Dept. website.

Food Pantry: If you need some additional food to help make it through the week or have food or funds that you can share, there are opportunities for both needs to be met.

On the Eastside, there is the Salvation Army on Darbo St. You can contact them at (608) 250-2203 for their hours. The East Madison Community Center has pantry hours of Tuesday, 11:30-1:30 and meals pick-up for kids, Monday-Friday from 1;30-2:00 PM.

The River Food Pantry has curb-side pick-up only Tues-Thurs. 10-3 PM and Friday 10-1 PM.

If you are a first-time shopper please call or see their web-page for documents needed to be a registered household.

You can reach me at or call 608-501-1424 for questions or concerns.


Keep safe.








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