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District 2

Alder Patrick Heck

Image of Alder Patrick Heck

Alder Patrick Heck

Contact Information

Home Address:

123 N. Blount St #303

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 Heck’s Updates

Updates & Week of March 22 Meetings of Interest for District 2

March 20, 2021 1:23 PM

Special Note: Due to determination by the WI Elections Commission, alders running for reelection in the April 2021 election are advised not to use city resources to communicate with constituents using mass emails and posts. For that reason, I am sending this update from my personal email and via non-city social media. Until this interpretation of the rules change or I am re-elected, I'll be sending mass communications via these means. Please continue to use to contact me with input and questions on city issues.  
District 2 Updates and Meetings of Interest
City meetings remain online only with details listed in City Meetings of Interest below; all have virtual public participation options.

There are three sections to this week's update:
  1. COVID-19 Resources & Information
  2. Other District 2 Updates
  3. City Meetings of Interest to District 2
COVID Update

Dane CORE Rental Assistance Program 

From Alder Prestigiacomo: COVID-19 Campus Resources, including Housing & Eviction Protection and Financial Resources.

Read about the temporary halt in residential evictions from the Tenant Resource Center.

Free hotline to be connected with a "Financial Navigator".

COVID-19 Recovery Dashboard that tracks Madison's long-term community and economic recovery from COVID-19.

For information on Madison's responses visit the City's Coronavirus Website. There you will find links to City Service Updates, Resources for Businesses.

From MMSD: Neighborhood Food Sites and from Community Action Coalition: Dane County Food Pantry Network

From the City: Community Resources Section on the city's COVID website, including housing and eviction information

The Governor's Office compilation of all COVID-19 resources and information from state agencies, including the State Dept. Public Health

From the Downtown Madison Business Improvement District: Ways to Support Downtown Madison 

Info on UW-Madison's response to the pandemic at this site

Useful Links Image

Voting Location Changes, Absentee Ballot & Voter Registration for April 6 General Election

Note that many Tuesday, April 6 voting locations have changed due to the pandemic:

Ward 45 - moved from Lapham School to American Family Dream Bank, 821 E Washington Ave
Ward 46 - moved from Gates of Heaven to Bethel Lutheran Church, 312 Wisconsin Ave.
Ward 47 - UW Hillel, 611 Langdon
Ward 48 - UW Hillel, 611 Langdon
Absentee ballots for the April 6 General Election were mailed starting on March 16, so if you do not plan to vote in-person on April 6 or vote in-person at the Clerk's Office, please request your ballot asap! Absentee ballots can be requested at, and you can register to vote there too.

The deadline to request an absentee ballot is 5:00pm on Thursday, April 1, but the City Clerk recommends making your request as early as possible so there is adequate time to mail the ballot back to the Clerk's Office. More info on Voting Absentee and Registration.

For Madison voters, this election will include their Common Council Alder, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction election, MMSD School Board, Dane County Executive, several judgeships, and an advisory referendum on the structure of Common Council (see more on that below).

Update on Shared Streets Program

According to City Traffic Engineering, they received over 1,000 survey responses on the Shared Streets program from last year. 83% of the respondents liked the program and support it. As a result, they are planning to bring back a bigger and better program, with signing and public engagement improvements. They are also working on ways to improve equity of the program. Staff have been researching the programs in other cities and learn from their successes and lessons.

Traffic Engineering also received public inquires on whether and how they can make the arrangements on some streets more permanent. Staff are strategizing on whether they can rebrand the program from COVID response to reimagining our streets. They need to work things out with stakeholders, such as emergency response agencies, and will then bring this year's project list to Transportation Commission. They hope to start implementing the first phase of this year's Shared Streets program as early as in May, but that will depend on how those coordination efforts go. 

From my perspective, this is a promising update, but I will reiterate that this is a citywide program in which equity in resource distribution must be considered. I hope that District 2 and all of the city can benefit from any future implementations.

Also on the April 6 Ballot: Common Council Size and Structure Referendum

As mentioned at the link above, on the April 6 General Election Ballot there is also an advisory referendum on the size and structure of Common Council. Again, it is advisory only - Common Council is seeking the advice of voters as we consider future changes to our terms, size, and pay. Should Council want to pursue any of these changes, most will require a binding referendum.

These questions flow out of the important work done by the Task Force on the Government Structure that for several years worked with a diverse set of stakeholders discussing how to make our local government more accessible, equitable, and responsive. On the April 6 ballot are four questions. Below are the questions (paraphrased for brevity) and some of my thoughts on each.

The questions are independent from each other, but obviously they can't be totally separated. For instance, I am leaning on voting to keep council at 20, go to full-time, and increase pay, but I also realize that there is little chance that we will have more than a million dollars for additional alder salaries given the many important needs that we have in regards to ongoing pandemic recovery, boosting racial equity, affordable housing, etc. So, I'm not sure yet how I'll reconcile all of this and how I will vote!

Question 1:
Madison currently has a part-time Common Council with members who are paid approximately  $13,700 per year. Beginning with the 2023 Spring Election, SHOULD the City of Madison transition to a full-time Council with alders earning between 50% to 80% of the Adjusted Median Income for Dane County for a single parent with two children (approximately $45,000 to $71,000 per year)?
My Thoughts on Question 1 - In general, I do think alders should be better paid. I have the privilege of often working 50 or even 60 hours a week on alder work while continuing to work half-time at my real job, but recognize that many other potential or current alders do not have that ability. The rough hours really shut out folks who are lower income, younger folks who may not be as established in their careers, those who work full time at another job, have children to take care of or would need to pay child care expenses, etc.
Question 2:
Madison currently has a part-time Common Council comprised of 20 alderpersons, one from each alderperson district. Beginning with the 2023 Spring Election, SHOULD the size of the Council:
Be reduced
Be increased
Remain the same

My Thoughts on Question 2 - In my view, we can't continually expand Council as Madison grows. Well, I suppose we could, but particularly if pay increases at all, the city budget would also need to go up and up. I tend to think that sticking with 20 for now is a reasonable approach. Reducing the number of alders would impact the ability of alders and constituents to connect. If Madison should gain (or lose) 50k new residents or the like, we could rethink that.
Question 3:
Madison alderpersons are currently elected to 2 year terms. The Mayor is currently elected to 4 year terms. Beginning with the 2023 Spring Election, SHOULD Madison alderpersons be elected to 4 year terms?

My Thoughts on Question 3 - This seems reasonable and would allow alders to better utilize the skills and knowledge that currently take the better part of a first 2-year term to gain. I also prefer expanded terms if enacted in conjunction with some of the options explored by TFOGS, e.g.., staggering alder terms so that not all 20 would be up for election at once every 4 years.
Question 4:
Madison alderpersons are currently not subject to term limits. Beginning with the 2023 Spring Election, if the City transitions to a full-time Common Council SHOULD the alderpersons be subject to term limits of 12 consecutive years?

My Thoughts on Question 4 - I generally am not in favor of term limits of any type. Voters should toss out those who they don't think are doing a good job. That said, until we have publicly financed elections and perhaps reasonable alder pay to level and broaden the candidate field, I could be convinced to support term limits.

Read the Common Council resolutions authorizing the advisory referendum HERE. At that site, you can also watch a District Reports episode on the Spring Referendum.

Zoning Image

Proposed Changes to Zoning Code at Plan Commission on Monday

As detailed in previous Alder Updates, the city is considering a set of changes to our zoning ordinances that would impact some residential, mixed-use, and commercial zoning districts. These proposed changes will be considered at the Monday, March 22, Plan Commission meeting (participation and methods for giving input listed in "City Meetings of Interest" below). Common Council is scheduled to consider the changes at our March 30 meeting.

As a cosponsor of these changes, I am supportive, but do appreciate the input received on all sides of these complex changes and issues. Several alders, including me, are considering whether some of the proposed changes need additional study before moving forward so that too is expected to be discussed at Plan Commission.

For additional information on the changes, you can watch a Community Q & A Session regarding the proposed amendments here.

  • Read the proposed amendments here
  • Read the Staff Report/Memo here
  • Explore the city's zoning map here, including the ability to see the parcels where the changes are proposed.
March 27: TLNA Workshop on Equity in Generational Wealth & Homeownership

A great workshop "Pay It Forward: Generational Wealth, Homeownership, and You" is coming your way, hosted by the Tenney-Lapham Neighborhood Association, on March 27 (Saturday) from 10:30 am-noon. This workshop is a great opportunity to learn about and join in a growing effort to make the Madison community more equitable for all. Attendees will learn from our guest presenter about how generational weight accumulates, and how laws and policies have systematically boosted wealth-building for white people, while blocking opportunities for wealth-building among people of color. 

The workshop is Virtual, and FREE. Stay tuned for a zoom link coming soon. Please register your attendance at this link.
Below are some pertinent agenda items from city committees that are meeting this week. If you click on meeting "Details" below, you will find participation and viewing options, and a link to the full meeting agenda. If you click on a item from within an agenda, you will see all documents that relate to that item.
I appreciate hearing from you on any items on which you have a particular interest or concern.
Finance Committee: Details
4:30 pm, Monday, March 22, 2021
Agenda Item 6
Authorizing a five-year agreement with Dane County for the reimbursement of costs and placement of staff for the Crisis Response Team.
Fiscal Note
The 2021 Adopted Operating Budget established a pilot Crisis Response Team program in the Fire Department-Fire Operations budget which will include some combination of Madison Fire Department (MFD) Community Paramedics and contracted mental health providers.
Dane County will provide two Crisis Workers and a Supervisor to work with MFD's Crisis Response Team through a contract with Journey Mental Health Center, Inc. (Journey). This resolution authorizes a five-year agreement with Dane County for the reimbursement of a portion of the salaries of these positions. The reimbursement will not to exceed $191,500 per year. The 2021 Adopted Operating Budget includes $600,000 for the Crisis Response Team pilot. Future payments to Dane County for the positions will be subject to appropriations in those years.
A resolution authorizing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between MFD and Journey establishing the operational and staffing protocols for the Crisis Workers and Supervisor (Legistar #64579) is in process.
Agenda Item 7
Authorizing a memorandum of understanding between Madison Fire Department and Journey Mental Health Center, Inc. to support the Crisis Response Team program.
Fiscal Note
The 2021 Adopted Operating Budget established a pilot Crisis Response Team program in the Fire Department-Fire Operations budget which will include some combination of Madison Fire Department (MFD) Community Paramedics and contracted mental health providers.
Dane County will provide two Crisis Workers and a Supervisor to work with MFD's Crisis Response Team through a contract with Journey Mental Health Center, Inc. (Journey). The City will reimburse Dane County for a portion of these costs. A resolution authorizing the agreement between the City and Dane County (Legistar File #64586) is in process.
This resolution authorizes a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between MFD and Journey establishing the operational and staffing protocols for the Crisis Workers and Supervisor. All costs associated with these contracted health providers including transportation, equipment, logistical and supply obligations will be borne by Journey, with the exception of office space which will be provided by MFD with existing resources. No appropriation is required.
Agenda Item 10
Authorizing a $75,550 contract with Madison's Central Business Improvement District (BID) for $75,550 to fund the continuation of the Downtown Activities Program focused on existing plazas around the Capitol Square and State Street (2nd, 4th and 8th AD), and to support the administration of a Downtown BLINK temporary art program.
Agenda Item 11
Amending MGO 4.32, "Commercial Ownership Assistance Program" to Create Eligibility for New Businesses.
DRAFTER'S ANALYSIS: This ordinance amendment expands the program to allow for experienced business owners who do not own a business in Madison at the time of application.
Agenda Item 12
Approving the issuance of a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the redevelopment of 415 N. Lake St., the State Street Campus Garage, (the "Property") and establishing a process for the review of responses to the RFP and selection of a development team for the Property.
Agenda Item 13
Transferring Parking Enforcement Duties from Madison Police Department to Parking Division
Agenda Item 14 
Amending the 2021 Operating Budget and Setting the 2021 Rates for the Sewer, Stormwater and Landfill.
Agenda Item 15
SUBSTITUTE - Amending the 2021 Adopted Capital Budget for the Community Development Division's Men's Homeless Shelter capital project to accept and appropriate $3 million from Dane County and Authorizing the City's execution of a Purchase and Sale Agreement between the City of Madison and BIP Enterprises, LLC, or their successors and assigns, for the purchase of the property located at 2002 Zeier Road in the City of Madison for homeless shelter purposes. (17th AD)
Sustainable Madison Committee: Details
4:30 Monday, March 22, 2021
Agenda Item 3
Zoning & Development 
Agenda Item 4
Update: City/MGE Agreement and Working Group
Agenda Item 5
Letter Regarding PFAS
Plan Commission: Details
5:30 pm, Monday, March 22, 2021
Zoning Text Amendments
Agenda Item 12
Amending portions of Madison General Ordinances Sections 28.063, 28.064, 28.065, 28.066, 28.067, 28.068, 28.074, 28.076, 28.084, 28.085, 28.087, 28.088, 28.089, and 28.097 to change the front yard setback, if it is less than 15 feet, from 0 feet to 5 feet to support a street tree canopy, and creating Madison General Ordinance 28.071(2)(e) to establish a Downtown Setback Exceptions Map.
Sponsors: Marsha A. Rummel, Patrick W. Heck, Keith Furman, Michael E. Verveer, Satya V. Rhodes-Conway, Syed Abbas
DRAFTER'S ANALYSIS:  In zoning districts for which there is currently a 0' front of front yard setback required, this amendment increases the required setback to 5' in some cases. In instances where the distance between the curb and property line is greater than 15', the 0' required setback remains, but in instances where the distance between the curb and property line is less than 15 feet, buildings will need to be set back 5'. Thus, this amendment essentially eliminates 0' setbacks in places where there isn't sufficient space to support a street tree canopy, and will allow space for a wider variety of tree species, in many of the downtown and mixed-use districts where redevelopment is occurring.  These districts are:
  • LMX, NMX, TSS, MXC, CC-T, CC (all of the Commercial and Mixed-Use Districts)
  • DC, UMX (some Downtown Districts)
  • TE, SE, EC, IL, IG (most of the Employment Districts)
  • CI
Agenda Item 13
Amending various sections of Subchapters 28C and 28D of Madison General Ordinances in order to increase allowable densities and decrease conditional use thresholds in certain multi-family residential, mixed-use, and commercial districts.
Sponsors: Satya V. Rhodes-Conway, Keith Furman, Patrick W. Heck, Lindsay Lemmer, Tag Evers, Max Prestigiacomo
DRAFTER'S ANALYSIS:    This ordinance makes changes to the conditional use thresholds and allowable densities in most multi-family residential districts.  Similarly, this ordinance makes changes to the conditional use thresholds and the standards for lot area, maximum height, and usable open space for most mixed-use districts. 
These changes will allow for the construction of more multi-family dwelling units ("higher densities") as permitted uses ("by right").  In that way, this ordinance takes one step toward removing barriers in the zoning code that have historically tended to exclude the construction of multi-family housing in areas of the City that are otherwise appropriate for it. 
Note: See more in "Other District 2 Updates" above.
Committee on Aging: Details
2:30pm, Wednesday, March 24, 2021
Agenda Item 7
Voices of Color presentation 
Agenda Item 8
Racial Equity Analysis update

Joint Meeting of the Transportation Commission and Transportation Policy and Planning Board: Details
5:00pm, Wednesday, March 24, 2021
Agenda Item 3
Proposed Amendments to MGO Section 33.56 - Transportation Commission (30 minutes)
Agenda Item 4
Interim Update from the Traffic Calming Subcommittee and Request for Extending Report Deadline to July 15, 2021
Agenda Item 5
Updates from Staff (45 minutes)
a. Complete and Green Streets
b. Vision Zero
c. High Injury Network
d. Bus Rapid Transit
e. Metro Transit Network Redesign Study
f. Parking (including an update on the TPPB RP3 Working Group)
Agenda Item 6
Transportation Budget Preview (10 minutes)
TIF Review Board: Details
1:00pm, Thursday, March 25, 2021
Fiscal Note for the resolution that has already passed Common Council and was sponsored by me and Alders Rummel and Abbas:
The proposed resolution authorizes a Third Project Plan Amendment for Tax Incremental District (TID) 36 (Capitol Gateway). This amendment highlights two projects, $7 million for the Public Market and $5 million for developer loans, which were included in the 2020 and 2019 Adopted Capital Budgets, respectively. No additional City appropriation is required with the adoption of this resolution.

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