Meetings and Updates Week of October 16th


Meetings and Highlights Week of October 16th

  • City Meetings: Common Council 10/17
  • Update on the 10/10 Incident of Gun Violence in the District
  • Madison Public Market Funds on the 10/17 Council Agenda
  • Take the City of Madison Sustainability Survey
  • Events & Announcements

City Meetings

Common Council

The Common Council meeting will take place on Tuesday, October 17 in hybrid format at 6:30 p.m. Agenda items include

  • Authorizing an amendment to a contract for the Starkweather Creek/Olbrich Gardens Watershed Study (I’m a cosponsor)
  • Awarding a Public Works contract for the Felland Reservoir Booster Pump and Installing the Milky Way Reservoir Valve (in and near District 3)
  • Reducing the time allotted to each alder for discussion and debate
  • Authorizing MPD to accept a $40,000 grant for leadership development and training (I’m a cosponsor)
  • Authorizing an agreement with Rutabaga Paddlesports LLC to conduct rental, instructional, non-alcoholic concession and other recreational activities at the Olbrich Park Beach House for the years 2024-2030
  • Authorizing more funding for the Madison Public Market (see my thoughts on this in another section below)
  • Repealing MGO 24.13 and amending 1.08(3) remove references. Here’s the Legistar item. The City Attorney’s Office analysis states: “This ordinance repeals 24.12 entitled “Panhandling Prohibited” of the Madison General Ordinances. In Reed v. Town of Gilbert, the United States Supreme Court recognized that most panhandling activity is protected by the First Amendment, therefore, this Section is generally unenforceable.” Because of this, panhandling, solicitation, or begging are protected speech under the First Amendment, read more about this on this ACLU resource . NOTE that MGO Section 12.32 prohibits standing on certain roads across the city and centers on street, pedestrian and driver's safety by prohibiting loitering - and MGO 12.32 is not affected by this Common Council agenda item.
  • Meeting Agenda
  • Register for Public Comment
  • Watch Online

Update on the 10/10 Gun Violence Incident in the District

This has been a very challenging week for many, but especially for Kyesha Miller’s family and loved ones. Thank you to all District 3 residents who have reached out over the past few days expressing sympathy for Kyesha’s family, for residents (and youth in particular) who lost a peer and a friend, and for sharing your concerns about gun violence in the neighborhood. I’m working through my inbox this weekend to get back to you.

MPD is still asking for tips in their search for the suspects. I ask that anybody with information that could be helpful to the investigation please share that with MPD. Their statement from Thursday includes more information including an image of the vehicle and suspects. Anyone who recognizes the vehicle involved or the suspects or has information about this shooting is asked to contact Madison Area Crime Stoppers at 608-266-6014 or online at Information may be shared anonymously.

I’m working on pulling together a meeting for Harmony Apartments residents in the next few weeks with the help of Public Health’s Violence Prevention team and their service organizations. The goal here is to provide space for Harmony residents to gather, grieve, and process and share what they need. I’m hoping that we can learn what they want and need to see changed at the building site, hear their feedback on the culture of their community and its management, and to hear what they consider to be the gaps in services and programming available there.

I’m also working with MPD, Public Health, and MMSD to pull together a broader meeting to discuss the incidence of gun violence broadly, here in our community, and the latest events at Harmony (pending sharable information from the investigation) in the next few weeks. The top priority for MPD officers right now needs to be their investigation and search for the suspects. The most current information is provided in MPD’s statement from Thursday and in my blog post from Wednesday night. I’m hoping to have event details ready to share with you in time for next weekend’s blog post, so watch for that in my next weekly updates.

Madison Public Market Funds on the 10/17 Council Agenda

Tuesday’s council meeting includes an item authorizing additional funds for the Madison Public Market due to the project bids coming in significantly above estimates and above the previously-authorized budget. Staff prepared this very helpful background memo on the topic. There are two versions of a resolution authorizing funds. Both allow the project to proceed; the first version authorizes about $2.28 million of borrowing to fully fund a few features that staff deemed non-essential for cost-cutting measures, while the second version authorizes. About $1.64m and does not fund those nonessential features.

The staff memo explains, the City has already invested approximately $2.5 million to date on consultant studies, business planning, design and construction documents, the MarketReady Program, and Foundation support. Prior to bidding the project, the total cost of the project was anticipated to be approximately $20,349,383 to be funded through the following sources:

  • Tax Increment Finance (TIF) District # 36 ‐ $11,500,000
  • State of Wisconsin Neighborhood Investment Grant ‐ $4,000,000
  • Madison Public Market Foundation ‐ $2,250,000
  • Dane County ‐ $1,500,000
  • City of Madison Prior UDAG Funding ‐ $849,383
  • Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation ‐ $250,000

Previously-authorized funds for the project would have covered construction bids up to $12.5m; or, if we cut some nonessential items like furniture, fixtures, and equipment, previously-authorized funds would have covered bids up to $13.67m. Unfortunately, the lowest actual bid received was about $15.19m. The City is working with the county to secure an additional $1m from the County if the project moves forward, but the City will still have to authorize $1.64m $2.28m for the project to proceed. Note that this vote is an amendment to the previously-adopted 2023 authorized budget to issue new debt, so its passage would require fifteen of the twenty alders’ votes. If neither resolution has fifteen votes, the City will decline the bids and likely discontinue its work on the current proposal for the Madison Public Market.

It’s worth noting here that the TIF District 36 increment has enough money to cover the already-authorized $11.5m and could potentially also be used to repay the City for the $1.64m or $2.28m on Tuesday’s agenda. However, TID 36 is scheduled to close in 2027 and when TIDs close with extra unspent money, that money is distributed to the local taxing municipalities like the City or MMSD. (Note that state law allows us to keep TIDs open for one extra year to generate funds for affordable housing, so TID 36 will likely close in 2028). Looking at the City’s or MMSD’s growing structural operating budget deficits, I think this TID 36 money would be a pretty important lifeline for each when TID 36 closes. The City is currently projecting a 2028 Operating Budget deficit of $66.7m in 2028 (see slide 7 in this presentation).

I've been looking forward to the Madison Public Market for years and I was so excited back when I learned that we could get one here. However I’m pretty alarmed about the rapid growth of construction costs for this project and I’m worried about what this trend means for other important City capital projects. Last fall, the City and the County already authorized a $6m increase in funds due to rising costs and now we’re contemplating another $2.64m or $3.28m (including the additional $1m from the County). I'm trying to keep an open mind on this, but now that I'm learning all of these funding details I'm having a hard time justifying the spending given the rough budget outlook and given the community’s other significant needs.

Take the City of Madison Sustainability Survey

What is your vision for a green, climate-friendly, and resilient Madison? Where do you see opportunities for improvement? What are your top priorities? The City of Madison wants to hear your thoughts on the draft Sustainability Plan’s eight themes and supporting goals. This plan will help the City advance sustainability through its policies, programs, and projects. By taking this quick survey, you are helping ensure the draft themes and goals are in line with the community’s vision for a sustainable City of Madison. Ten lucky winners will receive a $20 gift card to The Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream! Let’s work together to create a sustainable City for both existing and future Madisonians! Take survey here:


Events & Announcements

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Alder Derek Field

Alder Derek Field

District 3
Contact Alder Field