Meetings and Highlights Week of November 13th

  • City Meetings
    • Finance Committee 11/13
    • Plan Commission 11/13
    • Common Council 11/14, 11/15, and 11/16 as needed 
  • Final 2024 Capital and Operating Budget Meetings and Proposed Budget amendments
  • North Grandview Community Safety Meeting and Survey
  • Events & Announcements

City Meetings

Finance Committee

The Finance Committee meeting will take place on Monday, November 13 in virtual format at 4:00 p.m. Agenda items include the authorization of the issuance of up to $28.6 million of 20 year tax-exempt bonds to finance the approved State Street Campus Garage reconstruction project.

Plan Commission

The Plan Commission meeting will take place on Monday, November 13, in virtual format at 5:30 p.m. Agenda items include adopting an amendment to the City of Madison Comprehensive Plan, a change in the downtown height limit map to raise the story height limit on the “back” portion of the City-owned Brayton parking lot, and development-related requests (none in District 3).

Common Council 

The Common Council meeting will take place on Tuesday, November 14, in hybrid format at 5:30 p.m. Agenda items include the 2024 Executive Capital Budget, the 2024 Executive Operating Budget, and public comment.

Note that, depending on how much time budget amendments and deliberations take, Council may reconvene on Wednesday 11/15 and Thursday 11/16 at 5:30.

Final 2024 Capital and Operating Budget Meetings and Proposed 2024 Budget Amendments

The full Common Council takes up the 2024 Capital Budget (property, buildings, infrastructure) and Operating Budget (salaries and contracts) proposals, as amended by the Finance Committee, in our meeting(s) this week. Here’s the 2024 Capital Budget and next-five-years Capital Improvement Plan Executive Summary and here’s the Operating Budget Executive Summary; note that both budgets now include a few more recent changes made by the Finance Committee since those summary documents were written. See my blog post from 10/31 for the Wisconsin Policy Forum’s third-party review of the budget proposal and the City’s financial outlook. The capital budget includes 2024 funding for three projects in or near District 3: money in the Parks budget for a sun shelter at North Star Park, the remaining $2 million needed to fully fund the Riendahl Imagination Center project, and $5.1 million in the Water Utility for mitigating PFAS pollution in Well 15 which served parts of District 3 prior to being closed down due to concerning PFAS levels

Alders’ proposed amendments are posted on the City Finance Department’s webpage on the 2024 Budget materials. You can read Alders’ proposed capital amendments here and operating amendments here. I wanted to point out four noteworthy amendments, two of which I’m sponsoring.

  • There’s a significant change to the Capital Budget by a Parking Division amendment (number 8 in the list) that will reduce TIF-supported General Obligation Borrowing by $7.7 million because the lowest State Street Campus Garage Replacement project bid came in around $10m under-budget. This reduction also represents a reduction in future TIF-supported debt service costs of more than $900 million.
  • A Technical Amendment (number 1 in the list) adds $92,708 in revenue to the Operating Budget. This amendment increases General Fund revenues to account for two revised estimates for state aid. The increase of $92,708 is associated with reestimated amounts for Exempt Computer Aid ($39,699) and Municipal Services Payment - Town of Madison ($53,009). This increase also creates an equivalent increase to the state levy limit. Finance Committee amendments left $823 of capacity under the levy limit calculation. With these two reestimates, remaining capacity under the levy limit will be $93,531.
  • I’m sponsoring capital amendment (number 3 in the list) for $300,000 in general obligation borrowing for three new emergency response vehicles, one for each of the Madison CARES Program teams that respond to behavioral health emergencies referred by 911 dispatch. 
    • Madison Fire Department command staff shared with me that the Program’s existing three vehicles are some of the oldest vehicles in the City’s fleet. 
    • The three proposed new vehicles would be vans with space in the back to have an off-street appointment with a patient, important for when the weather is bad or when they’re responding to a situation at a location without space to sit down and talk to a patient. 
    • Taxes On Average Value Home Impact: $0.37 per year for six years.
  • I’m also sponsoring an operating amendment (number 10 in the list) $91,200 (salary, benefits, and computer) from the roughly $93,500 remaining balance up to the state’s property tax levy limit for a Traffic Engineering Field Electrician position that would work on Safe Streets Madison traffic safety and signal devices.
    • You may recognize this amendment that I cosponsored and wrote about in the Finance Committee amendment process a few weeks ago, where this one did not pass. I’m trying again with a few other alders’ support. 
    • Madison’s growth brings more traffic and higher demands on our intersections and road crossings. We need more traffic safety improvements like Driver Feedback Boards (speed signs that remind speeding drivers to slow down) and Rapid Rectangular Flashing Beacons (signals to drivers that pedestrians are crossing a street). The list of requests for Safe Streets Madison projects includes many that involve these electrical devices, and that list is more than 500 long, and the highest-priority ones that get approved wait months if not years for installation because there’s so much work to do and contractors are busy. 
    • Traffic Engineering leadership told me that their electrician work demands are their biggest obstacle that the budget could address. This is a growing need and I hope this position will be added to the budget to help Traffic Engineering staff move through these approvals and installations more quickly and to keep up with maintenance of the growing number of these electrical devices installed around City.
    • If you want to comment on this amendment, Operating Amendment #10, which would help Traffic Engineering move through project installations (and let us approve more traffic safety projects), please consider emailing All Alders:
    • Taxes On Average Value Home Impact: $0.97.

I wanted to include some more information about “salary savings”, used to account for underutilized City staff position spending. This explanation comes from the City Finance Director: “Salary savings is a reduction to full funding of all authorized positions in an agency’s salary line to reflect the historical vacancy rate in that agency.  In the 2024 budget, there is no salary savings in agencies with very few positions and up to 4% in agencies with the largest number of positions.  These savings levels were based on trends over the past few years.  This type of reduction to reflect turnover in positions throughout the year is a common practice in government personnel budgeting and has been a part of the City budgeting process for many years.  This level of salary savings is not expected to have an impact on the ability of agencies to fill vacancies – agencies will still be able to carry on normal recruitment efforts to fill positions and will likely meet the salary savings target through normal turnover.” 

North Grandview Community Safety Meeting 11/20 and Survey

Steamfitters Local 601, 6310 Town Center Drive, 6-7:30pm

Here's a flyer for the event. Following the presentation portion, attendees will have a chance to write down and submit questions which I will read to panelists. Invited Presenters Include: 

  • Madison Police Department 
  • Public Health Madison & Dane County/Violence Prevention 
  • Madison Metropolitan School District
  • Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway 
  • State Senator Melissa Agard 
  • Representative Samba Baldeh 
  • Harmony Property Owners: Royal Capital 
  • Focused Interruption 
  • Moms Demand Action

Please consider taking this brief Community Safety Survey gathering viewpoints and concerns related to public safety in the neighborhood. More responses from residents will give us a better understanding and ability to plan our next actions and priorities as we continue improving neighborhood safety and address the root causes of gun violence. I will send the concerns you share on this survey to speakers on the event’s panel. Please submit your response by the end the day on Wednesday, November 15th

Events & Announcements

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Alder Derek Field

Alder Derek Field

District 3
Contact Alder Field