City of

District 6

Alder Brian Benford

Image of Alder Brian Benford

Alder Brian Benford

Contact Information

Home Address:

2273 E. Washington Ave #1
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 Benford’s Updates

D6 Items of Interest Week of October 26, 2020

October 25, 2020 9:16 PM

Highlights: The Finance Committee is reviewing 25 (plus alternates) Operating budget amendments on Monday that range from adding 4 police officer positions using federal grant monies (#9); several proposals for homeless street outreach, rapid rehousing and housing initiatives (#11, 14, 15); adding a park ranger (#10); reallocating new funds from violence prevention to COVID relief (#16); and increasing funds for the Focused Interruption Coalition for peer support/violence prevention (#17). An amendment proposes to reallocate $250K from the Police Recruit Academy "overhiring" and add to the funds proposed for the new crisis response team modeled after CAHOOTS (#19). There are several amendment that focus on the Parking Utility: moving parking enforcement costs completely from police department to the parking utility and funding all the authorized positions (#5, 6a, 6b, 21). In addition, there is an amendment to the parking utility budget to raise the annual residential parking permit from $42 to $105 (#7). An amendment allocates $15K to improvements at the Crowley Station unit well on E Wilson in the First Settlement neighborhood (#25). Another amendment proposes a 5% cut for alder salaries (#12). Every Mayor cuts funds for pavement markings in Traffic Engineering's budget and every year alders add the money back, this year is no different (#8). An amendment transfers funds for bike path snow and ice removal from Engineering and Parks to the Streets Division, in order to consolidate all snow removal services in one agency (#18). Amendment (#13) proposes to create a director of Residential and Community Engagement and locate it in the Council office and delete the soon to be vacant Council Chief of Staff position. The new agency and position is based on one of the Task Force on Government Structure committee recommendations. If you are following the public safety and police accountability community discussions, take a close look at amendments 5, 6a, and 19. 2021 Operating Budget Amendments - Proposed by Finance Committee

On Thursday, Plan Commission is holding a special meeting to discuss land use and transportation policy. An ordinance to tighten the transportation demand management requirements is in the works. Check the legistar item for the staff presentation, a survey about remote working and more. Special Plan Commission meeting on land use and transportation

Did you miss the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Project Kick-Off Meeting? Watch the recorded Oct. 22 Project Kick-Off Meeting here. The presentation slides are also available at that link, Topics included BRT routes, station design and locations, service plans, and improvements to existing North-South Metro routes. Learn more about Metro's recent decision to move stations to the center of the E Washington Avenue section of the route rather than on the sides.

Update: E Washington Speed and Noise Reduction Efforts The Vision Zero initiative to make engineering adjustments and offer education measures to reduce the problems on E Washington continue, including lane closures, message boards, speed boards, and signal timing changes continues. MPD has continued to work to find resources for continued enforcement on E Washington. Enhanced enforcement was scheduled for this past weekend, barring any significant developments that came up such as protests and other events.  Also, UW football games and Halloween may require additional officers in other parts of the City, so MPD is making adjustments from week to week, depending on staff availability and funding. The expectation is that racing activities tend to reduce as weather becomes cold. Staff plans continuing the lane closures for as long as possible, but the devices have to be removed before it snows so that we are not creating issues for snow removal and other safety issues.

Public Health moves to a crisis model for contact tracing As more and more people are diagnosed with COVID-19 in Dane County, Public Health Madison & Dane County is no longer able to efficiently follow-up with everyone who has been diagnosed. Public Health is moving to a crisis model of contact tracing. With a crisis model of contact tracing, if a person tests positive, they will still be notified of the positive test by their health care provider or testing center and given isolation instructions. Unfortunately, a Public Health contact tracer may not be able to follow up with all people to support isolation.  Public Health will prioritize contacting individuals with a positive diagnosis before providing contact tracing, a tool that can help prevent spread. Public Health asks that people who test positive for COVID-19 notify their close contacts that they have been exposed. The Public Health website has guidelines on what you should do if you are sick or were possibly exposed.

Madison Public Library book drops open All Madison Public Library locations will reopen book drops for 24/7 return of library materials effective October 20. Library materials returned late during the COVID-19 pandemic have not incurred overdue fees.  "When we closed for COVID-19, we extended due dates and temporarily eliminated fines for overdue materials," said Borrower Services Manager Margie Navarre Saaf.  In August of 2020, the Madison Public Library Board eliminated library overdue fines, and Madison Public Library staff are in the process of removing library fines from customer records, prioritizing those with blocks on their cards for fine elimination first.  Madison customers who've had their card blocked due to overdue fines can contact the library at 608-266-6357 to have their card unblocked and the fines removed.

Ballot drop offs are available at a fire station near you including Fire Station 3 at 1217 Williamson St. The box is located in the small garden just outside station front door. Walk up only.  Voters who need a witness should bring their blank ballot and absentee certificate envelope to one of the locations listed here  Ballot drop offs with poll workers who can witness your ballot. In a 10/25/20 tweet, the Clerk's Office reports: "We've issued 112,379 absentees, of which 94,157, are returned to be counted. That includes 10,383 absentees cast in person and 4,982 returned via drop box. We now have 189,493 registered voters, including 30,372 who've registered since the August Primary. #MadisonVotes2020"


Monday October 26, 2020


4:30p click on the agenda for info on how to access the Zoom meeting, send comments on agenda items to


1. 62670 Amending the 2020 Public Health Operating Budget to Accept $3,653,125 from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services COVID-19 Testing Pilot Program for COVID-19 Testing at the Alliant Energy Center


Fiscal Note: The proposed resolution amends the Public Health 2020 operating budget to reflect the acceptance of $3,653,125 for COVID-19 testing at the Alliant Energy Center. The increased budget will be funded by the WI Department Health Services (DHS) COVID-19 Testing Pilot Program. DHS will reimburse Public Health $35 for each test performed, for a total of 104,375 tests. The funding can be applied as needed for any costs associated with administering the tests (staffing, facility rental, medical supplies, etc.)


11. 62620 Amending the Economic Development Division's 2020 Adopted Capital Budget (TIF District #39) by $500,000 and authorizing the $500,000 to be used for a TID 39 Small Cap TIF loan program for small businesses and authorizing the Mayor and City Clerk to execute a sole source service contract with Madison Development Corp. ("MDC") to provide loan administration services. (16th A.D.)


12. 62622 Amending the Economic Development Division's 2020 Adopted Capital Budget (TIF District #42) by $101,148 and authorizing the execution of a contract with the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System on behalf of the Population Health Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health ("UW PHI") for the purposes of beginning a Census to Census study of impact of the City's investments in South Madison. (14th A.D.)


15. 62725 Substitute Authorizing the Community Development Division to plan and implement a Homeless Shelter project ("Project")


Fiscal Note: The substitute amendment authorizes Engineering to issue an RFP to hire an architectural/engineering firm to prepare plans for renovation/conversion or construction of a Men's Shelter. The resolution anticipates adoption of an amendment to the 2021 executive capital budget by the Common Council to create a Men's Shelter capital project funded with $3 million GO borrowing. Dane County has proposed including $3 million in its 2021 capital budget for a Men's Shelter project, in partnership with the city.


Sadly, the Purchase and Sale Agreement between the City of Madison and 4111 East Towne Blvd, LLC for the City's acquisition of the property located at 4111 East Towne Blvd for the creation of a men's homeless shelter announced last week was withdrawn after the seller changed their mind.


16. 62322 2021 Executive Operating Budget

2021 Executive Operating Budget

Finance Committee Proposed Amendments

Finance staff summary of 2021 Operating Budget amendments


Tuesday October 27


4:30p click on the agenda for info on how to access the Zoom meeting, send comments on agenda items to


2. 62772 Recruitment and selection process for Water Utility Financial Manager and General Manager positions


3. 62771 Board Education and Discussion of Environmental Justice Stacie Reece, the City of Madison's Sustainability Program Coordinator, will be presenting to the Water Utility Board.


Wednesday October 28


7p click on the agenda for info on how to access the Zoom meeting, send comments on agenda items to


2. 61549 Discussion of Social Science and Legal Scholarship on Body-Worn Cameras


3. 61547 Updates from Captain Brian Austin


Thursday October 29


5p click on the agenda for info on how to access the Zoom meeting, send comments on agenda items to


2. 62676 Initiatives Linking Land Use and Transportation

- MPO Remote Work Survey

- Transportation Demand Management Ordinance

- Overview of On-street Parking Restrictions and Potential Changes

- Potential Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Overlay


Thursday October 29


6p – 8p  Join the Online Workshop: 


The current Law Park planning project is expanding to include the John Nolen Drive causeway path and northern portion of Olin Park. Building on the previous community engagement for the park, the Madison Parks Division is holding a workshop for the expanded project area – please help envision the future by participating in the virtual community workshop. The revised study area now includes over 1.4 miles of Lake Monona shoreline and 14 acres of parkland. The original project area for the report included Law Park, the air space over John Nolen Drive (east and west of the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center), and a public access easement connection to E. Wilson Street. With the reconstruction of John Nolen Drive anticipated sometime after 2025, expanding the planning scope for the Law Park project is an opportunity to develop a cohesive vision for the shore of Lake Monona. Revised Study Area PDF  The previous community outreach for Law Park in 2019 is now Phase 1, with Phase 2  for the John Nolen Drive and Olin Park expanded area starting this fall. The new engagement work will build upon the previously collected community input and our consultant team is currently organizing a virtual community workshop and stakeholder meetings. The Law Park - Preliminary Report is a pre-design document to gather public input on desired improvements and provide a comprehensive site inventory and analysis for the study area. The report will serve as the basis of a future masterplan effort for the Law Park/Lake Monona Waterfront, which is anticipated to begin in 2021.


Friday October 30


4:30p the meeting link is not available yet, check Weekly Calendar for zoom link


The Common Council Executive Committee (CCEC) will hold a special meeting at 4:30 pm on Friday, October 30, 2020 to interview the 11 applicants to fill the vacant Aldermanic District 7 seat and make a final recommendation to the Council for appointment at the November 17, 2020 Common Council Meeting. The person selected will serve until the new alder is seated on April 20, 2021.

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