James Madison Park Committee given 2.5 months to decide.

Posted May 30th, 2008 @ 11:08 AM by

The boys and I (I’m sorry, but its hard not to notice when there are 8 guys – counting the staff – and me sitting at a table.) finally met! That’s right! The James Madison Park Committee finally met! For one hour. We got some background information, decided we needed more, elected a chair (David Wallner) and vice chair (Phil Hees), got a late breaking memo from the Mayor and adjourned. We decided to meet every two weeks. The next meeting will be a tour of the buildings and then we’ll hear from everyone who already took a position on what should happen to the buildings in the last year in a half to two years. (Parks Commission, the owners of Lincoln School, Tenney Lapham Neighborhood, Capitol Neighborhoods, Madison Historic Trust, etc)

The most ironic part of the meeting, of course, came in the form of the letter from the Mayor. After dinking around forming and appointing the committee since November 2006, a whole lot of blogging (1, 2, 3), budget fights in the fall of 2006 (1, 2) and 2007 (1, 2, 3), projects that were supposed to be funded with the sales proceeds (zoning code re-write) finding other funding sources, delayed repairs to the park and the houses, kicking out a small business (the Collins house bed and breakfast), arguments over funding the affordable housing trust fund, community discussions that have been going on much longer (since at least February 2006), staff members leaving city employment (Warren Kinney) and a false start (2). . . the Mayor gives us a memo dated May 28, 2008 that has this little gem in it.

I would like the process to be smooth, seamless and inclusive. Forwarding recommendations to me in time for the submittal of my 2009 Capital Budget to the Council would accomplish that. The budget is introduced around Labor Day, but my decisions need to be made earlier. Your recommendation will be valuable and it would be best if I could get them by around August 15th.

You gotta be effen kidding me. He stalls for FOUR years (I first suggested selling the properties when I was council president in 2004-2005 for the 2005 budget) and then gives the committee 2.5 months. The 2.5 months when many of the students who heavily use the park are gone and more permanent residents are busy taking advantage of the summer weather and taking vacations. All the while saying he wants the process to be inclusive. To add insult to injury, he picks August 15th, when a large portion of the neighborhood moves, which means the people who will live here in the fall are not going to be included in the discussion.

This oughta be fun. How much you want to bet, he knows what he’s putting in the budget and doesn’t care what our recommendations are or what the people who use the park think?


Categories: | Affordable Housing | James Madison Park

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