Whoa! The return of the council recap! But, uh, I kinda live blogged it at the meeting and don’t have a ton of time to edit, so its sloppy, but its has returned!
ROLL CALL AND GETTING STARTED
Bruer, Skidmore, Maniaci and Clausius not in the room or missed when roll call was called, everyone showed up eventually.
Shiva Bidar-Sielaff welcomes the new council analyst staff who started on August 28th.
Suspension of the rules passes.
#1 Hispanic Heritage Month – Shiva Bidar-Sielaff reads the resolution. Centro Hispano accepts the proclamation. They thank the Council for allowing them to display the proclamation at Centro HIspano and thanks them for the proclamation. Clapping, passes unanimously.
#2 Congratulating 2012 Miss Viva Mexico – Shiva Bidar-Sielaff reads the resolution. She accepts the proclamation, thanks everyone. Clapping. Mayor asks about people in the audience, she introduces mother and friends in the audience. More clapping. Bidar-Sielaff says that this is the second daughter to win this, and daughter being sworn in as police officer in Sun Prairie today at well. Thanks mom, La Movida, and others. Passes unanimously.
#3 Madison West Rocket Club resolution, Mayor asks them to come up there. Reads the resolution. Struggles to read the names of the team. Makes joke about setting off rockets in the old council chambers (yes, that was actually in the resolution). They thank the mayor and council for the resolution. They raise money by raking leaves in the fall and thanks the community for letting them do that. Reads quote about greatness and their hard work. Mayor asks them to tell them what year they are in school and plans for the future. All council members added as sponsors, asks for one copy of resolution for each of the students and resolution passes unanimously.
EARLY COMMENT/CONSENT AGENDA
No early comments.
Bidar-Sielaff explains the consent agenda and how items are placed on it. 4 – 10 for public hearings, extra-majority 41, 42 and 107 are unanimous vote, exclusion 91, 5 and 37 have speaker. Subeck asks for 48. 31 and 108 and 109 are added by Rodes-Conway. Rhodes-Conway votes no on 44.
#4 – Vote on report but recessed the hearing?
#5 – Open public hearing, recess the hearing, its approval. One person to speak in support, its a member of the development team, the architect. Explains a bit about the project, very short. Closes public hearing, motion to approve and passes unanimously on a voice vote.
#6 – 8 – Opens and closes the hearings, moves the recommendations of ALRC, passes on a voice vote with no discussion.
#9 – Substitute, open and close hearings, reopens it, recesses the hearing til Sept 18th after some debate about when the next meeting is. Passes unanimously.
#10 – Opens hearing, registrant available to answer questions, there are none, motion made following plan commission recommendations, pubic hearing closed, passes on voice vote.
#13 is a presentation on opiate use, have to reconsider it so they can have the presentation. Reconsideration passes, they move to receive the report. Cheryl Wittke gives the overview. Shows the video after technical difficulties. Offers to answer questions. Mayor says that this year the deaths has slowed. Wittke says that she is not sure she can attribute it to this work, but asks what we can do to work with youth. She says don’t have medicines at home, use the MedDrop sites. Also asks people to learn signs and symptoms. Mayor asks if this stems from things as innocent as a sports injury. Wittke says yes, could have a knee injury, get addicted and move on to heroin because it is cheaper. Lisa Subeck asks why narcan drug is controversial and what state law changes need to happen. Wittke says that they are working to get the drug approved, and that it is used to reduce the deaths. Report is received.
#31 – Move to accept the report on if they should have staff do security in parking ramps instead of hiring an outside service. Satya Rhodes-Conway wanted to make sure the discussion at the Board of Estimates was communicated to staff and that the council knew about it. She explains that they have been back and forth with staff and the union. They asked for more study. Asks finance director about what is underway and how to accomplish this. He says they need to step back and look at how parking operations and security are operating in other places in the country and other departments in the city They need to give the council options. Rhodes-Conway thanks the cashiers for coming up with this way to save the city money. It may or may not work out, but she is encouraged by their efforts and encourages other staff to do so as well. Report is adopted.
#37 – Move approval to buy Truman Olson. Registration form Allen Barkoff, supporting and wishing to speak. Barkoff says that he supports Truman Olson purchase, but not the vision. He says it should be a homeless day center instead of businesses and an apartment building. Homeless services are scattered all over the city. Many others are doing a day center. Barkoff quotes Steve Schooler support of this site as homeless services, he doesn’t support the Porchlight model, but it would be good if Porchlight had some competition. The county will be offering to purchase a building if the city supplies operating funds. The cost to extend the road could pay for years of operating costs. We are developing many other parcels and we are asking for one piece of property, for those who in parks, bushes etc and these are people who are not alcoholics or mentally ill. Many have jobs, there are services for the others. Steve King asks about demolition of the apartment building. Don Marx (Real Estate) says they are not, Rob Phillips says they have to look at all the options.
#48 – Move to approve repeal of the prevailing wage ordinance due to state pre-emption. Lisa Subeck asks what happens if they don’t repeal it. Michael May says that they can’t enforce it, it makes more sense to take those ordinances off the books so we don’t confuse the public. Subeck says that she has concerns about laws we passed to make sure we follow good practices like with prevailing wages when using city money. She feels uncomfortable repealing the law and taking what they are telling us what to do. Doesn’t think we should enforce it, but uncomfortable repealing it since some of those efforts might be repealed at the state level and then we would have to pass the laws again. She would prefer that we keep it on the books.
Mayor says that in regards to this and the housing ordinances, which are more complicated since they are intertwined. He asks for a referral, to create a section of city ordinances for ordinances pre-empted by the state that we can’t enforce, that way they would be clear and identifiable and if by some good fortune the legislature would repeal the statutes that created these dilemmas we would have them on the books.
Bridget Maniaci asks about the 30 years of tenant protections that she was asked to sponsor to wipe out, and says she asked a similar question, nothing came of it.
Michael May says it is not something he has looked at, the housing ones are more problematic, they are taking out clauses here and there, but not opposed to referral to look at it.
Maniaci asks another question I couldn’t hear, alders talking to staff and making noise. I think she suggested a note in there, May seems to prefer mayor’s option.
Maniaci says that she supports referral, she has distaste for removing these ordinances and won’t support such efforts in the future. Supports referral.
#91 – Mike Verveer moves to adopt substitute fixing our ordinance requiring landlords to accept Section 8 and removing protections for tenants about social security numbers and arrest and conviction records due to state pre-emption, asks to adopt it tonight, not only given the discussion they just had, he thought it was coincidental that the prevailing ordinance was there, but he says the fix here is different form teh prevailing wage issue, its is a fix with less damage to our protections. He explains Wis. Act 108 (SB107 which the council opposed) removed some of our protections for tenants, but with the help of affordable housing and tenants rights attorney, Dept of Civil Rights and other we have worked to mitigate the damage done by the state. They are proposing a new protected class to augment the existing protected class, on page 2 of substitute you can see the language. The substitute is stronger than recommended unanimously by the EDC. Notes that staff are here to answer questions, and says if the mayor’s idea works, he would like to see sections of chapter 32 could be codified there, but it is important to make these fixes tonight to enforce the law.
Subeck says she is reading the substitute, clarifies that the conviction record and social security number would be removed but would keep in place the rental assistance (Section 8) piece. Hearing this idea, what is your comfort level in moving forward, is there urgency. Lucia Nunez says there is and that making it clear in the ordinances allows them to take complaints about the rental assistance.
Scott Resnick asks why they can’t take the complaint. Lucia Nunez from Equal Opportunities Division/Department of Civil Rights says the state law removes the protection for housing, but not employment. Nunez says the state law prohibits them from having anything stronger than state law. Mayor says that unless authorization from state they can’t go further than they do, but we can set speed limits. He apologizes for his comment.
Maniaci asks about the rental assistance protected class – Nunez says section 8 has always had some confusion and case law says it is not income.
May says it previously had section 8 as part of income, but cases ruled repeatedly said it wasn’t income, he thinks the old law doesn’t protect people the way we thought it was. We wanted to protect the section 8 and so they made it its own protection. We saved it for use for EOC.
Maniaci asks about other issues of requiring co-signers or a certain amount of income, would this protect people.
May says it might.
Maniaci asks if they are getting these cases?
Nunez says for arrest and conviction record they have had to turn people away, they get few housing cases.
Maniaci asks if they are tracking people who are turned away?
Nunez says they log all cases.
Motion passes unanimously on a voice vote.
#108 & 109 – Schmidt moves approval of a staff position for the Parks Foundation Rhodes-Conway has questions for staff. She asks if this person works for city or the foundation. Kevin Briski, Parks Superintendent talks about the foundation and what it has done, the parks foundation has been looking at its mission. Talks about how the parks foundation and other models are set up – like the library board and Olbrich. They did research about other foundations, including the schools and chose a hybrid. To have an Executive Director to do fundraising activities on a daily basis, but they chose a limited term position of 4 years so that it goes away, they need 2 – 3 years to establish a foundation with the business model they have and they need to get that off the ground instead of doing it part time. Position is paid for by park foundation, not taxes.
Rhodes-Conway asks how the position is being managed. Briski says that in other areas there were no agreements in place with the city, they created an agreement that is what is in the legislative files. Position would revert to foundation in 4 years. The person would be managed by Briski. Money raised will go in the foundation account, but the money comes back to us to fund our projects. This would support a neighborhood effort for a project and look at grants.
Rhodes-Conway asks what role the parks foundation board has. During the 2 – 4 year period how would they take it over if they are working for us and report to you. How does the board get ready to take them on. Briski says it is like the Olbrich position. The board and he set goals and manage the issues that come up.
Subeck asks some questions, I gotta admit, I got bored and stopped listening. Missed some there. Subeck is asking if other cities do it this way. Briski says they do it many different ways. Maniaci and Subeck asks questions about how this person will set priorities for projects if the parks commission isn’t setting those goals. Missed a bunch more. Mayor says that when someone gives a gift and they put conditions on it, if we accept the gift we have to honor it, the best example is the Vilas family. He says that is why we can’t charge for the zoo. We also have to abide by policy and we can’t do a project just because we got a gift and gifts cannot determine the priorities, because what happens if a neighborhood can’t raise the matching money. The parks commission and board of estimates and the council make the final determinations. That is why we would ask that before any giving campaign is started that the donors check with the city to make sure it is consistent with our priorities and we may have this issue coming up. Maniaci asks what happens if the city priorities don’t match the donors and people in the neighborhood’s wishes. How will the board function if it is not syncing up with the establishment list that the staff has outlined. Mayor says if the foundation is out their raising funds for something the city doesn’t want, there will be a collision and at the point they will have to convince the council that they chose the right decision, there is no way to prevent that. Rhodes-Conway says that what the mayor says makes sense, but does not match what Briski said. If they raise money for something not in our CIP she says Briski says that staff and commission makes that determination. Rhodes-Conway is interrupting the mayor. Mayor says if no contingencies, then the foundation would pass the money without contingencies. Briski says that there was a contingency on the Tenney gift. Rhodes-Conway says that it sounds like the foundation has no control, they are paying for us to hire someone to raise money for our priorities and they have no control over it. In 4 years they will be unprepared to take on the staff position. Mayor says he is confused by the question, but uses the example that someone gives 1M to tear this building down, then we decide if we think that is good public policy, if we reject it we don’t get the money, we would hope the foundation would be consistent with city policy and that the foundation and director would not embark on capital campaigns without first checking with the city.
Subeck asks if the board can place additional conditions beyond the donors. Briski says their mission is our mission. Agreement is that when there are those issues it has to be consistent with the city process and the CIP, period. So they would be required to hand the money over to you? Briski says that they would agree about which projects they are fundraising for. Mayor says one word answer, Overture. They agree that is a bad example.
Marsha Rummel talks about the Olbrich arrangement where they have more than one boss. Clausius says that there is a parks foundation member here, he is on the foundation. There are two members of the parks commission that are on there. A lot of the comments and questions could be asked of Olbrich or Library. Parks does not have a fundraising capacity, we are trying to get something started, eventually we hope to have that a free standing operation. We have to start some place. No one is trying to slide something through. He says there is an operating agreement that they worked on for years. He urges them to give them a chance. Mayor says city attorney is explaining why he is confused, there is a distinction over control over the foundation and the employee. WE can’t control the foundation, on the employee it reports to the parks director. Now he is even more convinced the correct answer is Overture.
Sue Ellingson says foundation might have an idea and they can present it to Kevin who can talk to parks commission and it won’t be so rigid in practice.
Maniaci asks about the agreement. May says as a practical matter the employee will not be asked to raise funds for projects the council will not approve. He says that the council maintains final approval.
Blah, blah, blah I’m distracted. Just got a text asking me about a mom with three kids under 6 that would like to be at the campground. Feeling sick. No longer really feeling like paying attention. Children at the campground seems to be a recipe for disaster, as in child protective services taking the kids away. So, um, I’m sorry there is a 20 family waiting list at the Salvation Army, but living in your car on the street or under a bridge is safer for you and your kids than a legal camping spot with running water, flush toilets, showers, electricity and no risk of arrest for simply sleeping because you will just draw attention to yourself and social workers will come and “help” you. No, I’m not bitter, not at all. Ok, back to kinda paying attention.
Clear says he is not concerned about a rogue parks foundation. He says they are way off track worrying about that, but is worried about having multiple masters. He was convinced this would work. Asks them to support it, thinks they did a good job of addressing issues. Rhodes-Conway says that the foundation needs staff, they should have bigger bolder mission and staff will help make that happen, the only issue is that this person should not be a city employee. Took a break to make a call. Brain is stuck thinking about this family . . . .
The motions pass.
Next council meeting starts at 7 due to Rosh Hashanah, they as for introductions from the floor. 2 items introduced from the floor. They adjourn.
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