Essentially a live blog – I’m not going back to edit . . . sorry. That means less detail, more typos and shorter . . . but done! Not going to let the perfect be the enemy of the good
ROLL CALL AND GETTING STARTED
The mayor explains that with the new system they don’t need to repeat the roll call, the new system it should be clear. He also reminds them these are very powerful microphones. Everyone present except Cnare. He says happy new year to everyone as the Jewish New Year comes to a close.
Mayor asks if they can take up item 10 before 8, he mentions it could be a long night. Mayor mentions these are new remodeled chambers and they have a new sound system, good luck to all of us.
Shiva Bidar Sielaff notes that Cnare and Solomon are excused and will be late. She also says that there will be new seats in the future.
Mayor says that both microphones work and they can go to either side and says he will call several names at a time so they can line up.
Bidar-Sielaff says that they need to press the mic buttons, but the electronic voting does not work. The mic will come on when the chair allows you to speak.
Mayor says the chair has a picture of you and a clock that says how long it is since you took over the floor.
Poet Laureate Wendy Vardaman
She is the second of two poet laureates and they will be doing this on a quarterly basis. She thanks them for making space for poetry. She is looking forward to introducing them to new voices. She says that the poem who is about someone who is important to her family. It’s an ode to a crossing guard. Sorry, can’t capture it all, you will have to go listen to it on the video recording.
Mayor thanks her and says that they look forward to their return.
They make the usual motion and it passes without comment.
Proclamation to protect ground water
Jill Johnson asks them all to be added, no one reads it, motion passes seemingly unanimously.
10 Year Anniversary of the Thai Pavilion
Marsha Rummel reads the resolution. Proclamation given to Kevin Briski the Parks Superintendent. He says thanks and invites them to join them on Sunday for the celebration. Mayor thanks everyone who made it happen 10 years ago and those who continue to support it today. Sue Ellingson asks for everyone to be added as a sponsor.
Bidar-Sielaff explains what the consent agenda is, after noting that they don’t have a clock in the room. She says that it will be
4 – public hearing
18 and 19 are the extra-majority items that will be considered unanimous. She reads the final numbers.
23 – is also an extra-majority item that will be considered unamimous.
54 is on the consent agenda with change in referral from BOE to CCOC, with agreement from the sponsor.
Exclusion list – 8, 10, 47
Everything on the agenda passes as recommended except the above.
Ali Brooks a youth organizer in South Madison brings kids along with her and talks about her work on youth and poverty. She is advocating for funds for duplex on Teresa Terrace for a community gathering space. She talks about the mobility and poverty in the area. She says there are lots of kids with nothing to do. She mentions the youth activity days where they blocked off the streets to have a place to hold them. She says she works at several community centers in that area and that under-used because of lack of transportation. Also, there is strong leadership in the area. She invited the kids to speak. They talk about being bored after school and how they pick up trash to keep it clean in the area. They want an area to play and have fun and do activities. Mayor invites those who didn’t speak to come back in October. Another youth comes forward, but then doesn’t want to speak.
Other Registrations on Item 4
Tamara Party – Block captain for Teresa Terrace and she or her family has been in the neighborhood for over 20 years. She says she was talking to landlords about their properties and she noted that one was vacant and she thought it would be a good community center. Many have talked about the idea, neighbors are excited about it, 30 – 50 kids have been participating in their activities. This is the only logical way to address issues caused by zoning 30 years ago – to stabilize the community and prevent crime. She says one of the large issues is the number of little kids and traffic issues and 3 miles to a large neighborhood center, and 1.5 miles to Meadowood.
Gloria Meyer – She is there to ask for $250K of $2M for neighborhood centers. She says there is a huge need, Falk School has a high number of kids that are low-income (missed the number), talks about activities that they funded on garage sales and car washes, but they need more. They had various science and art activities and games and they had almost no money, but now is the time for something more regular. Kids need activities and tutoring and mentoring, they need it in the neighborhood because many don’t have cars. If we can bring services to the neighborhood then we will have a fighting chance of making a difference. They spent under $1000 this summer, and they are at the end of that. When you consider that money, think of use.
Sherry Schwartz – lives close to Teresa Terrace, worked on arts and crafts and food for the summer, got to know the neighborhood and was privileged to be part of the activities. She sees three things coming together that makes this makes sense. There are problems, potential and the property. Police and poverty statistics show the serious problems in the neighborhood, it is very concentrated. She also sees great potential, with a garage sale and car washes the community was able to fund activities every afternoon with a nutritious meal. She sees a lot of commitment to the kids and the neighborhood house. The duplex could be a focal point. The property is for sale and it is in the perfect location. It is valuable to have it right where the needs are. She says that the kids don’t use the Meadowood Center, it is too far to go on their own.
Valerie Vance – Thanks them for being able to speak, this is very important to us. She lives in the heart of this area, everyone has said the information about us. She says this is important because the children that were here, she was so proud of them, but these children if they had opportunity to have classes about how to speak and how to come before people and know what to say what is in their hearts, they haven’t been given the opportunities that other kids have had. Everything that happens, happens in front of her home, she sees kids fighting, stopped them, asked them why, they say they have nothing to do. This goes beyond a community center, we need to change some things and empower the neighborhood so it can be a great community and the youth can become great leaders. We also have to change the adults, but the adults change by watching the children. We need to work with them now to stop it. She says she has stopped crime in the neighborhood, they need crisis solutions. We need trust and they need to believe in themselves. They can go to other community centers, but this needs to start at home.
James Hardy – in support not wishing to speak.
Kevin Wineout – lives in the neighborhood and he is in support of more moderately cost neighborhood house, but he has comments about some other options in the budget for other centers. He opposes the $900K proposal for restaurant by Elver Park referenced on page 133. We have seen no plan, no operating budget, no indication of who would run it. It would be too far to walk. He also opposes the spray or splash park for Elver Park and others in the budget, at the current time, adding general obligation debt can’t be justified, but adds voice to others to the immediately available center for their neighborhood.
One of the alders says there is no $900K proposal for Elver – Matt Phair?
EARLY COMMENT ON REST OF THE AGENDA
Mayor says they refer the budget back to the Board of Estimates
Rebecca Wheeler – in support of TPC recommendation on number 47.
Dee Packlehofer is a driver and dispatcher for Union Cab. She wants drivers to be allowed to drive on State St. in evenings. She is adamant about stopping drunk drivers. She is concerned about people so intoxicated that they can hardly walk and those who are afraid to walk by them. She wants them to see her before they get to the car and so people can get their intoxicated friend where they need to go. She wants to get to the drivers before they get to the cars, to remove people from State St. before they cause problems. Supports Transit and Parking Commission and being able to drive on State St. 7pm – 4 am. They mostly don’t drive there til 10pm except maybe on game day.
ACCEPTANCE OF REPORT ON EMERALD ASH BORER
They take this item out of order, Bidar-Sielaff and Schmidt make and second the motion and it passes to take it out of order.
Sue Ellingson has a constituent who is a plant pathologist at the UW and would like to start treating her tree in May or June and we had some email conversation about why can’t we start it in May of 2013.
Kevin Briski refers to Marla Eddy. Eddy is from City Forestry. She says the recommendations that they have forwarded are primarily related to UW-Extension and one of the local entimologist who has put together a guide and the recommendation is not to do treatment unless we are in quarantine or within 15 miles, that is the same as the national recommendation. The interest is going through a certain company and measuring the results and not treating with chemicals when chemicals are not needed.
Ellingson says that her constituent talks about the chemical that does not contaminate the soil and water and doesn’t see a downside except the expense.
Eddy says that there are two chemicals they are considering and at this point going with the recommendations is what the task force determined as far as what the trigger would be based on an expert they worked with.
Mike Verveer says he requested it be separated to have the members of the task force to explain how the recommendations evolved over time, he asks her to explain that. They got an email and have a hard copy, but he was particularly interested in the recommendation about chemical treatment for terrace trees. Could you go through the changes.
Eddy says the basis for changes was on page 2 on the recommendations. One of the items identified was looking for stronger language for the chemical treatment program, so they added item 4, saying it would be a trunk injections instead of soil drench and when the treatments would kick in. They also added info about licensed contractors being available through the city program. They also identified what “adopt-a-tree” meant and when it would be available. Those were the main items.
Verveer asks if anyone else has to add anything. Karl VanLithe says that they will come up with additional guidelines and work with neighborhoods on the terrace tree issues. The trigger point is 15 miles based on the experts and if they treat when they find it they have plenty of time to make it work.
Verveer thanks the members of the task force for their years of work and their research and expertise. He thanks them for the stronger language to protect the urban forest. He urges support.
Bridget Maniaci asks what the water and wild life protection zones are. Any park, any public green space or is there a specific map.
Someone says something that makes no sense.
So they are 100 feet of surface water or wellhead protection zones? Yes, he says.
Manaici wants to know how it impacts her district. Johnson St. in particular, she says trees will be removed during construction and what does that mean on 2014? Will you remove all the Ash trees under the power lines or will that be phased, she has gotten different answers from Engineering and Forestry.
Eddy says that poor condition trees, the first wave through they evaluate trees as they currently exist, are the 30% or more in decline. If the tree is compromised they won’t be able to take on the chemical and be healthy enough to ward off infestation. That already happens on engineering project, they would be taken out. The ability to remove additional trees would be an opportunity for a good condition ash tree they would be able to have the adjacent property owner say ok for it to come down so that they can get a new tree, that would provide for canopy replacement. The next way to evaluate it is for the trees that are under the transmission lines, electrical conductors, they look at the canopy and how much has been headed away and would they be able to take chemicals, they are at risk. How that looks is difficult to say until they look at it. Some trees are already compromised and have trunk damage.
Maniaci asks about the red dots and if they would all be removed.
Eddy says there is no specific answer without an evaluation being done, it is under design adn there are design considerations as well.
Maniaci asks how that decision is made.
Rob Phillips from City Engineering says there would be public input during design project. He says typically the decisions are jointly made, but they are forestry’s trees and they are the agency in charge. They jointly make the decision after public input.
ADDITIONAL EARLY REGISTRATIONS ON ITEM 47
Three people give input – all males, if that matters. An ASM rep says they are focusing on safety this year and how having a cab available for new students who don’t know their way around. A grad student also interested in campus safety speaks in support. There is increased crime and safe transportation options are decreasing and they need to give students responsible options to get home. Third student speaks, talks about how intimidating it is to live off campus. Talks about how students need a safe ride home after drinking and how they should drink and drive. He also talks about sexual assault and how unsafe it is to walk home alone.
Ok, I gotta ask, why did these UW students need to speak early? I’m slightly annoyed by that for some reason . . .
Lisa Subeck asks ASM representative about what ASM is doing, UW has cut funding and taxis are one solution, but what are you doing to address this with the university. He says that safe cab is not running, we don’t have a program. There was a situation last year that resulted in that program being eliminated and they are talking to Student Transportation Board and UW Transportation Services to figure out how to get that program back. There are concerns about there being a middle man and there were a lot of dropped calls and mistakes in transfer of information and issues with the system. It never really functioned at its capacity. They will be talking to city and UW to put that in place. Students don’t have anyone to call when walking home alone at night. They will be holding a town hall. Subeck thanks them, mayor cuts her off.
Mayor says that they are in a rush to get out of here.
Maniaci says she is going to go ahead and ask her questions (anyways). She asks if they are looking at funding options for the additional transportation options.
Mayor rules it out of order, this is about taxis on State St., not ASMs program.
Manaici rewords it to ask about concerns about State St. and ASMs funding on State St.
He says yes, this would remove taxis from State St. and it would limit our options further in addition to cuts to bus line 81, they haven’t had opportunity to discuss this yet, but its a huge concern. We are looking at our budgets to see how we can help but we are seeing all kinds of limitations on our options and this is pertinent to that.
Mayor asks about capital budget on 700 and 800 blocks of State St. that is very desolate in the evenings and yet many walk there to the lakeshore dorms and other so he asks if they want to open that up for cabs for safety reasons.
He asks to clarify the question – Mayor re-explains that State St. went to Park not Lake St. He is being very sarcastic about his new concern about safety on Library Mall and asks if they should allow cabs there for safety reasons.
The student says that this is about State St. and he doesn’t understand how it is relevant. Mayor calls Bidar-Sielaff up to the chair, Mayor re-explains. He’s trying to ask if he wants this extended to library mall.
Scott Resnick asks for a point of order.
Bidar-Sielaff tries to re-explain.
The student says that he doesn’t see how it pertains to the agenda item. Bidar-Sielaff asks if cabs should go on library mall and it should be open to traffic. The student says he doesn’t see how this is possible.
Verveer points out that he said the Mayor was passionate on this issue – thanks him for coming to the meeting – asks if when they get to the item, it will not be if they should be there, but at what hour. He wants to know what hour it should be 7pm or 10pm or midnight.
He says that hailing a cab after dinner when parents come to campus would be nice. He says people are offended that they need to know the number for cab and that if their phone is dead they don’t have any safe options. He doesn’t see downside on erring on the side of safety. That was the chair of the legislative committee.
They go on to the panhandling issue . . .
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