Some day I will perfect the skill of being in two places at once and it won’t take me three days to blog one meeting! Here’s the final amendments.
Amendment No. 33
Agency: Economic Development Division
Sponsors: Ald. Solomon
Restore and provide full-year funding for a 1.0 FTE Job Development Specialist to focus on job creation for low income individuals. The position will help ensure that City policies and economic development activities promote income generating opportunities for low income / low skill individuals in the City.
Motion and second. Solomon says this is hard to do after what we just talked about, he’s the only sponsor, but he points out that they passed it unanimously on the Board of Estimates last year, there was a spirited debate at the council. The only reason it is on the agenda this year is that we left the position vacant for a year. If it was not vacant, there would be a person in the position and we would not be having this discussion. He works in the executive branch, he knows how difficult it it to have competing priorities especially when there is no position description, he isn’t blaming staff for not filling the position, but we decided this was a priority a year ago and it remains a priority, he doesn’t know how we can sit here and talk about services for low-income people and homelessness and other issue when we know the best solution would be a job. I know jobs is not the priority of the city, it falls to the city and state but it impacts the city. We agreed last time this was the time to do it, and its more critical now. He pledged last year to help staff get this person up and running, and he will still do it. He has 5 months left on the council and he will spend that time helping fill the position and he will work on it after he is on the council. Aaron Olver spoke about bringing on someone from WIBBIC and we spoke about the person focusing on entrepreneurialship and maybe we don’t need to do that now that we have them on staff, but we do have a number of employers who have a problem taking on someone who is different than them, and we have a number of programs that are trying to train people on basic life skills and workforce readiness programs and we don’t have a good connection between the communities they work in, the programs and the employers and that is where Economic Development can come in. We talked about it as one of the things that they can do, we can narrow that down, we can bring someone on that can do this. This is one of the biggest things we can do for our low-income communities, and this shouldn’t even be before us if the position was filled.
Motion fails on a voice vote.
Amendment No. 34
Agency: Community Development Division
Sponsors: Ald. Rhodes-Conway
Provide funding for a new 0.50 FTE Outreach Worker position for the Brentwood/Northport Corridor Neighborhood Resource Team area.
Rhodes-Conway says that these next two items are her priorities. She offers to take the two items together, the seconder objects, so she speaks to the two items at one and they will vote separately. The first amendment is for a half-time outreach worker to work with neighborhood resource team. They would connect young people to afterschool and summer activities. That has been a problem since she has represented the neighborhood. Every spring we get the alert, ohmigod, the kids don’t have anything to do to connect them to programming and they are going to be in the streets this summer. She says the time to worry is now, every spring and summer there is a massive flurry of activity and we figure it out and we get most of the kids connected to something for the summer but it is haphazard and slap-dash, but what we need to do is have someone focus on this and make a plan. Her perfect world is that this person works themselves out of a job in a year or two and then maybe moves on to another neighborhood. She says it was her obligation is to bring it forward, she says that this will make such a difference for this community that you have heard is struggling to come together and make itself a better place but they don’t have the resources. It is also a recommendation from the neighborhood resource team, they asked for a full time person. She asks for their support.
Agency: Community Development Division
Sponsors: Ald. Rhodes-Conway
Provide funding to lease and operate a shared, common space for a number of City agencies, neighborhood groups, and social service agencies to coordinate services provided to the Northside of the City. This funding is for one-year only. Funding is to be derived by application of $72,000 of the remaining 2012 bond premium.
Rhodes-Conway says that this was another of the requests for the Brentwood area, it will serve the whole northside, this is a shared space that is an office for police, JFF, UW-Extension, they need a place to be. Neighborhood Association, resource team and Brentwood Coalition would also use the space. By having the space proximate to each other and interacting they can better coordinate services for Brentwood, but also for the whole northside. This is for one year, she hopes in a year they could either have a neighborhood center or make significant progress in changing things that they can use the Warner Park center, it is overprogrammed and there is no space, or convince the private sector to fund this. If none of these things happen we can have that discussion next year. This won’t have the impact a neighborhood worker would have, but it will have an impact.
Weier asks about getting space at 1202 Northport. Rhodes-Conway says something off mic I can’t hear which I think was explaining why not. Weier says it is between several troubled areas.
Solomon asks if it is just a one roon space, thinks the number is high.
Rhodes-Conway says there is no space chosen, if it passes she would have real estate help find a suitable space, there are spaces available that vary in quality and price and we could get something cheaper, at this point that work isn’t done, but they will try to get some donated space.
Aye: Rhodes-Conway, Solomon, Verveer, Bidar-Sielaff
Amendment No. 36
Agency: Community Development Division
Sponsors: Alds. Schmidt, Phair, Subeck, Bidar-Sielaff, Clear, Rhodes-Conway, Verveer
Provide funding for the Committee on Aging’s highest priority B-list recommendations, which restores three A-list programs to their 2012 levels. All other A-list programs in the “Aging” goal are a were provided their 2012 allocation by the Committee on Aging. With the growing population of seniors in Madison, these services remain a priority. A total of $38,378 shall be allocated to the programs as listed below.
Motion to approve passes without debate
Amendment No. 37
Sponsors: Ald. Palm
Provide funding to expand youth/teen services by adding two middle/high school floater librarians. This expansion allows the branch libraries to better serve underserved youth in middle and high school, reduce behavior incidents in the branch libraries with frequent unsupervised youth/teen use, and increase programming in branch libraries and neighborhoods.These floating positions would be allocated based upon need in the afternoon, evening and weekend branch hours.
Palm has a substitute for one middle school librarian for $66,650. Seconded.
Palm says that they have had discussions here, one of his advocacies is to improve library services throughout Madison and this is about opportunities for youth, this is a floater position so they can be in different areas at different times. He says they could also use more help in the summer, which is why it is hard to hire just one person.
3-3 tie, chair doesn’t vote, motion fails.
Amendment No. 38
Sponsors: Ald. Palm
Provide funding to expand Meadowridge Library. In light of recent public discussions about the expansion of the Meadowridge Library, this amendment is proposed to cover the expected additional costs. Without these funds, it would not be likely to open an expanded branch library in 2013. Even with additional funding, the Library Board has an established branch location/expansion policy that would need to be followed prior to expending any funds. A capital budget amendment will be needed to provide funding for facility improvements. The additional estimated cost for the facility operating costs only (excluding the additional staff) is estimated at $713,566 for the ten year period 2014-2023.
Move to approve and second.
Rhodes-Conway asks a question of staff and as they come up to answer it, Soglin asks for an update on where they are on the budget.
Schmeidicke says that they still have one item to go, he says that based on everything that passed and the maximum levy limit, we are $235,864 under the maximum use. There is 278,000 of the unused premium, assuming the last amendment passes.
Rhodes-Conway is not asking about the need, that was demonstrated in email, but about timeliness. Is there an opportunity that will be missed if we don’t ask now and the library planning process and it not being a priority since it wasn’t in the planning. Also, would there need to be a capital amendment.
Library staff says there is a window of opportunity, part of the issue is the interest of the neighborhood in light of Ace Hardware departing, they haven’t had any discussion with the landlords. Regarding the siting guidelines, they are working on it and developing criteria for the library to determine what would be a good place – that will go forward on November 1 for them to adopt. According to the criteria they have now, Meadowridge would meet the criteria they will forward to the board.
Will there be a capital amendment? Yes, a comparable situation was at Lakeview and that was $970,000 in 2002-2003.
Rhodes Conway asks if it is 6,000 square feet and going to 9,000 square feet, right? Yes. How does that compare to other libraries. He says Lakeview is 9,000.
Mayor says that there are other things going on, this will be in flux between now and when the council adopts the budget and maybe afterwards. He says they have three spaces, the existing space, the 3000 square feet of the neighborhood center next door and the Ace Hardware space. The question is if the neighborhood center can move into Ace Hardware and then the library can expand into their space. The school district has already committed to the costs to pay for the cost to run the bigger space for the neighborhood center. So, if they help with the capital costs, the school district will pay to operate it. Mayor says that the proportional increase will mean that the operating costs go up more, but it will be more engagement.
Library staff says that they expect tremendous increase in usage after it is expanded. They can increase programming, more space for more materials and computers and services so it is more valuable to the neighborhood. They saw this at Lakeview, 50% increase in materials was a 200% increase in adult usage. Mayor points out they have money for neighborhood centers in the budget of a little over $2M and that could cover Brentwood, Meadowood and library and Teresa Terrace and they could still have funds left over for Park Ridge/McKenna area, but then there is operating budget issues. They may have a donor for helping with operating costs and Meadowood is covered, then that might free up funds without crossing the levy limit, so they might be able to do that.
Rhodes-Conway asks about the fundraising for Lakeview, is there anticipated a community based campaign to help fund the expansion. She is worried about it being unfair to ask some neighborhoods to raise funds and not others. Her neighborhoods have had to raise money both times, and people have a bigger investment in the things they fundraised for. She thinks tho, that there should be equity. She also says she will abstain because there are too many moving pieces and she says they should get more info and vote in November.
Library staff says that they have a friends group, he was at a community event and the friends group was there to support the event, got 6 new members and there was tremendous support for the project.
Clausius asks about an internal task force looking at expansions and if we do this project, are we getting ahead of the curve on this.
He says that this will be discussed with the board on November 1st and that they would have to weigh in even if this is approved.
Phair says that there are a lot of moving points, we have been working on it. He wasn’t going to put an amendment forward, I think to give reassurance that there would be funds available. He was floored by all the emails they have gotten. Some other businesses are leaving too and they have an opportunity to reinvigorate the shopping mall. There has been a lot of advocacy for the library. The library is small and not fun to be in. Its one room with a bunch of stacks and tiny kid area. It’s about the construction of the space, people will come and hang out if it is more functional. This isn’t just a library, but rehabilitating a neighborhood. There are other things like code enforcement, police etc that will help with that.
Mayor says that unlike the council, you don’t have to adopt a budget within the levy limit, but he would advise it.
Weier says that she helped with Lakeview fundraising and they raised more than they had to and nothing in all the emails said anything about them fundraising for the library.
Phair says that is a good point. There is a friends group and he will talk to them, they area hasn’t raised a lot of money around anything and they can start that.
Palm says the library board is unique, we get the money from the city, we have our own reserve fund and we operate independently. That is why he was trying to be circumspect to the library board. They usually do follow the city, but they have the final save. A few years ago Meadowridge was a possibility a few years ago and we passed it up because we couldn’t find anything and that is why it is in the queue later. They had other opportunities they were planning for. Having a different space changing everything. He doesn’t know what they will do, but they can’t do anything unless there is financial support. Regarding fundraising, Lakeview was a pioneer in fundraising and they had a matching portion in the budget. It was rigorous at Sequoyia. South Madison has a lower amount and they got money from foundations. We did not raise money for operating, that was on the capital side, so that isn’t germane to the conversation, but it will be when the capital amendment comes through. Palm says we are also raising money for the central library. They have done well with that but that means less for others. Palm wants this to be voted on to give guidance and remember it was passed over a few years ago due to lack of opportunities.
Motion passes unanimously with the abstention.
RECONSIDERATION OF 34
Palm moves reconsideration of 34. No discussion, motion carries.
Palm wants to change his vote.
Mayor says there are 2 no’s, motion carries. It was previously 3-3.
BUDGET AS AMENDED
They vote to send it to the council as amended, passes unanimously.
Schmiedicke reviews the numbers again.
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