We finally have the Health and Human Needs amendments available to the public, and this will be the last time we get to speak, even tho it is the first time we actually have amendments and can see what they are voting on. Sigh . . . probably doesn’t matter, they have already made up their minds. However, expect maybe one more amenmdment! (See below) They can still bring any amendments they want at future personnel and finance meetings or at the county board – but we won’t be able to speak to them.
Anyways, I double checked! We should be able to speak. The chair of the committee and the chair of the county board have said we will be able to speak. I guess that doesn’t prevent the committee from doing something different on a whim, but I don’t expect they will. I can’t figure out how they decide to follow their own rules or not, but even tho the budget has been on the Personnel and Finance agenda for multiple meetings, we can still speak to it.
From: Brenda Konkel
Date: Fri, Nov 1, 2013 at 6:24 PM
Subject: guidance please
To: firstname.lastname@example.org, Dennis O’Loughlin
, John Hendrick
Sharon, Denny, John -
So, last Wednesday at the Health and Human Needs Committee the public was not allowed to speak to the budget amendments. The previous week there were not enough copies of the amendments so people were not allowed to see them. I was not allowed to speak because I spoke to a different item on the agenda item – I have no idea where that rule came from. They promised to put the amendments on the website, they did not appear before Wednesday’s meeting. (They are finally there now, thank you! But it is a little late.) And when we showed up last Wednesday, again, there were not enough copies for the public. Most of the public has never seen the Health and Human Needs amendments. On Wednesday a 70 year old woman traveled from an outlying area of Dane County to testify and was turned away. Worse yet, while the chair told us to write our comments on the blue slips, the blue slips were not shown to the committee members or read aloud, before or after they voted, even when a member of the public was urging them to read them aloud, they adjourned instead.
Obviously, this has people upset.
I see that at Personnel and Finance you have resolutions 151, 152 and 153. Those resolutions also appeared on the Oct 29 and Oct 30 agendas (see attached). Does this mean that you will follow
DCO 7.225 PUBLIC APPEARANCES AT COMMITTEE MEETINGS.
(2)(a) If a committee has taken testimony on an item and the same committee considers action on the item at a separate meeting, the public shall not have the opportunity to testify if that same item appears on subsequent agendas of the same committee.
Or will the public be allowed to testify? Will it require a suspension of the rules – meaning the motion could fail like it did at HHN? Do you really want us to wait til the board meeting to testify, or would we be denied there too? Are you no longer allowing public testimony on the budget?
I got two pretty prompt responses:
from: Sharon Corrigan
to: Brenda Konkel
cc: John Hendrick
date: Fri, Nov 1, 2013 at 6:39 PM
subject: Re: guidance please
We will be taking testimony on HHN related budget items on November 4 when HHN is on our agenda.
from: John Hendrick
to: Brenda Konkel
date: Fri, Nov 1, 2013 at 8:30 PM
subject: Re: guidance please
The county board rules contemplate that each committee and the board allow one opportunity for public testimony on an item. If HHN has a hearing on all of the budget, they don’t need to take testimony at a subsequent meeting. If P&F allows testimony on each section of the budget, they can later have work sessions at which no public testimony is allowed.
The Board has already held several hearings on the budget, so no testimony will be allowed on November 18th.
Amendments of interest are:
HHN 3 – Expenditures be increased by $68,033 for additional support of Briarpatch programs for homeless and runaway youth.
HHN 6 – Increase expenditures and borrowing proceeds in the capital budget by $650,000 to allow the purchase of rental housing and add the following language to Res. 152: “Using the $650,000 provided in the budget for the purchase of rental housing, the county shall purchase and remodel and/or repair one or more properties. These properties will be leased to and operated by the Dane County Housing Authority as affordable rental property. The Dane County Housing Authority shall prioritize as allowable under law, renting units to tenants with section 8 housing vouchers.”
HHN 8 – Adds $25,000 to address unmet needs of the homeless. (Adds $25,000 to address unmet needs of the homeless , as determined by the Health and Human Needs committee in consultation with SHINE Initiative.)
HHN 9 – Adds $150,000 to fund the operations of a permanent comprehensive day resource center for the homeless from June-December (This represents a combined contribution between thed City of Madison $50,000, The County $50,000 and others private partners of $50,000 for the 2014 operating costs.)
HHN 15 – Increase revenue from private donations in the amount of $75,000 and expenditures by $75,000 for rehabilitation of the day resource center facility.
And, expect an amendment to add money for the Permanent, Comprehensive Day Center – sounds like the MARC building may be falling through and they want a contingency plan . . . maybe we can get it closer to downtown so the transportation won’t be such a hurdle! You may want to add this if you testify.
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