County Board (Live-ish) Recap

Posted May 15th, 2014 @ 7:11 PM by

So, a blog post-lite, but here’s the basics. Blogging until. my battery dies . . . since I can’t sit in media row when I speak before the county board . . . so at some point, if I quit, it was nothing about the content of the meeting.

Levin, Ripp, Gillis and Solberg are all absent.

Kyle Richmond does the inspirational, about Silverwood Park and the youth who work there.

They do the pledge of allegiance.

Honoring resolutions for:
– 4H, 100th Anniversary of Wisconsin 4-H

Annnouncements
Pan – asking for a full environmental impact assessment for the pipeline and requesting a DNR hearing in Dane County.
McCartle – bikes being collected in MG&E parking lot for the Dreams program for teams. May 30 from 7:30 – 1.
Chenowith – 200th Anniversary of Norway Independence from Sweeden, Syttende Mai celebration this weekend.
Bayrd – Introducing referendum for November ballot asking voters if they support raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour.
Stubbs – Amendment to have alternate youth member for youth in governance. They currently have two on each committee, but this would be an alternate if one is absent.
Salov – Emergency Medical Services week next week.
Erickson – Visiting artist from Kassal Germany has a reception tomorrow 5 – 7 on Edgewood Campus
Downing – Vehicle fire in his district where there was no fire numbers, he is introducing a resolution for an address for those parcels. Also inviting them to 2014 Spring Art Tour. June 6 – 8.
Schmidt – May 26 is Memorial Day and she invites them to the Monona parade.

Other Items
Introduction of a guest from Turkey, parlimentarian counselor from there.

Approval of payments, bills over $10,000 – Erickson moves, Ferrell seconds, passes.
Claims recommended by denial. Willett moved, passes.

The skip approval of minutes, which they do not have.

F- Consent calendar items F1 – F6, no requests for separation. They adopt all the items.

Zoning Petitions H1 – H7, Miles separates item 6. They pass the committee recommendations unanimously on a voice vote.

H6 – Miles has no issues, just highlights that it is the first use of the zoning district, planned unit development. They have more flexibility for denser and mixed use development, this is one example in the Town of Madison that will become Fitchburg. It’s not perfect, but the process is proving to be a good one.

Stubbs says that this is a food desert. She says they need a grocery store here.

deFelece – says the big box grocery store in his district district that was rammed through, he says they have 4 in a 2 mile radius and he offers her one of his.

The skip the 1490 Martin St. item for now.

Resolution 84 – Chuck Hicklin gives a brief presentation on this item. He says this resolution authorized the issuance of the debt, they will know the results of the sale later. He says there is a list of items to be funded and lists several of the large projects. He says the resolution is a 3/4 roll call vote. No discussion. Roll call vote. Willett, Ferrell vote no. 29 – 2 it passes.

No appointments

2/3 Majority items – they consider them one, record them as unanimous. Kiefer separates 292, Hendrick votes no on 256. It’s recorded as unanimous for the rest.

Electronic Benefit Transfers at the Farmers Market – Richmond says this is cost to continue with the Farmers Market for the rest of the years, it went through a lot of committees, its the SNAP or food stamp program which allows people to use their cards to buy food at the farmers market. Passes voice vote with a few nos, I think Willett asked to be recorded as voting no.

Contracts – Sheriff Office software – passes on a voice vote. Sub 1 moved by Pertl, seconded by Erickson. Passes on voice vote.

PURCHASE OF 1490 MARTIN ST.
Testimony
Jonathan Grieser speaks in support – how long have we been waiting? He says that a solution is within grasp. A permanent day resource center should be downtown. We have been looking for two years, will it magically appear. Will you have the political will from downtown businesses, city staff and the mayor to make it happen. 30 years ago the men’s drop in shelter came for a one year trial basis – our track record is not that great in locating homeless services. He says there is a lot to be done to get it opened. He is not worried about glitches on November 1, he is worried that there won’t be anything by next year.

Matt Kozlowski – Thanks them for their commitment to try to make this happen. Thinks serious concerns, emailed his thoughts. Transportation plan, far from downtown, he biked it, it is further than it seems. We need bus passes, van services, he says that they will pay $1M in 5 years and at 15 years it is $2.7M and that doesn’t include gas increases or bus services rate increases. He says we could be spending that on services instead of buses. He is also worried about public safety, no sprinkler or fire prevention services because of the well water. They ahve said that the lack of water pressure they can’t tap into fire hydrants and have to tank in water. If there are going to be 100 or more people there we can’t have lack of fire services. He is also worried about navigating from Washington through the busy intersections which is scary. Finally, quality of services provided, given water pressure will there be sufficient laundry services, there are only 3 washers and dryers. He is concerned about capacity of the services themselves. We can’t go another winter without services, but you can vote on this in June, county staff said so.

Diedre Atkinson – United Way, she is in support, says over 3,000 people in shelter each year, but the majority is not single homeless persons, it is children. She talks about their investments in Housing First. They have a 80% success rate. She talks about how other communities are reducing homelessness, but it is not happening here. She talks about the 11 best practices and this is one of them. She reads off the 11 best practices. Well placed on the south side of Madison, it is close to other nonprofits.

Dale Cox – talks about the things that they are doing to improve south Madison, he says this will set their progress back. They are not against homeless, but they are against this location due to security and sense of well being, the strain on the water co-op, most of the homeless and their advocates want it downtown, this has been set up for failure from day one. This proposal has not been thought through.

Matthew Pierson – He’s been talking to a lot of his neighbors and they are nervous about this and they are talking about getting conceal carry permits. Why the South side is a dumping point for services, why not in other places. It took long enough for them to get the prostitution and drug sales down, and he doesn’t understand why they would put the center there.

Jen Thompson – this seems like a divide and conquor thing. She is confused the by the pathway to the particular way we got here. She didn’t know Supervisor Kolar, so she looked up her site, and found information under “herstory” and she read “my neighbors and i are able to walk nearly everywhere, to work, entertainment and rereational activiites, dining choices ar eavialbe, dane county farmers market provides fresh food” She says her constituents involve those without a roof. People are downtown because that is where their support network is, and they can walk. Everyone is good here, but this is about who has the power to make the decision. Wow. Great rant. Couldn’t keep up. She calls them on the hypocrisy and the power.

Will Gruber – He says he was homeless, had experience with Porchlight people and the facility, it was a pain in the ass to get to. If you weren’t blessed to get a bus ticket, if you are good at saying the right thing to the people in charge you do well, but that was not his best thing. He spent most of his time near the capital and it was impossible to get back and forth there. Take an extra month, this is a bums rush to get the purchase done.

Leslie Ladd – secretary of Arboretum Neighborhood, they have only known about this for a month. She has been impressed iwth the quality and number of questions that have been raised. Lynn Green and their staff were helpful, but what struck her was that most of the questions were not about the services, but the logistics, transportation, capacity, what happens when 80 is reached, water and sewer. The proposal is really two things, a day resource center and a warming center. The shelter part is the concern, not the services. There will always be an urgency for services, they have confidence in the services, not the warming shelter part. She recommends postponement. Have it be temporary if approved and work to get permanent day center. Commit to work to locate this centrally. This is the right thing to do. She tells of watching the 9-11 serivces this morning, woman said about the school that it was “hard work, but worth it”, she worked hard and we can do it too.

Mr. Henke – Small businessman, can’t believe this is how this is being handled. This my way or the highway doesn’t work. Reminds me of the republican legislature, you need to get the community behind you. Homelessness is a problem, but to put another band aid on this, doesn’t make sense. Dane County will buy it, put a new coat of paint on it and add batherooms, the people don’t want to go there. I agree looking for a property in downtown Madison is a pain, but it can be done. WE need to come together as a community and sell this as a good idea. It boggles his mind about how there is such urgency to it. I know there is pressure form Mayor and County Exec to do something, if you are going to push people out on the street in the winter time, its wrong, people aren’t going to go out there in the winter time. Take a couple three weeks, investigate it. The people who havent looked at this are naive. He is really disappointed in how this was handled. This is not how government should be.

Steve Burns – volunteer with Occupy Madison, OM Build project, he says that other city in this county put it by prisons or dumps or airports, Madison is the only city that put it in the city limits. The impulse to push people to the edges needs to be resisted. Thanks WEgleitner for her experiment to go to teh site with her child. It shouldn’t be remarkable she did that, should be standard operating procedure.

I spoke . . . can’t blog myself.

Another neighbor, missed his name, he says this could be anywhere. He has a fire hydrant in his yard, that has been dry for 20 years, there is no plan to use it. If what comes out of his shower head, this will not accommodate the all day use of showers and washing machiness. He says the building is by a marsh, some residences and Park St.and then the beltline. If everyone is going to be on the bus, you might as well go to Greenway Cross where you get more square footage. He talks about the neighbors and that there are two ways to get out of the neighborhoods, he 10 year old granddaughter will be with them and he wouldnt send her to the gas station to get milk with this.

Chick Mitchell says that he is worried about the lack of transparency, he says for those who are data driven would like to look at the fuel print, he says they would have to start at 7:44 in the morning and with the van they would run til 11:30 and then start over at 12:10 to 4:30 to transport everyone. Its almost physically impossible. The gas is expensive and all we have to show is moving people, we are spending a lot of money to transport people. This place is a dump. He is disappointed in the the lack of partcipatory democracy and the process more than anything else. He says we need a solution, study it more completely in the next 30 days.

Ronald Flail – Arboretum Neighborhood Assocaition, the are organized, concerned, but they want this to work. Postpone to the next meeting, there are so many things not resolved. He has three pages of questions and concerns that need to be addressed. If this was put on you without process and consensus, people will come together if they are consulted, this has been dropped on the neighborhood. The information in the Capital Times is in direct conflict in the last 24 hours and there is no plan. Lets take winter off the table. The threat is when we sleep, if you are forced to sleep outside in the winter you will develop hypothermia, the only way to offer the security is to have a day and night shelter, but this is just a day shelter, nothing more than the Hospitality House. We need a night shelter. Doing it the way it is being done is not the way things are done in Dane County. We should not undo our history of consensus and work with community towards a common goal. Let the neighborhood participate in a plan.

Suan Schmitz – Executive Director of Downtown Madison Inc. Supports the purchase. Sales pitch about their organization ensues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. blah, blah, blah . . . . . they are the champions of the homeless apparently. THis is an entire community challenge. They need the city, county, United Way and private sector to solve this. This is a first for the money and the concept of a day resource center. They met with downtown businesses and they are committed to making this work, they will contribute funds for the capital costs. She says the County Executive explained it all to you and they saw how hard it was on the library and homeless this winter and we can do better. Thanks everyone for making this happen.

Marilyn Feil. She has worked in the homeless field for over 15 years, missed a bunch, she talks about what happened when the library closed and capital. When that happened no one talked about expanding Martin St, we talked about a downtown location. She appreciates we are doing a day center, but we all know in our hearts that downtown is where we should be putting this, people need to get there. Interrupted again.

Missed guys name, he was homeless. He can’t get a job here, he is forced to sleep down stairs with his pregnant wife. Its a shame we are talking about bus passes and sites, there is a big old warehouse that is empty. He says people don’t go to shelters because of stealing, people set up camps because they have no place to go. People refer to porchlight as the Hostility House. He says his wife is downstairs with a bunch of drunk people. He says that he needs the bus pass to get to doctors appointments and put in job applications. Don’t push us here or there, downtown is a better, he can’t even get out there to get his mail, he has siezures, he can’t get a job or social security, all he has is $189 on his food card. His only habit is cigarettes, coffee and that woman downstairs. He says there is a three story vacant warehouse downstairs.

Nancy Johnson, he says the first person talked about political will, that is what we need to think about here. We need a center, every shelter in the community is saturated. She works with homeless and immenently homeless population, people are looking at homelessness and they are accessing services and can’t get what they need because our programs are saturated. We need a day center, a decision has been made in haste because of understandable but erroneous desire to get it behind us. We need to take the time and political will to do it right.

Ed Kuharski – architect, has particiapted in site searches and he is baffled by how this was done. What were the criteria for the search, this isn’t a viable location. They bought a pig in a poke building for their church and it took them 15 years to fix it. Great location at least. That was a burden on our church and he sees similarities. You are taking money that was so hard to get appropriated and spending it on what will be a money pit. He doesn’t understand how this got done by the real estate experts at the county, it was done in secret. If we had used our bully pulpit to run a campaign to get a building from those who own it, he says there is a 8,000 sq ft building across from the library, the main floor, same space, beautifully located, he has suggested it many times, that Eric Hovde should be prevailed upon to help us here. We should have tried to get the public sector to step up. Its embarrassing and outrageous as a tax payer when this should have been going on. He says that Phoenix has a homeless campus and they brought the homeless services together.

Jeanne Erickson – volunteer director of Project Babies, she has been working for the welbeing of children for 17 years. Strongly listen to the Homeless Issues Committee, they asked for more information on cost of renovations, future expansions, water and sewer, sprinkler system and compare to MARC facility. We need this, and more. Urgency has come up a lot, but it is imperative that you slow down, look at the questions raised and look at the ramifications. She is concerned about the water and sewer issues, the police have said they can’t take on more calls, we don’t know the training capacity of the Town of Madison. There are unique and challenging situations with the homeless population. She is worried about capacity, that capacity is 80, there were 135 – 150 people using it 2 years ago, that is above the capacity, its not going to function. She is concerned about the floor plan only allowing for 5 or 6 children under the age of 12. The family shelter has 18 families when full, that is 36 children and there are 75% under 12. She says that they are required to leave for 4 hours a day, doesn’t matter how old kids are, if sick or raining. Families with infants need to find a place to go to stay warm and safe. She says there was no plan last winter, 30 days extended to find the best property will not impact a plan for a winter warming center. She talks about the grassroots efforts made to fill the gaps in the plans last winter.

Linda Hoskins has a petition from the neighbors. She asks them to think about having blood on their hands. She says the project is great, but the plan is not a good one to keep everyone safe. She says the community is in fear. When you put people in harms way, you are not using a common sense approach. She heard them talking about going from Martin St. to Park St., they have to walk through people’s yard. They have heard about the trigger happy police, that is what is happening. We just had a killing of a mentally ill person shot many times. We need a one stop shop, a hand me up building not hand me down. She thinks people deserve the best, don’t pass it, look at other buildings. Downtown would be the best place. Please do not pass it tonight, delay it cuz community wasn’t aware of it.

Carl Landeness – he says he was listening to testimony and reading the paper and there are lots of red flags. He used to be a get it done engineer and high tech. He was trained by UW Madison to get things done fast, he was good at it, but it had a long term cost to him or others, he did not learn how to communicate, listen and have a heart. He said he has learned of other models, that beyond strategies to get our needs met, there are other needs meaning, purpose, dignity, respect, etc. When we focus on those needs, aligned with heart instead of head, win-win outcomes are possible. He grieves if they push ahead. Missed some.

Margaret Bergamini talks about the transportation committees she is on for the City of Madison and being transportation consultant at the UW. She is familiar with the transit issues in financing and services available. She says that she does not expect the Town of Madison or other partner to be able to increase service to this area. Currently, the best service is 30 minute during weekday business hours. 60 minute in evening, Saturday and Sunday and holidays. That is on the 4, the most direct service. Prior to this she worked for a private transit compancy and she planned private services and there is no way you can transport the number of people who need services in a timely fashion there and back in a way that makes sense in their lives or the county budget. She urges them to reject the location. She urges them to find a location with 365 service with 30 minute intervals.

QUESTIONS OF SPEAKERS
Kolar asks Diedre how the services are funded in other communities to eliminate homelessness. She says collaborative, city, county, private partners and churches. Kolar asks if there are places where government funding has not been used. She pauses, there is always some level of government funding.

Kiefer asks Richard Rose about quote in the Capital Times (Director of Public Works for Town of Madison), today was the first meeting with officials and architects, was it the firs time you spoke with anyone. He says he got two phone calls from teh engineering firm on that day and it was the first time he talked with them. Tuesday he talked to someone from Public Works, that is the first contact I officially had from anyone. He says he got a memo where the county executive said that they had a conversation on March 5th. He can’t recall a conversation in March. He has no recollection of it. He can’t answer questions about the cooperative. He asks who the plumbing engineer.

Richmond asks Bergamini about the transportation plan. There is no new money, and he has heard staff talk about the Porchlight vans and bicycles and bus passes. Can we make transportation work with 2 vans, bus passes and bikes. She says with 12 passenger vans, with well over 80 people, its a 15 minute trip from the square, it takes a couple hours of shuttling each day. The low income bus passes is half price of regular 31 day pass, she has heard of no increase in funding for more passes, there is an endless need, but not endless funding. She doesn’t think that the City of Madison can step up and fund this, this is not a discussion that is happening.

Schmidt asks Susan Schmitz about sitting down and funding transportation needs. She thinks so, not clearly yes or no, those are the kinds of things that were talked about, if there is a gap in capital costs and transportation they talked about that. Everyone knows transportation will be a challenge. Yes, they will partner with them, DMI has their own budget and they are just the facilitator of this, she says it has been amazing how individuals want to contribute to the effort.

Dye asks Diedre Atkinson about their funding commmitment. She says that it is only a commitment for this winter.

deFelice asks Schmitz about looking downtown, he can’t believe that we haven’t looked downtown. Was there at least on site downtown that was located and fell through or was there no sites you know of. Schmitz from DMI can’t answer that. She saw the sheet.

Wegleitner asks Schmitz about the 2014 budget that has $75,000 in capital contribution that is associated with DMI, but you said at Homeless Issues Committee is that there is no commitment to that number. She doesn’t know where that number comes from. They are the connector to the folks. In terms of what would be contributed, they need to know what it si for. Is it for transportation or what?

Wegleitner asks Schmitz about a stipulation that the money be used to locate out of downtown, Schmitz says that is correct.

Salov as Rose from Town of Madison is it possible that this can be resolved? Yes. It’s going to cost money.

Kolar asks Schmitz – she says she has been working with them since last August, she went to them and they said yes. She says there is not a number of $75,000. The max is $75,000, but she knows people who are standing by – can you clarify that for me, there are people willing to help if they identify a site . . . . .Richmond asks for a point of order to have her answer a question . . . .she saks to make clear what the commitment is for the people who she is a conduit for. Schmitz says the commitment is to fill gaps in capital costs, not operating costs. But have you broached the topic of transportation?

There were several questions of me – there were about 15 registered in opposition and 1 in support.

MOTION
Richmond refer to Personnel and Finance, seconded by Wegleitner. He says he signed on to the resolution, in hopes that his transportation questions would be answered, and they haven’t been answered. He is having issues with the lack of a trasnportation plan and the costs. It still needs to be worked out. He heard 3 people in support, and everyone else against or to postpone. He would like to postpone, he says no one disagrees there should be a center, and it should be before the winter, those are not points of debate, but there are a lot of questions, he thanks his constituents who came tonight. They are concerned for two reasons, there is the programming piece – and he is concerned about lock of participation due to access, the second issue is important to him is the public input process. Mr. Mitchell said it is about participatory democracy, he’s heard they have to just get it done, he agrees to, but jsut doing something that may not work is not wise, we will not only waste time, but money. He says that this has gone through two committees, 11 people think this is a done deal. He says that his constituents didn’t get to comment before the offer to purchase. We should not be deciding on their behalf, we should ask them what they think and include them in the decision making. The people who will use it should be included in the decision. We should get together and help decided, we don’t know better. That attitude makes people mad about local government. We need to respect his constituents and support a real public process. That is not to insult anyone who put time in on this issue, but people came to the Health and Hu

shit . . . lost it and battery dying . . . sorry, the rest will have to wait.

OUTCOME
They approved the purchase of the building without knowing how much it will cost, with no money for a transportation plan and a capacity of only 80.

Those who voted to refer are: Richmond, Ritt, Stubbs, Wegleitner, Wiest, Downing, Dye, Ferrell, Hendrick, Krause, Matano, Miles and Pan. Failed 14 – 21

Those who voted against the purchase are: Richmond, Ritt, Wegleitner, Willett, Ferrell, Hnedrick, Krause, Matano and Pan. Passed 26-9.

Levin and Ripp were absent


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