Pre-view of the City Council Meeting

Posted December 5th, 2017 @ 8:43 AM by

Often there are over 50-100 items the city council votes on in one motion on the council floor unless an alder pulls it off the agenda to discuss – or a member of the public shows up to speak on it. And even when members of the public speak, they hear what they have to say then pass the items without comment. Here’s and overview of the meeting and a brief summary of what they probably won’t talk about tonight, but we’ll find out when the consent calendar comes out later today – I usually post them as “Things the Council with Talk About” or similarly labeled blog posts. So much gets done with almost no comment at this point.

#1 forPaul Kasuda
who I first met during redistricting in 2000-ish, but I know was on the Committee on Aging and probably many, many, many, many other things – he recently passed away at age 95.


#2 – Presentation: ULC Top Innovator Award for Race & Social Equity
to Library Director, Greg Mickells and The Hip Hop Architect, Michael Ford, by Susan Benton, President & CEO of Urban Libraries Council for the Hip Hop Architecture Camp Program (Central Library)

Items 3 – 11 – this means you have 5 minutes to speak instead of three, among other things.
#6 State Street Taco Bell liquor license. This is likely one the mayor may veto.

#7 Is the Planned development for 118 and 122 State St. to make the 6-story non-profit cheap rent space into a 9 story hotel. The plan commission was scheduled to discuss last night, they referred so it should be referred tonight. However, its on the agenda tonight so people could still speak, but the council members will likely encourage people not to . . . sigh.

#15 – The first Chief of Staff for the City Council will be getting a 5 year contract. Kwasi Obeng has been chosen for that position.

#16 – The Greater Madison and Convention and Visitors Bureau will be giving their annual dog and pony show. They are the only organization I know that isn’t city staff that gets an audience every year to lobby for more funding in future years. Shouldn’t all outside entities who are funded by the city be given this opportunity? 🙂

#17 Purchasing 1202 Park Street so the city can do another affordable housing project for (formerly) homeless individuals like the Rethke project. This will be done with the same operator as Rethke – Heartland Housing.

#32 Was that whole naming the city-county building after Barrack Obama – and after all this time, they are finally passing a resolution that simply says “NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the City-County Liaison Committee gather public input and make recommendations to the City of Madison and Dane County on possible locations to rename in honor of President Barack Obama.” So, nothing to be named, just saying they are going to do it.

#33 is creating a committee to look at City-Wide use of surveillance cameras. Right now, there is just a policy that departments have to have their policy on file in the clerks office so the public can view it, but I don’t think anyone from the city looks at them. We tried addressing this when I was city council president and we didn’t get a lot of cooperation – I anxious to see how this group does. Heh, I should probably video tape these meetings! 🙂

#34 and 35 puts off the transportation department re-organization until June. So the committee structure changes and hiring of a director and the timeline are being pushed back – you definitely can’t tell what that is from the title . . . “Amending ORD-17-00099, ORD-17-00100, and CHA-17-00002 to delay the effective date of these ordinances from January 1, 2018 to June 29, 2018.” The Executive Committee will be discussing this at 4:30 today and a recommendation will be made from the floor of the city council meeting.

#40 is hiring a consultant to review employee benefits. For $50,000 I’m not sure what they’re going to get. This was rejected in the 2017 budget process and now they are attempting to add it back in.

#43 is free bus rides on New Year’s Eve. We typically got a grant to cover these costs, but htis year they are using Metro’s fund balance to pay for it.

#45 is putting Electric Vehicle Charging Stations – MG&E will pay for the stations, the city will get rid of three gas fueled cars and the city will maintain the charging equipment for 10 years. The city is purchasing a Ford Forcus Electric Hatch and two Chevrolet Bolts.

#46 The law requires the city to adopt an ordinance protecting the confidentiality of room tax collectors, but allows them to publish statistics. The law is being amended to include AirBnB information.

#47 is the Overture Center Contract. So much money, so little accountability. You should see what they make nonprofits go through to get their funding. It’s absurd in comparison.

#49 is continuing their Residential Solar Group Buy Program.

#50 is spending $722,008 for youth employment programs & $706 for adult employment programs I believe this is the final list of programs getting funded.

#52 End of the year budget adjustments.
Fire department gets $1million in overtime
Streets needs $680,00 extra for snowplowing
Municipal Court needs $80,000 because they had less revenue than they thought
Parks gets $40,000 for pool improvements
Library gets $200,000 extra for salaries and benefits

Looks like the money is coming from
$345,000 less spent in benefits for city employees
80,000 in wages
1.1 million from the contingent reserve
50,000 from IT staff
35,000 from Economic Development staff
$75,000 from Traffic Engineering “supplies”
$35,000 from the Planning and Community and Economic Development Office

Funny how we don’t know that is snows in Wisconsin or that the Fire Department would have that much overtime? Also, seems like Traffic Engineering always says they don’t have enough supplies to paint crosswalks, etc. Hmmm . .. .

#54 134 Fair Oaks is back with their TIF request ($322,000). I’m sure there will be another discussion on this one and its proximity to Kipp.

#55 Mo’ money for George Austin!!! Maybe if the Planning and Community and Economic Development Office spent their money they are giving up in item #52 we wouldn’t be having to pay outside consultants now over a quarter of a million dollars to do this work? I thought I heard the mayor say he was going to limit the outside consultants when he was running for mayor . . .

#57 Veridian is getting $261,854.33 back in overpaid park fees – and that will be coming out of the parks fees fund.

#65 – Signs, signs, signs . . . including limiting the number of signs to the number of candidates or causes in the election.

#66 Revoking Leia’s Lunch Box late night vending license for a year

#67 Choosing the vendor for the Public Market. The new vendor will be the Madison Public Market Foundation.

The rest of the items on the agenda 68 – 95 will be referred to committees or departments and come back to the council at a later date.

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