Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Monona Council - Quick report

The Monona city council deferred action on all but one item last night. The council approved the Capital Transfer Request for 2011 Maywood Park Trail (Park & Recreation Board).

The Resolution Adopting the 2011 Operating Budget and Establishing a Tax Levy was on for a first reading. The council went through the twelve amendments, but no votes were taken. This is all consistent with our standard procedure. No action was taken on any of the amendments. The council will vote on the amendments and the budget at its November 15 meeting.

Eight residents spoke or registered all in opposition to Alder Veserat's proposal to cut a half-time position from the park & rec/community center/outdoor pool budgets. In addition, the council has received a significant number of emails on the topic, again all opposed to the proposed cut. My sense was that the amendment does not have much support on the council, but perhaps alders were just keeping their powder dry as once advised by that great parliamentarian Oliver Cromwell.

Two items of unfinished business were not ready for decision (Consolidating Election Polling Locations Into One Location and Approval of Revised Plans for Monona Entry Feature Construction).

The remaining two items were on the agenda for a first reading only. 

Consideration of Resolution 10-11-1736 Approving the Terms of Contract with the Wisconsin Professional Police Association / Law Enforcement Employee Relations Division (City Administrator).

Consideration of Resolution 10-11-1739 Capital Transfer Request for 2010 Pool Shower/ Locker Room Floor Project (Park & Recreation Board).


  1. Unrelated, but 2 comments:

    Mononadrivesalive.com is down. I'm not sure who to contact.

    What is your take on Walker and the high speed rail initiative? Its sad that it may be stopped right after everyone signed off. Will he really be able to do this?

  2. "What is your take on Walker and the high speed rail initiative? Its sad that it may be stopped right after everyone signed off. Will he really be able to do this?"

    Yes, he will be able to stop it now that he not only won election but also his party has sizable majorities in both houses. DOT is already standing down; they may wrap up some work in progress, but that's it. That's my educated guess.

    You have to recognize the reality of the electoral outcome. Maybe if the project was farther along, then it would be too hard to stop. Frankly, Doyle's decision to put the train station downtown probably cost the project at least four critical months. A great deal of design work had to be done in Madison that otherwise wasn't needed.

    My take? If someone offers you $800 million to invest and you don't have to put in any capital of your own and only have to pay 1.1% interest, I'd say that's a good deal. That's the federal HSR grant with the $9 million/year operating cost. That is a 100% grant.

    It's certainly a better deal than having to pony up $200 million of your own money to match the other guy's $800 million. That's the typical 80% federal/20% state split on highway projects. And then you also have to pay 100% of the infrastructure maintenance costs.

  3. Bah. I read somewhere that if a state rejects stimulus money, it gets redistributed to other states. Brilliant move Mr. Walker. This solves nothing. Also read that this was one of the main reasons people voted for him. I don't understand.

    Next, he can work to cut stem cell funding to UW to further drag down our economy.

    Regarding the elections, the sad thing is that it appears we're actually pulling out of economic despair. Anyone see the jobs report today? The conditions that brought on the recession were brewing for years. People can't expect conditions like this to turn around on a dime.

  4. I neglected to consider the possibility that he could do something else with the money. From a quick Google search, it looks like that is what he intends to do.

    I still would have liked to see the train. It would take a while, but a sophisticated rail network like they have in parts of Europe would have been brilliant.

  5. "I neglected to consider the possibility that he could do something else with the money. From a quick Google search, it looks like that is what he intends to do."

    He may want to spend the train money on highways, but that's not the way federal funding works. California, for one, has rail plans ready to go to suck up all of the $800M and a lot more. Or maybe Illinois.

    I don't know if people realize how remarkable it was for a state the size of Wisconsin to land $800M out of the train money; I don't have the figures handy, but it was an amount way out of proportion to our size. For once the state was actually going to get more out of Washington than we pay in. That was due to years of careful planning by the folks at DOT.

  6. So the electorate is as shortsighted as Mr. Walker. Its amazing how pervasive the facebook and techno cultural impact has become. Everything must happen instantaneously. Being a sports fan like you Doug, I see huge analogies between the impact of ESPN on sports and CNN/ Facebook, and Twitter on politics. For instance the Texas Rangers finally go to their first ever world series and they reward their manager with a TWO YEAR contract. Wow, thanks. The Brewers hire a new mgr to turn their team around and give him a 2 year contract- have you seen this pitching staff, get real. Obama gets 18 months, granted he wasted his opportunity with many mistakes but loses all momentum with Dems swept out of huge majorities. Remember, its the economy stupid, how soon Dems forgot that lesson. Yet he may still be re-elected because the Republicans can be counted on to make the same idiotic mistakes (Palin, O'Donnell, Kleefisch, aka the female versions of Scooter McCallum) and we, the electorate, will be just as fickle 24 months from now. Afterall GWB got a second term, Obama still can too.

  7. By the way, for those of you upset with the Governor-Elect's decision to turn down (so far) the $810m in federal funding, please PLEASE call him and let him know your displeasure at his transitional office:


    Also, please note that you do NOT want your tax dollars (currently up to ~$100m) spent on cancelling the contracts, and having to pay for track upgrades that would have otherwise been funded by Federal funds.

    There's also a "Save the train Wisconsin" FB page, for anyone who wants updates or information.