Wednesday, August 20, 2014  |   Madison, WI: 75.0° F  
CITIZEN DAVE: Thoughts and ideas about city building from Madison's former mayor
Citizen Dave: The Week in Review, with socialist Hostess, the Big Ten on the East Coast, and victorious deer

Hostess is flirting with oblivion. I'm sure it has already occurred to you that this pulls in two directions with regard to communism. On the one hand, it means that we could all starve after surviving nuclear war with the Russians, or maybe the Chinese. >More
Citizen Dave: Heading home for Thanksgiving

When I came to Madison in 1979 to go to college, I made it a point not to go back home until Thanksgiving. Home was in West Allis, only an hour and twenty minutes away, but I was living in the exotic city of Madison now, and I believed that I could only learn the local folkways by immersing myself in the culture, learning to speak the language ("Willy Street," "East Wash," "social justice," "imperialism") and develop a taste for the local cuisine (quiche, croissants, sprouts, unprocessed sugar). >More
Citizen Dave: Zach Brandon is an interesting choice for Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce director

I know Zach Brandon. Zach Brandon is a friend of mine. Zach Brandon is no Jennifer Alexander. Last week, the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce announced that it had selected former Madison alder Zach Brandon to be its new director, replacing Jennifer Alexander who is retiring. This is a significant choice. It makes a statement. >More
Citizen Dave: Deer farms are not what hunting is about

Here's how we hunt at the deer camps I go to: we sit. That's pretty much it. Now, we certainly scout where we sit, and there is lively year-round debate about exactly where to sit and which way to face when we're sitting. >More
Citizen Dave: The tales of November

It is quiet. Days dawn faintly, slowly in wispy cloudiness, and often end in long, solemn shadows. Dark, bare branches frame a sky that can seem so dark and low that it touches the treetops, or so blue and distant that it seems to pull you away, off the planet. >More
Citizen Dave: Thank you, Sen. Miller

The state senate Democrats (now in the minority again) elected new leadership yesterday. They had a choice between two new, young, energetic leaders, Chris Larson from Milwaukee or Jon Erpenbach from Dane County. >More
Citizen Dave: The Madison Common Council makes its mark on the city budget

When the Madison Common Council starts deliberations on the 2013 budget this evening, they will have already reshaped it in a way that's unprecedented in recent history. In most years, the final product is almost always essentially about the mayor's vision with council tweaks. But in this case, all of the mayor's most controversial proposals will have been eliminated and replaced by the council's more progressive vision for the city. >More
Citizen Dave: How to think differently about debt in Madison's city budget

The Madison Common Council takes up the budget this week and the underlying issue for much of the debate is city debt. So, let's do a quick discussion of that. The first thing to know is that the city can't run the same kind of annual deficit that the federal government does. By law, local budgets have to balance. What we're talking about here is borrowing for long term hard investments, mostly street repair, but also police and fire stations, libraries, and so on. >More
Citizen Dave: Madison's community centers are worth the investment by the city -- and you

One of the strengths of Madison is its great community centers. I've been pretty critical of Mayor Paul Soglin's 2013 budget proposal, but one thing he deserves credit for is the $2 million he has budgeted for community center building and expansion. >More
Citizen Dave: Madison Common Council makes smart move on budget

Madison Common Council leadership is trying something new. It's a procedural maneuver that might make your eyes glaze over, but if it works it could mean something very significant beyond just this year's budget. The council's president and pro tem are putting together a comprehensive amendment to the mayor's budget that attempts to capture the concerns and initiatives of a wide range of council members. >More
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