This marks the sixth year in office for Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz, one that is opening on a low note with the growing concerns downtown and throughout the city following the murder of Brittany Sue Zimmermann in the Bassett neighborhood last Wednesday. The issue of crime and public safety lead the way in his annual State of the City address, which he is delivering at a meeting of the Madison Common Council on Tuesday night.
As detailed in an advance copy of the speech issued by the mayor's office on Tuesday afternoon, Cieslewicz declares that "the state of the city is good," offering seven talking points that form the heart of his message. He begisn with public safety, and follows with discussion of basic services, public schools, openness to global and local diversity, "green efficiency," a progressive and pro-business outlook, and long term planning and development. Emphasized are multiple new proposals, which are outlined in the press release attached to the text. These are:
Key new initiatives in the Mayor's State of the City address include:
- Exploring the use of Community Service Officers in the police force, who could deal with a variety of issues to give our residents better service while not taking the time of our sworn officers.
- An annual scientific customer satisfaction survey of Madison residents in relation to city services.
- An accelerated 5-year plan for the reconstruction of key City streets to reduce the number of substandard miles by two-thirds.
- A study to consider merging the City and Dane County housing authorities, as part of a regional approach to the need for affordable housing.
- A proposal to make resources from the $4.1 million Affordable Housing Trust available countywide.
- An initiative to ensure that the City is prepared for the likely arrival of Emerald Ash Borer, including an inventory of all City trees.
- Possible inclusion of one or more Project Manager positions in the 2009 budget, to help manage major economic development initiatives such as the Capitol Gateway/East Washington Avenue Corridor and University Research Park.
- Developing an implementation strategy by this fall for the new economic development plan, and connecting the recommendations of that plan with the Healthy City economic development blueprint and the Economic Development Commission's report on the City's business climate.
- Determining by July how to proceed with the Inclusionary Zoning ordinance.
The complete text of the speech is available as a PDF document in the related downloads at right, complete with comments from an "MBJ." Cieslewicz will deliver a similar address at the Downtown Madison Rotary meeting on Wednesday, April 9.