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Wednesday, July 23, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 64.0° F  Fair
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(former) Mayor Dave laying the groundwork

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Re: (former) Mayor Dave laying the groundwork

Postby Mad Howler » Sat Oct 05, 2013 11:33 pm

Stebben84 wrote:Madison lost its bohemian aura after the late eighties. I've been here 20 years now and came here before then when my sister lived here. Back then it was definitely bohemian, but the city grew and you need to adapt to that.

People who say I wish it were like it was back in the day are short sided. Madison is a growing community and it needs to adapt. Sure, Madison isn't what is was in 1970, but it's a different place and whoever runs this town needs to see that things change.

What are you talking about?
Madison has been continually changing, as all communities do, over time.
Accordingly, Madison will adapt as the community always has.
Just do not expect to see it occur in a trimmed to fit - cookie cutter like fashion folks have opted for over the last few decades. I believe that the talent and intellect present in our community seeks more than what is on the present menu.
What the hopeful offering will be, is up to us.
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Re: (former) Mayor Dave laying the groundwork

Postby fennel » Sun Oct 06, 2013 11:28 am

Stebben84 wrote:People who say I wish it were like it was back in the day are short sided.
Which is why they have such a peculiar way of walking.
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Re: (former) Mayor Dave laying the groundwork

Postby snoqueen » Sun Oct 06, 2013 12:20 pm

I think Soglin is far more respectful of the planning process (which can be highly beneficial if the developer knows how to use it) and understands the importance of neighborhood buy-in and neighborhood organization in matters ranging from security to development. He finds and holds onto good staff (he'd never have let Mark Olinger get away, let alone gotten rid of him). He recognizes the importance of the city's credit rating and knows how to manage a budget to protect that rating. He understands the importance of staying ahead of change instead of just reacting to it.

At the time of the last mayoral election I first wanted Dave back and thought Soglin was going to be a dinosaur. I changed my mind during the campaign. I'm glad I did. He's done a lot to stabilize the city and city government while remaining flexible. He's respecting the process while bringing in big projects like Doyle Square - a huge improvement over the wasteful Edgewater drama.

I presently feel the city is well-managed.

Of course we've changed since the 70s. The places that have not changed are the ones in trouble. I don't agree with everything Soglin has done over the years but I think he's go a good grip on the basics of how to keep city government running efficiently and effectively.
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Re: (former) Mayor Dave laying the groundwork

Postby Stebben84 » Sun Oct 06, 2013 4:22 pm

snoqueen wrote: He's respecting the process while bringing in big projects like Doyle Square


FWIW:

It's a proposal first announced by Mayor Dave Cieslewicz back in 2010


http://www.wkow.com/story/17206041/judg ... ty-council

snoqueen wrote: He understands the importance of staying ahead of change instead of just reacting to it.


What does this mean? Can you cite examples?

Again I'll ask, what luster did Madison lose under Mayor Dave that came back under Soglin. Soglin may be running his administration differently, but I don't see that affecting the "vibe" of Madison.
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Re: (former) Mayor Dave laying the groundwork

Postby Huckleby » Sun Oct 06, 2013 5:32 pm

Francis Di Domizio wrote: Kind of wonder how long the Isthmus is going to continue providing him with a pulpit to preach from if he's keeps using it to blatantly target Soglin or support a challenger.


Blogs are for expressing opinions and grinding axes.
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Re: (former) Mayor Dave laying the groundwork

Postby Bludgeon » Sun Oct 06, 2013 6:55 pm

Huckleby wrote:
Francis Di Domizio wrote: Kind of wonder how long the Isthmus is going to continue providing him with a pulpit to preach from if he's keeps using it to blatantly target Soglin or support a challenger.


Blogs are for expressing opinions and grinding axes.


If Soglin had a parallel Isthmus blog where they both snidely tore down and insulted the other while making only the thinnest pretense of authenticity, it would be pathetic. Take away the dancing partner, it's still pretty pathetic. Let him start his own blog and see how many people read it.
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Re: (former) Mayor Dave laying the groundwork

Postby snoqueen » Sun Oct 06, 2013 8:40 pm

Stebben84 wrote:
snoqueen wrote: He's respecting the process while bringing in big projects like Doyle Square


FWIW:

It's a proposal first announced by Mayor Dave Cieslewicz back in 2010


That's no problem. Mayor Dave's attempt to do an end run around the process with regard to Edgewater -- he tried, with Bridget Maniaci's cooperation -- put so much puffery around the Edgewater plan from the moment he heard about it that it amounted to an effort to use the mayor's office to push the thing through instead of let it sink or swim on its own merits.

Soglin has not done this, so far, with Doyle Square. I hope he doesn't. The process on that one is competitive, not just a single proposal, but in neither case should a mayor try to push a plan through its designated stages of review. All that review serves to refine a project and make it better when it's built. These urban projects need to fit with their neighbors in a highly complex environment and if all those neighbors and relevant city departments are heard from before a plan is finalized, the fewer unforeseen surprises will crop up.

I think quite a few people believe Edgewater was what killed Mayor Cieslewicz's bid for re-election and I don't see Paul Soglin making the same mistakes with the Doyle Center, though it's in a very early stage.


snoqueen wrote: He understands the importance of staying ahead of change instead of just reacting to it.


What does this mean? Can you cite examples?

Again I'll ask, what luster did Madison lose under Mayor Dave that came back under Soglin. Soglin may be running his administration differently, but I don't see that affecting the "vibe" of Madison.


I think the TIF process has been improved, for one. We'll always have TIF just because other cities have it and we are in competition with them, but it shouldn't be merely a gimme program where developers name their number and the city reacts.

I believe city staff is getting greater respect during the present administration. We have great staff and if we don't make use of their expertise why are we paying them? They do very thorough reviews of the numbers a developer submits. They did the same reviews during Mayor Dave's administration and unfortunately got ignored on some biggies. We'll see who was right (or more right) over time.

The Cap Times article contains several examples of what I'm talking about with regard to Soglin's approach. Here's one:

Soglin said he prefers keeping the Municipal Building as city offices and putting as much parking underground as possible, but is awaiting further analysis and is ruling nothing out.


http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/ ... 2c69c.html

That's the way to do it: let things develop, let people make changes and have the discussion and work things through. Don't just decide way too early we've got to have this thing and spend the next six months putting out fires.


To be fair, Mayor Dave turned things down on the basis of TIF, but did so in such a confusing manner as to leave lots of resentment. At the moment, things seem less confusing.

This can all change in the blink of an eye, of course. And nobody's ever happy with TIF -- that's just the nature of the thing.

In my reply I am focusing on development because it's my area of focus. I can't reply with a comparison in other areas, like social services. Maybe someone else can.

I'm not saying Madison has its "old luster." That's silly. It's not 1983 any more, or 1973, or 1993. Everybody thinks the year they got to Madison was the golden year and it's been going downhill ever since. The job of city government is to deal with the present and plan for the future while respecting and protecting certain elements of the past, not go back to the past or stay in it.

Staying in the past is what happens to a city when its economic base falls apart. I'm concerned Milwaukee is going in that direction. In Madison we are fortunate enough to have a different set of problems.

One big one we've got right now is finding ways for newcomers who are poor and without resources to get settled and start living productive lives. If we do nothing we end up with crime, victimization, and a waste of human resources. At the same time city resources are limited and need to be used in a balanced manner, in partnership with private business and voluntary or charitable organizations. I'll be interested to see how our response to this one develops.

That's why I wish someone with knowledge of city (and county) human services would weigh in here.

There's a lot of glory in successful development, but perhaps a more meaningful measure of the success of the present Soglin administration will be how the city deals with its demographic changes.
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Re: (former) Mayor Dave laying the groundwork

Postby gargantua » Sun Oct 06, 2013 11:02 pm

I would like to add that Paul Soglin has been very proactive about the issues of poverty in our city, and in my opinion much more active in dealing with schools.

I don't think Mayor Dave was a bad mayor. I don't think he was right about everything (Edgewater), but Soglin isn't either. Paul Soglin understands the nuts and bolts of delivering city services and paying for those services. If he's willing to stick around in this anti-Madison Walker environment, we need his expertise and moxie.

Mayor Dave was great In a Governor Doyle environment. Those days are long gone.
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Re: (former) Mayor Dave laying the groundwork

Postby Bludgeon » Mon Oct 07, 2013 5:41 am

Snoquenn wrote:I'm not saying Madison has its "old luster." That's silly. It's not 1983 any more, or 1973, or 1993. Everybody thinks the year they got to Madison was the golden year and it's been going downhill ever since.

I would not like to add a lot to this conversation, but I would like to suggest that one influence of the mayoral office, is that it contributes much to the overall character of a town. Particularly under DJC, you can see other, similar personalities rising to the top with him. Who a mayor is, who his friends are, what his loyalties are, what tradition he identifies with, what kind of voices he/she's sympathetic to, what voices he's deaf to, who his inner circle is, who his allies are, who his personal enemies are -- these things go a long way to influencing the identity of a town now and for years to come. In this context, the negative impact of DJC on the community of Madison is crystal clear.

I think Snow makes a good point and is right - everybody thinks the year they got to Madison was the golden year and it's been going downhill ever since (truest statement ever). But, who this town elects to be this person and do this job, says a lot about us. If we end up with a Maniaci one of these years, that says a lot about us.

Enduring DJC's character onslaught for those years, I thought that was a bad thing for Madison - for its nature, its personality, its luster - its charm, its mystique, its psyche, its temperment. I always considered rise of Doyle and leaders like Cieslewicz to be a negative biproduct of the cynicism of the Bush years - like a negative image of the same neocon archetype.

I remember the signs that used to dot the isthmus, I think one was a big one hanging on the Wisco, "We want our town back." As in, "Who are these tools and what are they doing here?" The invasion of the DJC type pol - that's a bad influence on everybody, on the very legacy of this community. Proof? I submit the new Maniaci hybrid as 'exhibit A'.

I kind of look at DJC's legacy as being that now, when we talk about who is going to be the mayor and what they're going to do, the whole question is "how much money can we get and what are we going to spend it on?"

I just don't remember those kind of people being around all that much before his era in Madison. I won't miss them if they stop finding this town to be a very inviting place.
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Re: (former) Mayor Dave laying the groundwork

Postby MarcoPolo » Mon Oct 07, 2013 8:24 am

I have to disagree with you Stu - if you had a decent knowledge of city governance you knew Dave was not a nice man; threatening to oust the entire Transit and Parking Commission for not supporting a bus fare increase, ousting allies of political opponents from city committees, sticking Alder Thuy on a single committee with limited relevance to her aldermanic district, threatening to remove Alder Konkel from all her committees until the council stepped in behind the scenes. Madison's political culture has suffered from Dave and this idea that everyone is nice and wholesome and congenial, all the while trying to game the system to no end. The Cap Times outstanding coverage of the Edgewater saga after Soglin returned to office so clearly demonstrated that, with alders on the floor texting with lobbyists and developers, apologizing for not being able to turn over tax dollars because their districts did not support this upward lift of wealth. The continued attempt to relitigate Dave's defeat by council loyalists on practically ever issue of note should strike residents as dishonest pandering just as much as Ted Cruz's attempts at the federal level do. But remember, Paul is a bully, and everyone else is "nice".

On the topic of TIF, currently being overhauled with no attention by local media should give folks pause. If you thought the rigging for the Edgewater was bad, the obvious attempts to reinvent the TIF wheel for the benefit of the JDS developers will hopeful end the odd idea that our city is being stewarded for the many instead of the few.
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Re: (former) Mayor Dave laying the groundwork

Postby snoqueen » Mon Oct 07, 2013 3:37 pm

I hope you're not right but I won't be surprised if you are. TIF is always messy. That's why I wrote my post as tentatively as I did. We'll see -- or not.
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Re: (former) Mayor Dave laying the groundwork

Postby Henry Vilas » Thu Oct 10, 2013 4:43 pm

Stu Levitan wrote:BTW - my money is on Bidar-Sielaff as the candidate, not Maniaci. Certainly not Taylor, who will step into the Senate without opposition when Fred Risser retires.

Speaking of Risser, he always mails me the lastest Wisconsin Blue Book. Got mine yesterday, but without the usual letter on his senate stationary, thanking me for requesting the book. Can we read anything into that, like he isn't looking for votes when his present term ends?
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Re: (former) Mayor Dave laying the groundwork

Postby Bwis53 » Thu Oct 10, 2013 5:39 pm

http://www.npr.org/2013/02/27/172431659 ... f-quitting

Last year he told me he finds people "endlessly fascinating".
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Re: (former) Mayor Dave laying the groundwork

Postby Average Joe » Fri Oct 11, 2013 1:26 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:
Stu Levitan wrote:BTW - my money is on Bidar-Sielaff as the candidate, not Maniaci. Certainly not Taylor, who will step into the Senate without opposition when Fred Risser retires.

Speaking of Risser, he always mails me the lastest Wisconsin Blue Book. Got mine yesterday, but without the usual letter on his senate stationary, thanking me for requesting the book. Can we read anything into that, like he isn't looking for votes when his present term ends?


Chris Taylor is apparently mulling a run for AG, which would be awesome!

http://badgerherald.com/news/2013/10/07 ... y-general/
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Re: (former) Mayor Dave laying the groundwork

Postby Henry Vilas » Fri Oct 11, 2013 2:57 pm

Average Joe wrote:
Henry Vilas wrote:
Stu Levitan wrote:BTW - my money is on Bidar-Sielaff as the candidate, not Maniaci. Certainly not Taylor, who will step into the Senate without opposition when Fred Risser retires.

Speaking of Risser, he always mails me the lastest Wisconsin Blue Book. Got mine yesterday, but without the usual letter on his senate stationary, thanking me for requesting the book. Can we read anything into that, like he isn't looking for votes when his present term ends?

Chris Taylor is apparently mulling a run for AG, which would be awesome!

http://badgerherald.com/news/2013/10/07 ... y-general/

Does that mean Stu might take another run for Risser's seat?
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