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Isthmus on Edgewater

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Isthmus on Edgewater

Postby Azog » Wed Mar 30, 2011 2:41 pm

http://www.thedailypage.com/daily/artic ... a4fc5027d3

The 30-year old city landmarks ordinance contains clear language to prevent monster buildings from being constructed in historic districts. The Landmarks Commission voted to uphold this language, but the Common Council overrode its decision -- the first time this ever happened. Now the Edgewater project is 37 times larger than the average Mansion Hill building and the future of the city’s historic districts is up in the air.

In addition to getting the council to sweep aside city ordinances, plans and policies, developer Dunn demanded a $16 million TIF subsidy. And a majority of alders agreed. Said the city in effect: We give bonuses to scofflaws.
These facts raise two questions for voters next Tuesday: Is it okay for the city to sweep aside ordinances, plans and policies just for one project? Is it okay to do this without first changing ordinances, plans and policies and then requiring all projects to abide by those rules? My answer is "no."

If city leaders can adopt this scofflaw approach to a project in Mansion Hill, they can do it anywhere in the city. That's why more than 100 neighborhood association leaders showed up on a Saturday morning last July at Trinity Lutheran Church on the near east side. They understood that the bulwark of neighborhood-protecting ordinances now meant nothing.City approval of the Edgewater establishes an ugly, unacceptable and unsustainable precedent. Do we really want Madison to become a city where the rule of law -- the combination of city ordinances, plans, and policies -- is optional? Unfortunately, that's where we are.

Developers would be fools not to demand The Edgewater Deal. Already many are scurrying to suffuse more "flexibility" into the city's new zoning law. But why, I ask, do we want to abandon consistency and predictability -- the fundamentals of good government -- in favor of cronyism, favoritism, zoning de jure and wink-wink?

The Edgewater demonstrates that Madison is really open for business. Mayor Dave boasts that Madison can be pro-business and progressive at the same time. Now we know how: by lowering our standards and then bragging about the results. Gov. Walker will be thrilled to discover that Madison's leaders are marching in lockstep with his administration's top goal.

So what should one do at the polls on April 5? That Mayor Cieslewicz supports the Edgewater without reservations is a given. Challenger Paul Soglin says he won’t block it because "the project has already received key city approvals."

However, if Cieslewicz is elected, we can expect four more years of neighborhood-dismissing, preservation-destroying, law-scorning, take-no-prisoners, big-project crusades. If Soglin is elected, we can expect thoughtful neighborhood involvement, a priority on historic preservation, respect for ordinances, plans and policies, and time-tested skill in implementing big projects. That's why I have a Soglin sign in my front yard.

Meanwhile, let me propose that a new verb enter Madison's political lexicon: Edgewatered. Here's the definition:

"1. To approve a project by sweeping aside ordinances, plans and policies and by giving the developer a large financial incentive. 2. To employ favoritism and expedience. 3. To govern without consistency and predictability."
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Re: Isthmus on Edgewater

Postby Huckleby » Wed Mar 30, 2011 3:47 pm

Now the Edgewater project is 37 times larger than the average Mansion Hill building and the future of the city’s historic districts is up in the air.


The overwhelming majority of city residents want the Edgewater project.
The Historic Districts should not be up in the air, they should be in the trash can reserved for good intentions gone bad. The Mansion Hill Historic District is especially offensive, it encompasses most of the downtown area north of the Capitol. Delapidated student housing is not historic.

Do we really want Madison to become a city where the rule of law -- the combination of city ordinances, plans, and policies -- is optional?

Was Fred Mohs wanting for attorneys to challenge illegailities?

This article is baseless whining. Sometimes you win public debates, sometimes you lose.
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Re: Isthmus on Edgewater

Postby Detritus » Wed Mar 30, 2011 4:05 pm

Huckleby wrote:The overwhelming majority of city residents want the Edgewater project.

Prove it. Or, and this is much more likely, change the subject and accuse opponents of being anti-development--your choice.
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Re: Isthmus on Edgewater

Postby Huckleby » Wed Mar 30, 2011 4:27 pm

There were online polls taken by Channel3000 and others. The polls showed steady, consistent numbers strongly in favor of the Edgewater project. (Consistent over time suggests that fraud was probably not a factor)

If the support wasn't overwhelming, then the 80% (or whatever it was) of council members who supported it would be in big trouble.
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Re: Isthmus on Edgewater

Postby Henry Vilas » Wed Mar 30, 2011 5:02 pm

Huckleby wrote:There were online polls taken by Channel3000 and others. The polls showed steady, consistent numbers strongly in favor of the Edgewater project. (Consistent over time suggests that fraud was probably not a factor)

Did the polls ask about TIF money? That's my main objection to the project.
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Re: Isthmus on Edgewater

Postby green union terrace chair » Wed Mar 30, 2011 6:14 pm

Huckleby wrote:There were online polls taken by Channel3000 and others. The polls showed steady, consistent numbers strongly in favor of the Edgewater project. (Consistent over time suggests that fraud was probably not a factor)

Online polls are not scientific.
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Re: Isthmus on Edgewater

Postby snoqueen » Wed Mar 30, 2011 6:18 pm

And Edgewater is a factor in the upcoming mayoral election, whether you'll admit it or not. In the aldermanic elections, it's certainly a factor for Bridget Maniaci, who was an extremely visible Edgewater proponent.
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Re: Isthmus on Edgewater

Postby Huckleby » Wed Mar 30, 2011 8:11 pm

green union terrace chair wrote: Online polls are not scientific.


True enough. I followed two different online polls from when they were first put up, until a couple weeks later. They both hovered around 70% pro, 30% con from beginning to end.

It is possible that some extremely dilligent derelect gamed both polls from beginning to end. I expect there are ways to trick commercial polling software. I doubt it.

By "scientific" you really mean sample size and breadth. A poll announced on the local news ought to be broad, and they had thousands of participants. I don't remember who ran the other poll. The polls are certainly more meaningful than any of our hunches.
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Re: Isthmus on Edgewater

Postby Henry Vilas » Wed Mar 30, 2011 8:26 pm

Huckleby wrote:By "scientific" you really mean sample size and breadth. A poll announced on the local news ought to be broad, and they had thousands of participants. I don't remember who ran the other poll. The polls are certainly more meaningful than any of our hunches.

No matter how many votes they get, online polls certainly don't produce valid and reliable results. In this case, non-Wisconsinites could vote. I'd rather see a random sample poll of only Wisconsin residents, in order to put any faith in the results.
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Re: Isthmus on Edgewater

Postby Azog » Wed Mar 30, 2011 8:35 pm

Huckleby wrote:
green union terrace chair wrote: Online polls are not scientific.


By "scientific" you really mean sample size and breadth. A poll announced on the local news ought to be broad, and they had thousands of participants. I don't remember who ran the other poll. The polls are certainly more meaningful than any of our hunches.


I don't think many people would completely agree with your definition of a scientific poll. You wouldn't take a Channel 3000 online poll on the mayor's race as a good indicator of who is going to win, would you? If the only poll they are going to do is a media poll, its not even as scientific as a random sample of the population, its a specific sample of interested parties.
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Re: Isthmus on Edgewater

Postby Huckleby » Wed Mar 30, 2011 8:49 pm

Azog wrote: If the only poll they are going to do is a media poll, its not even as scientific as a random sample of the population, its a specific sample of interested parties.


The whole idea is to take a random sample of the population, and watchers of the evening news sounds like a reasonably random sample. I guess you are saying that it samples people who care enough to vote. Well, ok, but hard to spin that one to either side of the issue.
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Re: Isthmus on Edgewater

Postby gargantua » Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:33 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:
Huckleby wrote:There were online polls taken by Channel3000 and others. The polls showed steady, consistent numbers strongly in favor of the Edgewater project. (Consistent over time suggests that fraud was probably not a factor)

Did the polls ask about TIF money? That's my main objection to the project.


I would be interested to see if Huckleby has an answer to this. I would have said yes to the generic project. But, I would have (and did, to no avail) say no to the TIF. So if the question didn't mention that, I have to think the result might be misleading.
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Re: Isthmus on Edgewater

Postby Huckleby » Wed Mar 30, 2011 11:19 pm

This is a tough crowd.

I have no info or guess regarding public opinion on TIF & the Edgewater. It could be that people who had a strong opinion about the use of TIF opposed the Edgewater.
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Re: Isthmus on Edgewater

Postby Azog » Thu Mar 31, 2011 12:43 am

Huckleby wrote:
Azog wrote: If the only poll they are going to do is a media poll, its not even as scientific as a random sample of the population, its a specific sample of interested parties.


The whole idea is to take a random sample of the population, and watchers of the evening news sounds like a reasonably random sample. I guess you are saying that it samples people who care enough to vote. Well, ok, but hard to spin that one to either side of the issue.


Not to give you too hard a time about it but, how do I say... The watchers of the evening news are not a random sample of the population, they are the part of the population that watches the evening news on that channel. The people who participate in the poll aren't a random sample of the evening news watchers, they are the part of the evening news crowd who also visit the channel's website. This is a town where a significant number of people don't even have TV's, and a significant number of those who own them don't subscribe to broadcast media, or even use digital converter boxes, and that's just the least of such a poll's problems, so no that's not what I'm saying.

It doesn't gauge the population in proportion to their demographic makeup to create a sample that represents a demographic model of the city. There are so many groups it misses, so many age groups, gender groups, to say the very least. In a way a TV poll like that is more like a marketing technique to increase traffic between the website and the television station.
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Re: Isthmus on Edgewater

Postby Huckleby » Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:24 am

Azog wrote: The watchers of the evening news are not a random sample of the population, they are the part of the population that watches the evening news on that channel.


Somebody in this thread challenged me to prove that the majority of Madison residents support the Edgewater project.

Obviously there is no definitive proof available, just anecdotal and circumstantial evidence, its ultimately a judgement call. The one-sided opinion of evening news watchers is strong evidence. The overwhelming support of elected officials is strong evidence.

If the anti-Edgewater warriors want to beleive they were the voice of the People, and that they were screwed by crooked legal maneuvers, who am I to spoil their wet dream?
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