Personnel & Finance
Monday, Nov. 10, 5:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 11, 6 p.m.
Room 309, City-County Building
Dane County's Personnel and Finance Committee begins two days of deliberations on amendments to the 2009 budget. Unlike the city of Madison, the county does most of its dirty work in committee. Proposed amendments include borrowing $341,000 to remodel the City-County Building, adding $100,000 for mental health services for the homeless and another $100,000 for improvements to the beleaguered 911 Center.
Supvs. Sheila Stubbs and Scott McDonell have also proposed spending another $147,000 to hire three new social workers for the county's Child Protective Services division. The move comes following an incident in 2007 in which a county social worker sent a six-week-old infant home to her abusive mother, who allegedly murdered the child. The full County Board considers the budget next week. See the list of amendments here (PDF).
Tuesday, Nov. 11, 5:30
Wednesday, Nov. 12, 5:30 (if needed)
Thursday, Nov. 12, 5:30 (if needed)
Room 201, City-County Building Agenda
The council begins deliberations on a budget that includes something for everyone ... to hyperventilate about. There are 45 proposed amendments for the 2009 operating budget and 28 to the 2009 capital budget. The council will likely need all three of the nights it's set aside for debate this week.
The biggest battle will be over whether to raise cash bus fares by 50 cents to $2. Alds. Brian Solomon and Satya Rhodes-Conway have proposed an amendment to delete the fare increase and save money in other ways. For example, Metro could bring in $40,000 in extra revenue by eliminating free rides on Clean Air Action days. The amendment would also reduce funding for security at transfer stations by $25,000 and reallocate $100,000 in fuel savings. Turns out the cost of gas was not as high this year as anticipated.
The council simply allocates the money for Metro -- how it's actually used is determined by the city's Transit and Parking Commission. Mayor Dave Cieslewicz, in a fit of frustration, recently threatened to abolish the commission if it did not follow through on his plan to raise fares. He doesn't actually have the authority to do so, but he could carry out his follow-up threat of not reappointing members.
Alds. Brenda Konkel and Marsha Rummel have also proposed deleting $1.3 million for a new fire station on the west side. Konkel says she wants to give the city's fire chief an opportunity to address the council and publicly explain the need for the new station, which has been criticized in some newspaper editorials. It's a PR strategy that leaves something to be desired.
Other amendments include eliminating an increase in funding to the Greater Madison Convention and Visitors Bureau; implementing a recycling program in city parks; keeping weekly trash pick-up of large items and restoring funding for a public market downtown. See the full list of operating budget amendments here (PDF); capital budget amendments here (PDF).