Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Advertisements
Advertisements

Bauman address hits positives, hints trouble

Madison “stands as a beacon that shines brightly” against a national backdrop of unemployment and debt, Mayor Sue Bauman said in her annual State of the City address at the July 16th Madison City Council meeting,

However, as the lighthouse beacon warns ships of possible disaster, Bauman warned the citizenry of challenges headed for the isthmus. Bauman said the city needs to work harder on issues of downtown alcohol, open-air drug sales, race relations, affordable housing, opportunities for youth, downtown growth, and citizen access to city government through the Internet.

While Bauman’s statements about the need for an inclusionary zoning ordinance drew head nods from campus-area alders and low-cost housing advocates Todd Jarrell, Brenda Konkel, and Tom Powell, many council members were disappointed with the speech overall.

City council president Matt Sloan labeled the speech “underwhelming.” District 4 alder Mike Verveer called it “uninspiring.”

“The speech was fairly predictable,” Verveer said. “She discussed the challenges Madison faces, but she didn’t lay out any new initiatives which was disappointing.”

With this State of the City possibly being her last in light of a tough reelection, Verveer expected Bauman to lie out her vision for the future of Madison. Verveer said he is especially concerned with the city’s need to cutback fiscally.

“Madison is continually funded by property taxes, and with cutbacks in federal and especially now state funding the city budget will continue to dwindle, and we could lose state funding by 2004,” Verveer said. “But we can’t just sit back and wait for that. We need to plan ahead, and she failed to address these issues.”

But overall, most council members appreciated the emphasis on housing.

“The need to ensure that all persons have access to safe, quality and affordable housing continues to be at the top of the list of challenges for Madison,” Bauman said in her speech.

However Alder Brenda Konkel, District 2 told the Wisconsin State Journal that Bauman must start work on it rather than merely pointing it out.

In her speech Bauman outlined a number of ways to open up affordable housing options.

They included the inclusionary zoning ordinance, which would require a certain percentage of affordable units in all new developments and convincing wary landlords to accept section 8 housing vouchers.

However, Bauman said, in order for the inclusionary zoning ordinance to work, areas around Madison must pass similar legislation. Bauman said she has met with area mayors and village presidents, and they will continue to meet for the rest of the year to discuss the ordinances.

Overall Bauman said to improve race and socio-economic relations in the city “dancing together or talking together is not enough.” Citizens of different income and/or race need to live together to “overcome the divisiveness of racial discrimination and of socio-economic differences,” Bauman said. To further her point Bauman explained that economic integration is necessary for children as well referring to research she found that, “Economic integration works for low-income children.”

Advertisements
Leave a Comment
Donate to The Badger Herald

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Wisconsin-Madison. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Badger Herald

Comments (0)

All The Badger Herald Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *