The City Council met to commend Warren J. Kenney, who served on several city committees, and to discuss several upcoming planning projects.
After speaking shortly with the council, Kenney, who gave 37 years of service to the city of Madison, received a plaque from Mayor Dave Cieslewicz and a standing ovation from members of the council and from his staff. Kenney thanked his staff, members and Cieslewicz for their support throughout the years and urged the council to quickly fill his vacancy.
“With the amount of development, redevelopment and acquisition going on in the city, you’re going to need all the hands you can get,” Kenney said to the council.
Kenney, who had worked under six mayors, was responsible for much of the development of Campus Drive, as well as various community developments throughout the city.
Members of the council had only good things to say about him. Ald. Matt Sloan said he would miss Kenney’s good humor and enjoyable disposition, and Ald. Tim Bruer said Kenney made his mark by providing technical knowledge and skill on paper and during development.
Despite only working with Kenney for 10 months, Mayor Cieslewicz added that his guidance was a great help.
Following Kenney’s speech, the council focused on pressing issues of city development, including the possible reconstruction of Coyne Court, located between South Charter and South Orchard streets.
Residents and business employers came to voice dissent about the possible reconstruction plan of the street.
Roger Charly, Madison resident and store owner of Budget Bicycle, located at 1230 Regent St., said he has lived and worked in the area since he was a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin. Charly has seen the growth of Coyne Court over the years and estimates construction will cause several difficulties.
“Reconstruction has a lot of uncertainties and problems,” Charly said to the council. “I don’t think it’s worth the tremendous costs for my neighbors and myself.”
Charly said reappraising the projected $85,000 reconstruction plan will be more cost-efficient, especially since UW owns three of the buildings located on Coyne Court. These three buildings may be subject to reconstruction if UW receives an expected $22 million for building construction from the Board of Regents.
Budget Bicycle warehouse manager Jeremy Guth urged the council to wait a few years before reconsidering construction. Guth said to wait until the university has dealt with its own building reconstruction.
“Why rebuild now if the university will redo it later? We could save money by rerouting [reconstruction],” Guth said.
Charly brought up several focus issues for the council, such as the impact development will have on the escalating parking problem in Madison.
According to Charly, Coyne Court is the location of 12 apartment buildings, four private properties and three UW-owned buildings that would be subject to the pressures of construction.