December 18, 2003

1. Call to Order and Introductions 7:00 p.m. *

Susan Bauman Duren, Council Vice President, called the meeting to order at 7:10. The following other folks attended:
Sandy Ward, Safety Cmte
Pat McDonnell, Traffic
Richard Linster, Membership and Social
Joe Brogan, Education
Gigi Holland, Housing
Cheryl Wittke, Secretary
Visitor Beth Gross, candidate for County Board seeking the seat currently held by Judy Wilcox. Beth purchased a home on Thornton Avenue a year ago, and has lived in Madison for four. She works for a nonpartisan child and family research center of the UW. She has been endorsed by Progressive Dane and is seeking the endorsement of the Democratic Party. She welcomes opportunities to hear about neighborhood concerns. She will attend the January potluck.

2. Distribution and Approval of the Minutes from the November Meeting 7:05

Approval of minutes moved by Richard, seconded by Sandy, approved. Gigi commented on discussion reflected in the minutes about Christ Presbyterian Church’s removal of trees and shrubs: she noted that she thought the church was cited by the city and was required to remove the vegetation.

3. Old Business
a. Followup on Steensland Bridge Plans (Ed Jepsen) 7:10

Ed’s letter was distributed. It was decided that this item needed to be held over, because the letter was signed by Ed in his Friends of the Yahara Parkway capacity and with no reference to TLNA. So, the council needs more information on how to proceed. (Did Ed intend TLNA to co-sign the letter, or is there another letter he drafted on behalf of TLNA that wasn’t circulated? – per the last meeting, TLNA would like to be on record in support of bridge plan changes Ed suggested in his letter)

Sandy and Pat attended the December 3rd Public Works Committee meeting where the bridge plans were discussed. They said that Ed’s letter does a great job of bringing all the issues raised together. One question Sandy had is path width: do we really want something that looks like a road going under the bridge (eg. 20 feet vs. 14 feet)?

b. Followup on Traffic Letter (Patrick McDonnell) 7:20

Pat reported that circulating the draft letter to the Mayor had the effect of generating good discussion about larger and smaller traffic concerns within the neighborhood. Concerns about left turns onto Few from Sherman; the need for traffic calming on Sherman; the need to revisit 90s plans to link Fordem to 1st Street to redirect traffic to E. Wash; need to continue pressing Traffic Engineering to time stop lights on Johnson and Gorham to encourage traffic to flow at 25MPH vs. 37 MPH; need to dovetail traffic plans so they’re in harmony with Yahara Parkway plans; need to engage Alder Brenda in traffic issues on behalf of the neighborhood.

Pat and Sandy noted that a number of residents offered to help by becoming more involved in the Traffic Committee.

After discussion, the group agreed that both “global” neighborhood concerns of the type included in Pat’s draft letter to the Mayor, and smaller scale issues need to be pursued by the neighborhood and by neighborhood residents. Pat noted that a package needs to be presented to the City that will calm traffic – and the city can’t take a piecemeal approach. Some noted that Traffic Engineering would never go for making Johnson and Gorham two way streets again – others pointed out that, as with Lapham School’s reopening, with political will and proper pressure applied, it can be done. Urban planner Donovan Rypkema noted that THE most significant way to improve the Tenney Lapham/Old Marketplace Neighborhoods would be to return Johnson and Gorham to 2 way streets.

Pat noted that the purpose of the letter is keep momentum going after Mayor Dave’s visit in October. The letter is a jumping off point, not a list of demands, necessarily. Pat noted that there will likely be strong reactions from Traffic Engineering, but what will be interesting is Mayor’s reaction to it.

Susan moved that the Council accept the letter as is, and that it be sent to the Mayor; Richard seconded; Motion passed unanimously.

Pat asked who else should be copied on the letter. Suggestions included Maple Bluff Police Chief Tim Krueger, Susan Agee, Emerson East NA President, Ledell Zellers of Capitol Neighborhoods, Captain Yudice, Lt. Stephanie Bradley-Wilson of the Madison PD Traffic Unit. Other suggestions should be forwarded to Pat.

The letter should be signed by Jim and Sal as co-presidents. Cheryl suggested that Pat should also sign as chair of the Transportation Committee.

c. Discussion of Trees/Gardens Census (Margaret Bergamini
* useful for TLNA and city planning
* essential for revised TLNA Plan 7:30
Item carried over to next meeting.

d. NPG: TLNA will proceed with revising the TLNA Plan and resubmit the proposal
for funding in early 2004 7: 40

Item carried over to next meeting.

e. Letters sent:
* Brownfield letter (Jim and Sal) 7:45

4. Treasurer’s Report 7:50
Item carried over to next meeting

5. ?Alder Report – Brenda Konkel 8:00
No report – did not attend
6. ?Sgt. Dexheimer 8:15
No report – did not attend
7. Committee Reports 8:25
Please come prepared with a written report, if possible.

Housing Committee: Gigi Holland

Diane Milligan is interested in working with Gigi on the Housing Committee – she can be added to the newsletter masthead as a co-chair.

I. Gigi would like to talk with Council members individually to gather people’s vision – what should Housing Committee/neighborhood be working on? How to work with city agencies? She wants to develop a plan of action to focus our attention and to get help from Alder Brenda. Examples: a) Building Inspection b) zoning issues; c) chronic slum landlords and nuisance houses; d) traffic calming e) traffic lights on Johnson and Gorham set to posted speed limit.

II. She attended a speech by author David Mollenhoff, who called the Isthmus a “special zone”. She’s willing to contact him about coming to speak at the potluck – would be a wonderful speaker, and he’s agreed to appear.
III. There are new fire prevention regulations that affect 3-flats and larger units but don’t affect 2 flats, which are prevalent in our neighborhood (old wood decks are a hazard with grills). Also, an evacuation route must be posted, again, for 3 flats and above.
Joe wondered if Gigi had any data on percentage owner occupied vs. rental.
Gigi has building inspection reports if anyone’s interested.

Education: Joe Brogan

Advocacy groups are evolving, and school board races beginning
Alix Olson will challenge Ruth Robarts
Two candidates are vying for Ray Allen’s seat

Gov’s Task Force has been created to study costs of a great education for every child and how to pay for it. Check out website for information, or to make suggestions. Property tax payers are at their limit, but educational costs continue to rise – how to fund quality education?

Active Citizens for Education – conservative, back to basics group
Citizens Investing in Madison Schools – helped pass the referendum
Progressive Dane Task Force
Campaign for Safe Schools – gay and lesbian advocates examining school climate/harassment issues
Language – O’Keefe eliminated French. What are implications – examine support for 2 language offerings there

TAG (Talented and Gifted) formed a group at the elementary school level – will continue to meet to develop strategies to challenge kids

East High – some in the community are concerned about racial tensions. Group is gathering to examine the issue.

Membership: Richard

Since the last meeting, he’s collected 35 memberships and $159 in dues

Social: Richard

Since there are many things to do at the potluck on January 22nd, he suggests beginning at 5:30 and going until 7. On the agenda: 10 minute Traffic Committee report from Pat (perhaps with a visual, such as a neighborhood traffic map); county supervisor candidate introductions

Richard also offered a suggested plan on how to 1) make neighborhood association functions more fun (have kid talent shows); and 2) increase membership base on committees. To address #2, he suggests holding a Saturday afternoon training/brainstorming session for committees. He’ll make lunch. Try to do this in February.

He also suggests using Lapham School on a regular basis for neighborhood events – it’s cheaper, and it’s underutilized by the neighborhood.

Sandy moved to adjourn; Joe seconded; motion carried. Meeting adjourned at 9:05.

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