Updated: Feb 7
If you're new to my email list, I've been sending regular email updates since I was elected as your alder so you have one place where you can find what's currently happening with our City. I promised I would keep you informed if elected because having informed residents makes us better as a City. Regular updates through email, on my website and my Facebook page are some of the ways I'm working to keep you informed. Thank you for subscribing!
PUBLIC SAFETY TOWN HALL ON FEBRUARY 2
We all know with a rise in financial hardship, it oftentimes results in an increase in crime. We must address this issue on many fronts including community engagement. On February 2nd, I am hosting my Public Safety Town Hall with our Interim Police Chief Sara Deuman, Monona Officer Nathan Reynolds, and Gloria Reyes CEO of Reyes Public Safety.
Increasing our community connections is one way we can increase our safety. We all have a responsibility to look out for our neighbors and to know our neighbors. Neighborhood watch groups, community policing, and neighborhood associations provide people with an immediate way to communicate with each other and alert each other of crime events in our neighborhoods.
But, we must watch out for the pitfalls of neighborhood watch groups like people taking matters into their own hands, falling into racial stereotypes and group think. My town hall event will have an equitable perspective which is essential in discussions of policing and safety.
The event will be live streamed on my Facebook page on February 2nd at 7pm but will be uploaded to YouTube after the event. This will be an interactive discussion and your questions and participation are welcome!
POLICE CHIEF SURVEY & NEHEMIAH LISTENING SESSION
Our Police Chief search is underway. Residents are asked to take a survey to provide their feedback on what qualities you would like to see in our next chief. The process is expected to take about 12 weeks. GovHR and Nehemiah will host a community listening session on Tuesday, February 9th at 6:30pm. Individuals who are planning to attend and would like to speak are encouraged to register.
UPDATE ON DEVON STORAGE AT SOUTH TOWNE
At the January 25th Plan Commission meeting, the Devon Storage zoning permit was denied unanimously by the commission. Devon Storage was proposing an indoor facility with 800 storage units. While it was hard to turn away $10 million in investment, I felt that the sheer enormity of the proposal and having such a large storage facility at South Towne was not in the best interest of the community and our largest retail site. Plus, we heard from an unprecedented number of residents opposed to the project.
If Devon Storage would have been willing to downgrade the storage units and split the building into a smaller retail space, that would have been worth considering in my opinion. I did ask if they explored other configurations but they said it wouldn't be financially feasible.
A smaller storage facility on the end of the mall could have been worked around for a future redevelopment and could have provided us with some good financial investment to get started on a future redevelopment in addition to adding to our tax base. For now, the site will remain vacant. In May, it will be two years of vacancy.
WATER METER UPDATES
The City has begun its long awaited process of updating water meters city wide. Residents have received a letter explaining the process. Please note that the letter states that you can call HydroCorp and reschedule if you are uncomfortable with someone entering your home at this time. HydroCorp follows the safety protocols for Covid, and the program is similar to that of HVAC, plumbers, electricians, etc., entering homes.
The meter being installed is the true smart meter, whereas the meter installed 12 years ago had technology for drive-by reading. The new version can be read from the utility clerk’s computer. We have updated information on our website. LEARN MORE
WISCONSIN SALT WISE
We rely on salt to keep our roads safe in the winter and to soften water in our homes year-round but using more salt than is needed comes with a heavy price. In Wisconsin and much of the United States, chloride from salt is
infiltrating into our lakes, streams and groundwater.
Believe it or not, a coffee mug of salt is enough to treat an entire 20-foot driveway or 10 sidewalk squares.
Once salt is in the environment it doesn’t go away. It ends up in our lakes, rivers, streams and wetlands, putting aquatic life at risk and endangering our freshwater resources.
Our surface water, groundwater and soil have been absorbing virtually all of the salt spread in the state for more than six decades. Chloride from salt is toxic to aquatic life and degrades the natural ecosystem of our lakes. It only takes 1 teaspoon of salt to pollute 5 gallons of water to a level that is toxic to freshwater ecosystems. View the hidden costs of oversalting.
ICE SKATE AND SNOWSHOE RENTAL AVAILABLE AT COMMUNITY CENTER
Winnequah Park's lagoon is groomed during the winter for ice skating. Nestled in the heart of Monona, the rink gives skaters a unique skating experience reminiscent of a Norman Rockwell portrait. Monona Parks & Rec is now offering snowshoe and ice skate rental at the Community Center. Call 608-222-4167 to make reservations. The Winnequah Park shelter will not be open this season.
I am proud to receive endorsements from neighbors and Monona residents. I'm not going for all the big establishment names because my campaign isn't about political games or a popularity contest. It's about truly serving those in our community who want to have a voice and be heard in our local government and feel safe in our community.
Our local business community holds a special place in my heart. As a past business owner myself, I know the challenges of business ownership in a typical year let alone during a pandemic. 2021 will continued be a tough year for our businesses. I will immediately assemble a task force if elected to help us better understand how we can support them and reduce the chances of massive closures. We must be looking ahead and plan for this battle against an invisible enemy. There is no time to waste.