Mayor Needs to Get Religion

Lots of good stuff in the papers this morning. Let’s get to it.

She’s not a believer. Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway continues to duck issues. The city has a very good plan to marry transportation with land use by providing for higher development densities along corridors that will soon be served by Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). Give the Mayor credit for getting that BRT system across the finish line. But there’s an important detail in the new zoning proposal: whether or not to include some historic districts in the higher density overlays. In Dean Mosiman’s typically thorough story about this, the mayor says she’s “agnostic” about the question and the City Council should decide. She also hasn’t gotten religion on police body cameras, on the public market, on violence in the public schools, on the size of the county jail, etc. I’m not clear why anyone would want that job if they don’t have an opinion on much of anything.

They don’t really want to know. Legislative Republicans want to know how you feel about work requirements for welfare recipients, never mind that the state’s main welfare program already has them. They need to know that in April. As it turns out (and what a happy coincidence!) putting an advisory question on welfare work requirements on the April ballot will coincide with a crucial state Supreme Court race. Who knew?! A cynical person (and we are not cynical here at YSDA!) might suspect that what the GOP really wants to do is run up the conservative vote in the court race. If you’re a Democrat you might want to check your hypocrisy, though. In November the Dane County Board just had to know how voters in the most liberal county in Wisconsin felt about abortion and legalizing marijuana.

Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu wants to give millionaires a $100,000 tax break while requiring welfare recipients to find a job, never mind the existing work search requirement.

Flat out wrong. Republicans never run out of ideas about how to give handouts to rich folks. It looks like they’re going to take another run at a flat income tax. Under their plan, if you’re an individual earning between $40,000 and $50,000 you can look forward to a $290 tax break. Earn over a million dollars? You get $112,000. Gosh, seems fair to me. Oh, and the GOP plan blows a $5 billion hole in the budget, turning a big surplus into an ongoing budget crisis, which I suppose is part of the plan. Gov. Tony Evers vows a veto, but it’s not clear how or if he can do that since it will be part of the budget and he’ll have to use his line item veto authority. Also, this is the same governor that went along with a billion dollar tax cut heavily weighted toward the rich in the last budget.

Enough for a Saturday. The Badgers take on Indiana at noon. Let’s see if they can get back on the winning track.


Published by dave cieslewicz

Madison/Upper Peninsula based writer. Mayor of Madison, WI from 2003 to 2011.

5 thoughts on “Mayor Needs to Get Religion

  1. Hello Dave, Thank you for the opportunity to get your viewpoints on city issues. I would like to know your thoughts about amending the Family Zoning Ordinance. This is a hot topic and I know the ordinance change is necessary for the successful operation of the BRT system, but what will it do to single family housing and our currently family friendly neighborhoods? Your thoughts on the zoning change will be greatly appreciated.


      1. Hi Dave, thanks for looking into this issue… the Planning Committee meets tonight and the Common Council meets 2/28/23 to decide on whether or not to change the “Family Zoning Ordinance.” Your help is appreciated. Hmm. don’t you live in the Regent Neighborhood Assn area….these folks have been pretty vocal about not wanting the zoning changed as proposed by the City. Barbara


      2. Dave, I hope you have been able to research the proposed residential zoning change called (Proposal to Revise Family Zoning Ordinance.) I would love to have your thoughts/suggestions as to how we can retain single family housing in the Regent, Vilas, Dudgeon-Monroe and Greenbush areas. An overlay is being suggested by the above neighborhood associations which would allow areas closest to campus and downtown to restrict the number of renters in non-owner occupied houses. This seems like a worthwhile compromise and your thoughts would be helpful. Please and Thanks! Barbara Erlenborn


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