Week 6

Health and Human Needs met on Tuesday, May 15 at the ADRC. We heard from department leads who focused on the transition to family care, health care for adults overseen by the state, rather than the county as was previously done. Following the meeting we toured the ADRC to learn more about aging & disability resources in Dane County.

At the ADRC there is a quilt with a square for each of the communities in the county, Monona's features a the Tonyawatha Hotel, which according to some internet sites say it burned down in the mid 1890s.

 Tonyawatha hotel shown on quilt at ADRC

Tonyawatha hotel shown on quilt at ADRC

On Wednesday, I attended 2018 County Officials Workshops (COWS) hosted by the Wisconsin Counties AssociationUniversity of Wisconsin-Extension Local Government Center. The workshop provided information about how counties in Wisconsin function, Robert's Rules, and ethics. As a result of the workshop, I have made some additional inquires about what the counties can do to coordinate on the dark store loophole. The Wisconsin Counties Association is helping to draft language about the 

The linked video provides an overview of Wisconsin Counties.

On Thursday, I started my day at the Fen Oak building for the UW Extension Committee meeting; two of our neighboring supervisors were elected as the chair and vice chair positions, Supervisor Stubbs (to our west) was elected as the chair, and Supervisor Williams (Cottage Grove) was elected vice chair. You can find the agenda here. Dr. Welch reported on a program that has been having a lot of success in teaching students healthy eating habits, cooking, shopping strategies, and leadership: 4-H Food Smart Families is also showing a lot of promise as a model for other programs.

I also met with Director Laura Hicklin and Assistant Director John Reimer of the Land & Water Resources Department to get more information about lake levels, and generally gain a better understanding of water issues that impact District 24.

Assistant Director Reimer shared that the best place for lake updates is the Lake & Water Resources Lake Levels & Information website. You'll also see a weekly update that keeps you informed about the most recent conditions. He did say that the lake levels are very high right now given all of the rain that we've received. Director Hicklin explained that with a few very short periods a couple of years ago the locks have been wide open for a very long time, allowing the water to exit as quickly as our topography allows. Reimer went on to explain that part of the slow moving water is due to the relatively low difference in elevation across our system. Additionally, Lake Monona rises more quickly because of it's size and watershed size.

One of the things we can do in our everyday lives to slow the pace that the lakes rise is to install water collection barrels which collect rain water which then slowly re-enters the water system. I don't have these installed yet, so I'd love to have some advice from any of you that are experts!

Lake & Water Department website screenshot

We also talked about the boat cleaning stations and public announcements that share best practices for reducing the spread of invasive species. If you have your boat out on the lakes visit the website to learn more. You may also meet a friendly education staff while you're on the lakes this summer that can help you learn more.

Thursday evening, we will host our first county board meeting since the swearing in meeting. You can find the agenda here, and all board meetings are live-streamed, if you would like to watch from home. I will have updates on all of these events in next week's post.

Friday, I attended the United Way's Building Economic Stability Mobilization Team meeting where I learned more about housing insecurity in Dane County and how we might play a role in helping to create self supporting families—beyond the $15/hour movement. 

Coincidentally, a program connected to the United Way discussion held earlier in the day celebrated some big success. It was the graduation for 2018 Spring Bilingual Construction Graduates of the Latino Academy of Workforce Development—a program within the Vera Court Agency. 

 2018 Spring Bilingual Construction Graduates

2018 Spring Bilingual Construction Graduates

The graduates ranged in age from 18 to late 40s, and were working on filling out applications as we ate. We were then given a tour of the work they did over the last several weeks in the program. The program is a win-win for everyone involved, from the construction partners, to the graduates, their families, and the instructors.

In other news, my daughter was very excited to learn while we were out on our bike ride that the pool has water! Not long now, and it will also be full of kids making summertime memories. 

 The pool has water, my daughter jumps for joy

The pool has water, my daughter jumps for joy

I've spent the weekend working for my day job, attending the workshop TRELIS. It is intended to connect female leaders in GIS Higher Education. It has been incredibly inspiring and I'm thankful for the opportunity.

 Female leaders in GIS, visiting from around the country for the inaugural trelis workshop

Female leaders in GIS, visiting from around the country for the inaugural trelis workshop

County announcements...

In other news...

What's coming this week?

On Monday evening we will gather for a community meeting for the shooting that occurred on Bridge Road last week. If you are interested sharing concerns or input, the community will gather at the BLW Neighborhood Center with Madison Police Chief Mike Koval, Captain John Patterson, Madison Alder Carter, Dane County Supervisor Shelia Stubbs, and Monona Shores Staff.

Wednesday, May 23, join me in supporting Wisconsin workers at the South Central Federation of Labor 57th annual Bean Feed. You can rsvp at the facebook link. The Bean Feed is a fundraiser for political education and member communication.

 SCFL Bean Feed, fundraiser for cope

SCFL Bean Feed, fundraiser for cope

On Thursday, May 24th at 5pm you can join me at the Steamfitters Local 601 Address:  6310 Town Center Drive, Madison to attend, Building a Strong Economy. You will learn more about the challenges facing the hard working women and men of the Building Trades Unions.