Let's lead together!

Policy is better when more voices of people with different lived experiences are involved in the process. Before I ran for office I met with a lot of people who held elected positions. Each time I would ask them a handful of questions, one of them being, “What is the hardest part of being an elected official?” The former Mayor of Monona, Bob Miller, told me it was engagement — getting people to consistently engage in the process was the biggest struggle. This idea has been consuming a lot of my mind as I work on EngageDane with my colleagues, and picked up the book Bowling Alone after a recommendation during a Madison Mayoral Forum from Candidate Raj Shukla.

Which is all to say, join me! You don’t have to run for office — or maybe you could think about it! In the meantime, you could choose to sign up for a lot of different committees, non-profits, or volunteer opportunities. My path into elected office began with service to the Bridge LakePoint Waunona Community Center, but before that I was a Big Sister. One of the things I’ve done with each role is figured out how I can fit my life into the new role. “Where will my kids be welcome to participate with me?” is an important question. Volunteering or serving isn’t something that I do outside of my family life — it is integrated in it. There are a lot of ways you can get involved, which one is right for you? Monona has opportunities for you to join, and so does Dane County. Another opportunity is to be active with your elected officials — call me, get regular updates, give me your opinion! I can do this job so much better when I hear from you.

I’d love to know about more opportunities to serve in our community. Are you looking for volunteers? Do you have a favorite place or cause where you give your time?


Leading together

Better and stronger policy through inclusive engagement

Lake Levels Task Force, first meeting

In adherence to the  Res-227, 2018 by the Dane County Board of Supervisors, the Yahara Chain of Lakes – Lake Levels Task Force will meet on February 4 at 5pm, you can find the agenda here. There will be six meetings total (February 4th, 11th, 18th, March 5th 18th, and April 1st). Each meeting will begin at 5 pm and will take place at the CCB or at the Land & Water Resources Dept, 5201 Fen Oak Dr. Each meeting will conclude with public comment, and a public hearing will be held at the fourth meeting, March 5th,



Information for the first meeting:
Monday, February 4, 5pm

Lyman F Anderson Ag & Conservation Center 
5201 Fen Oak Drive - Room A/B Madison WI 53718

You can find information about the work at the Lakes and Waters resources website (link).

Lakes and Watershed Commission and the Environment, Agriculture and Natural Resource (EANR) Committee are convening these meetings, with the task of making policy recommendations based on the work group analyses, which can be read in the Technical Work Group Report (link).

Additional resources can be found in the links below:

Wisconsin Counties Association, Dane County Ambassador



On January 16th I attended the Wisconsin Counties Association County Ambassador Program. Several State Senators, Representatives, and staff engaged with the legislative agenda established by the Wisconsin Counties Association. Director of Dane County Human Services, Lynn Green, Juvenile Court Administrator of the Juvenile Reception Center, John Bauman, and I presented the four different topics.



Director Green led the team in presenting Children and Family Aids Allocation Increase. Administrator Bauman then discussed Secured Residential Care Centers for Children and Youth, and the impact of the state youth center closures. I talked briefly about the need to continue upgrades to our 911 system across the state, and provide ongoing maintenance funding with the Grants for Public Safety Answering Points, and in addition to the final point regarding Court-Appointed Attorney Compensation.

February 5 and 6 I will attend the WCA Legislative Exchange in Madison. In March, I will attend my first board meeting as a member of the WCA Board, a position Supervisor Kolar has held previously. Dane County Clerk Scott McDonnell also serves this body.

Approval pending on Lake Task Force appointment

Pending approval of the Yahara Chain of Lakes, Lake Levels Task Force Membership, at the Dec 17th meeting of Lakes & Watershed Executive Committee meeting, I will join other Supervisors and citizens who will consider future actions for the Yahara Chain of Lakes. Like several issues the County is balancing, I understand both the need for urgency and long-term prevention.

As always the best way for me to represent you is to know what you’re thinking and what you’re experiencing. Please contact me: (608) 237-6712, buckingham.tanya@countyofdane.com.

SANDbags in monona following 2018 floods

SANDbags in monona following 2018 floods

Budget overview

2019 Budget process

2019 Budget process

The budget process really helped me understand more deeply how, and where, the county services are integrated into our community. It also helped expose areas where we could be doing even more.

You can read the press release about the overall process here.

The amendments that I led focused on immigration, and engagement for youth and families in the La Follette neighborhood. There is simultaneously an urgent need, and long-term intervention to be invested in the youth of our community. Several community members and leaders have been meeting. I have joined in those meetings as well as talking with students and parents.

In addition to opening conversations with staff, families, and students in the La Follette neighborhood, as well as several leaders in the community, I worked with other community leaders and people in District 24 to set priorities for the upcoming year. Mayor O’Connor, and the Senior Center Director Diane Mikelbank suggested funding for a trial of EMS bags for people suffering with dementia, who may be left by their main caregiver in an emergency situation. The Human Services Department was able to accommodate this request, and a trial will launch in 2019.

I was so grateful to work with the County Executive, and his staff to listen to the desires of the people who came to testify at the public hearings. The Vets Ride With Pride Program is a popular program that provides a bus pass for Veterans. Demand for the program has exceeded capacity for the last few years. The additional funding ensures that Veterans in our community will have access to transportation year round. The program also supports the opportunity for staff to check in with Veterans on their health, and get them additional services if they are experiencing any concerns.

With the budget, we set the priorities of our county. Now, it is time to do the work. I am looking forward to heading into 2019 to put the budget in action.

I was proud to sign on as a co-sponsor to other amendments including:

  • Rapid Rehousing for Homeless Veterans and Chronically Homeless Individuals on Dane County Priority List and Increased Services for Rethke Residents, introduced by Supervisor Weigleitner

  • Outreach Inc. to fund a Transgender Health Advocate counseling led by Supervisor Kilmer

  • Sexual Assault Prevention Services, introduced by Supervisor Young

  • Redirecting funds to Anesis Therapy for Hmong Kajsiab and Catholic Multicultural Center to the Hmong Institute for Hmong Kajsiab Community Programming, led by Supervisors Kilmer and Kuhn

  • Fundraising effort by installing change collection sites at the Dane County Airport, that will support the JFF Eviction Prevention, led by Supervisor Eicher

  • A zero-dollar evaluation of mental health services, led by Supervisor Kuhn

  • Goodman Community Center mental health services in partnership with Anesis Therapy, lead sponsor Supervisor Kuhn

A colleague recently asked me what I was most proud of when it came to the budget. Upon reflection it was how collaborative and supportive our process was as a committee. We worked so hard to reach out to people around Dane County, respond to public testimony, and compromise with one another on how to move forward. Ultimately, in committee we cut our initial budget amendments by nearly half before sending them on to the Finance Committee. A couple of the things that I led that did not make it through the budget process included more funding for immigration support staff, and funding for parenting training for parents who are incarcerated. Both of these are needs that we still recognize. Researchers at UW-Madison continue to search for funding for the parenting instruction, and have won grants to pay for training for a trial, but are still in need of funding to support the program in the long-run. The additional support for immigration remains a critical need for our community.

As always this process works best when I hear from you. Please contact me: (608) 237-6712, buckingham.tanya@countyofdane.com.

PRESS RELEASE: Presentation to Address Historic Flooding and Control of Lake Levels

Monday, November 26, 2018 • 6:00 p.m.
Lussier Family Heritage Center, 3101 Lake Farm Road, Madison
This presentation is free and open to all members of the public.

In the wake of last summer's historic flooding, John Reimer, Assistant Director of the Dane County Land & Water Resources Department, will give a public presentation on how the levels on the Yahara chain of lakes are controlled. Mr. Reimer is responsible for lake level management, including aquatic plant harvesting and operation of the three dams in the Yahara chain of lakes. He'll explain what contributed to last summer's historic flooding, why managing lake levels is difficult, and what is planned to improve control of lake levels in the future. He'll also discuss new initiatives the County will include in its 2019 budget proposal to aid flood recovery, increase lake health, and build future resiliency.

Early Budget Process update


County budget is available.

Here's what I'm looking into with regard to budget amendments - 

Immigration. I am looking at two amendments:

$70,000 that would go to the Madison Community Foundation – Dane County Immigrant Assistance Fund. This organization assists immigrants in our community.

$80,000 for a second position in the Dane County Immigration Affairs office. Currently, there is only one social worker to do caseload management. This was a lot of work before ICE stepped up activity in the area, but now there are even more families relying on Fabioloa Hamden.

 Support for Neighborhood around La Follette High School. I have been meeting with school employees, students, and residents. Each group has expressed concern for recent gun activity, and youth violence. We are looking at reserving funding for a position, and community engagement that will influence how to move forward.

 Parent Training for Inmates. I serve the Creating Economic Stability Team at the United Way, and the Journey Home Delegation. This has introduced me to a lot of information and experts on corrections. I recently learned about an evidence-based program that helps parents in prison connect with their children. It helps them build tools, as well as dealing with the stigma of an incarcerated parent and trauma of separation. The training costs for 3 people will be around $6,000, and the work will be completed in partnership with UW-Madison researchers.

Monona. I put in a request to the Monona Mayor O’Connor late in the process. One of the benefits of knowing this process next year, is that I will start much earlier with my community requests! She is reaching out to staff and will get back to me with possible budget support for Monona.

Other items that were important to the work that I’ve been doing:

Vets Ride With Pride. During my Veterans Service Commission meeting, I learned that this program is critical not only in helping Veterans get around to important appointments, it is also a chance for staff to check in with Veterans and look for signs of mental and physical health concerns. A confirmation from the County Executive’s office informed me that the $10k increase that was added to the budget.

Kajsiab House. This effort was led by our committee chair Jamie Kuhn, and I was grateful to be alongside her to help where I could. We will have an amendment that helps keep the doors open through 2018, and allow for a proper transition for culturally competent mental health care. 

Overview of the budget process:

Oct 1 - 

  • County Exec released his budget

  • Us new folks are all excited to go through our first budget! 

  • It is a good budget addressing many of the concerns raised by the public

  • We start analyzing what was funded and looking for where we might suggest amendments.

Oct 11 - 

  • Health and Human Needs committee will go over the budget in detail, asking questions of the Human Services Director

Oct 17 - 

  • Public hearing on budget

Oct 19 - 

  • Amendments are due to the subcommittee

Oct 23-25 -

  • HHN Public Hearing

Oct 30 -

  • HHN will make the case to Personnel and Finance for the amendments it is requesting

Other updates:

Land Information Council. We had an open data win recently. All of Dane County’s spatial data will be openly available.

Engage Dane. A group of us researched how to better engage with people who don't typically contact government. I participated in four listening sessions with different groups around the city, including South Madison Planning Commission, Latino Support Network of Dane County, Area Agency on Aging, and the free community meal at First United Methodist Church. We collected the results and made recommendations on how to move forward. I look forward to continuing this work.

Flooding. The flooding was rough and we are not out of the woods. The recent rain has undone all of the progress we had seen over the last several weeks. I have attended a handful of meetings with the Director and Assistant Director of Department of Land and Water. The county passed a resolution which you can see here, to look at the trends, given the changing climate. Listening sessions tied to the task force approved in the resolution will be scheduled as part of the process, and Mayor O’Connor is coordinating an additional presentation. I will update when I have more dates.

Here are some of the things that the Exec has announced that he's funding:


SPECIAL POST: Questions about lake levels

Flood peak drone image shows water and weed levels (Image by Shane Fry)

Flood peak drone image shows water and weed levels (Image by Shane Fry)

On Thursday, Sept 20, there will be a committee of the whole meeting. You can read more about that here.

Last weekend, I attended the Belle Isle Neighborhood Association potluck where I heard from many of you about concerns and questions you have. I knew some of them, and some of them I need to ask of the experts. I have compiled your questions below. I have shared this with County Staff, and committee members who have been working on these issues, so that they can address them during the presentations. If you have any other questions that you would like answered, please reach out to me: buckingham.tanya@countyofdane.com.

Also, remember that you can livestream the meeting, and save yourself a trip to the City County Building. The link to livestream seems to be down as of tonight (Wed, Sept 19). If that is still the case, watch my Dane County Facebook page for updates.

Questions from you:

Lake levels -

What is the plan to deal with flooding in the future?

Is the control and lowering of Mendota permanently as the control lake going to be addressed? 

It seems that the handling of our lakes is very reactive, rather than proactive. Can you say a bit about how the decisions are made with regard to the level of the lakes?

It seems that the lakes are rarely at the low level to start the winter, what impact does it have if the lakes are high before the freeze?

Why are the current lake levels, specifically summer maximum levels, for Lakes Mendota and Monona not adhered to, followed or enforced?  And who is responsible for enforcement?

Infrastructure -

I would like to better understand what concerns there are regarding a potential failure of the Tenney Lock Dam. 

Some areas of concern are the following: a) are we worried about erosion around the dam, b) a mechanical failure of the gate, c) something else, and d) is there an emergency plan in such an event?  There was recent maintenance a year or two ago.  What was fixed then? 

Are there plans to somehow shore up the lock and dam or other preventative measures being taken to avoid this catastrophe? 

What additional infrastructure is needed to make sure that there is no bottleneck of weeds at the narrow parts of the chain of lakes?

Water quality -

How is runoff in the north being dealt with to mitigate blue-green algae?

Does slow-no-wake play a role in blue-green algae?

Why has the health of the water deteriorated so drastically in the recent past? What can be done about it?

Can you explain why the lake debris that I collect is not regularly collected?

Wildlife -

Why is Lake Mendota managed as a trophy lake with reduced bag limits which greatly increases fishing pressure, fishing tournaments and boat traffic on the rest of the Madison chain of lakes.  Should they not be managed in an equitable way so that all of the lakes receive the same pressure?

BellE Isle Neighborhood Meeting, September 16

BellE Isle Neighborhood Meeting, September 16


Issued By: County Board Supervisors
View only releases from County Board Supervisors

For more information contact:
Sharon Corrigan, County Board Chair 608.333.2285

Thursday meeting to address flooding impact and causes

Responding to flooding in the Yahara Lakes watershed, the Dane County Board is meeting as a Committee of the Whole to hear from County lakes experts and find answers to questions about the Yahara watershed. 

Additionally, a resolution that will be introduced at the Board Thursday calls for convening a group of experts to evaluate the situation and make policy recommendations by March 31, 2019. Those recommendations could include petitioning the state Department of Natural Resources to allow lower lake levels in the near-term and consider longer-term changes.

“Given the disastrous flooding we’ve experienced this summer, it’s obviously time to take a look at lake levels,” said County Board Chair Sharon Corrigan. “This resolution will set things in motion so we can make policy recommendations in the spring after receiving input from a variety of sources.”

The Dane County Board meeting begins at 7 p.m. Thursday in Room 201 of the City-County Building at 210 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in downtown Madison.   At 6 p.m. prior to the regular meeting, the Board will receive an update on the flooding and lake level management from the Dane County Land & Water Resources Department. Officials have initially estimated damage in excess of $78 million for residents and over $37 million to businesses, with only 2 percent of those damages insured.  The meeting will be broadcast via livestream and can be accessed here:  http://www.cityofmadison.com/citychannel/Details.cfm?Id=6295

The county is responsible for maintaining water levels for the four major lakes in Dane County:  Lake Mendota, Lake Monona, Lake Waubesa and Lake Kegonsa, mainly through operation of the Tenney Park Dam. But any permanent changes in lakes levels must be approved by the DNR. The current target range of keeping Lake Mendota water levels at 849.6 feet above sea level was set in 1979.

Supervisor Yogesh Chawla (District 6, near east Madison) said he has seen the effects of the flooding first-hand along the Yahara River and Lake Monona.

"This resolution will help Dane County bring our lakes down to their state allowed minimums in the short term,” he said. “It also provides a framework and timelines for a robust process to determine what the proper lake levels should be given a rapidly changing climate."

The resolution calls for the Land & Water Resources Department to prepare background material for the Lakes & Watershed Commission and the Environment Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee by immediately convening a technical work group that includes representation from the University of Wisconsin and other experts.

The group would evaluate conditions, model various scenarios that include predicted climate changes, identify short- and long-term recommendations to improve resiliency for future flooding events and make other recommendations that may include petitioning the DNR to change the permitted target range for lake levels.

Supervisor Chuck Erickson (District 13, near west Madison) serves on the Lakes & Watershed Commission and said he is looking for a long-term assessment of the situation.

“While lowering the lake levels is a good place to start, we need to closely review the impacts on the flow required to move water downstream and the impacts on the environment,” he said.

Also Thursday, the Board will view a presentation of "Minding the Gap: The Housing Crisis in Dane County."  Produced in conjunction with the Dane County Housing Initiative (DCHI), the video documents the challenges facing those who struggle to meet monthly rents despite working full-time or receiving retirement benefits including Social Security.

According to a recent report, over 22,000 low-income households in the county pay more than 30% percent of their income in rent. Another 12,000 very low-income households pay more than 50% of their income in rent, with 2,200 of those seniors.

To help close that gap, the board will consider providing $500,000 to developer Gorman & Company to assist with the “Grand Family” affordable workforce housing project at Union Corners. Located at 2507 Winnebago St. on Madison’s east side, those units are aimed at families or seniors caring for younger children.

In addition, the Board on Thursday will consider transferring $15,000 in unused funds from the Planning & Development Department budget to the County Clerk's Office to facilitate the completion and execution of the voter ID education plan.

 The goal of the campaign is to inform voters of the ID law, direct voters to the statewide helpline and/or microsite where they can get assistance or a ride to obtain an ID and promote a culture of voting.

The full meeting agenda is available at:

SPECIAL POST: Committee of the Whole Meeting with Lakes and Watershed Commission

2018 Flooding on lake monona

2018 Flooding on lake monona

On Thursday at 6pm there will be a Committee of the Whole meeting. This is a special meeting called by Board Chair Corrigan to inform the entire County Board of the status of the lakes, flooding, and the commission’s work. Supervisors will have the opportunity to ask questions of the commission. Please share this, and contact me if there are questions that you would like answered: buckingham.tanya@countyofdane.com, @tanmabuck (twitter), @SupervisorBuckingham (facebook).

In addition to this special meeting, there are plans to have meetings within communities that have been impacted by the flooding. Staff will be in attendance and you will be able to pose questions to them, and make your voice heard. As soon as that date is announced I will share it with you.

The Lakes and Watershed Commission has been invited to attend and ask questions of the presenter(s), agenda here.

Location: City-County Building, Room 201
You will be able to livestream the meeting here.

Time: Thursday, September 20, 2018, 6pm

Lakes & Watershed Commission has the following members:

Pam Porter - Chair
Lyle Updike - Vice Chair
Chuck Erickson - Supervisor, District 13
Dave Ripp - Supervisor, District 29
Mary Kolar - Supervisor, District 1
Maureen McCarville - Supervisor, District 22
Maria Moreno
Allan Levin
Rebecca Power
Susan West

Weeks 17-23

It has been a very busy several weeks, so this is an overview of everything that has happened around District 24, the County, and with the boards and commissions on which I serve. As always I am available to talk about what is important to you, or things that you’re thinking about.

There are two major issues that we’re looking at right now: response to flooding and the 2019 budget. If you have anything you’d like to share with me, please reach out to: buckingham.tanya@countyofdane.com.

Please respond to the survey: How We Grow Matters

Week 17:
Jul 26–27: All City Swim Meet, hosted in Monona
Jul 30 - Crossfit Games tour of grounds
Aug 1 - Economic Development, Government and Education Roundtable
Aug 2 - UW Extension Committee Meeting

Week 18:
Aug 6 - Vera Court Board Meeting
Aug 7 - Lanterns for Peace
Aug 8 - United Way, Journey Home Delegation
Aug 9 - Bridge LakePoint Steering Committee
Aug 9 - Evjue Foundation Ribbon Cutting at Vera Court
Aug 9 - Health and Human Needs Committee meeting

Week 19:
Aug 12 - Lake Edge Neighborhood Association (LENA) Picnic
Aug 16 - LakePoint Picnic
Aug 17 - United Way, Building Economic Stability

Week 20:
Aug 20 - Engage Dane: South Madison Planning Council
Aug 21 - United Way Seasons of Caring Kick off
Aug 21 - Meeting at Capitol Lakes Dog Park to hear constituent concerns

Week 21:
Aug 28 - Bridge LakePoint Waunona Community Listening Session
Aug 29 - Park Edge/Park Ridge Employment Center, Groundbreaking Ceremony
Aug 30 - Health and Human Needs Committee Meeting

Week 22:
Sept 4 - United Way Investment Process Redesign Open House
Sept 5 - Engage Dane: First United Methodist Church
Sept 6 - County Board Meeting
Sept 7 - Veteran’s Service Commission
Sept 7 - Latino Academy of Workforce Development CDL & GED Graduation
Sept 8 - Monona Rise for Climate Rally

Week 23:
Sept 10 - Vera Court Board Meeting
Sept 12 - Public Budget Hearings - Human Services
Sept 13 - Public Budget Hearings - All other Departments
Sept 16 - Office Hours with Mayor O’Connor at Farmers’ Market
Sept 16 - Belle Isle Neighborhood Association Meeting

Dane County from District 24

Weeks 13–16

Press conference, july 24 hosted by  Voces de Frontera

Press conference, july 24 hosted by Voces de Frontera

I am three months into my term, and I have a learned a lot. The last few weeks my focus and work has been spent in three areas: Buckeye Road, immigration, and corrections. The information provided here is a summary of the activities during the month of July.

A lot of county business happened over the last four weeks:

  • July 12th, the full board met, agenda here
  • July 17th, the Land Information Council met, where we talked a lot about open data, and data sharing — a conversation that will continue. Agenda here
  • July 19th, the HHN committee met and heard from several agencies, agenda here
  • July 26th, the SMART committee or Public Works Sustainability Committee, agenda here
Huong Nguyen-Hilfiger  is sworn in as supervisor for district 14

Huong Nguyen-Hilfiger is sworn in as supervisor for district 14

At our Health and Human Needs committee meeting in June, Fabiola Hamdan the Dane County Immigration Affairs Specialist joined our meeting to present the work she is doing. I met with her the following week to learn more about how to support immigrants in our community, and have had a handful of meetings since then. On July 24th, I attended the press conference hosted by Voces de Frontera, where I heard about two Wisconsin residents dealing with the tragedies of deportation and detainment, and how destructive they are to families. Below are the videos from the press conference.

Dane County Human Services

Dane County Human Services

The following three videos answer the question, "What can I do to help?"

Engage Dane is an ongoing project envisioned by Board Chair Sharon Corrigan to improve communication between elected officials and local residents. July 9th, I kicked off the listening sessions with the Area Agency on Aging which is an organization for adults 60 and over who would like to stay in their own homes.

Engage Dane is underway, read more

Engage Dane is underway, read more

As part of the Engage Dane project, I also visited LaSup, Latino Support Network of Dane County, with my colleague, Supervisor Stubbs on July 18.

Leaders of the immigrant consortium addressing LaSup attendees, July 18

Leaders of the immigrant consortium addressing LaSup attendees, July 18

July 10th, Vera Agency celebrated community by hosting the annual Baseball and BBQ event. 300 people who love, work for, and participate in programming at Bridge LakePoint Waunona Neighborhood Center, Vera Court Neighborhood Center, and Latino Academy of Workforce Development attended the cookout and Mallards baseball game. 

BAseball and BBQ

BAseball and BBQ

On July 11, I visited Oakhill Correctional Institution, a State of Wisconsin Department of Corrections facility, in Oregon with the Journey Home Delegation of the United Way. We visited several buildings, learned about educational, and job training, and had a chance to speak with three inmates.

The Journey Home Delegation is part of the Building Economic Stability team, and we met in a combined meeting with the Academic Success team of the United Way to discuss overlap in missions as it relates to GED and HSED on July 20th.

Norma Gallegos valles, Latino Academy of Workforce Development talking about GED classes

Norma Gallegos valles, Latino Academy of Workforce Development talking about GED classes

Four County Supervisors and three Madison Alders have been working together to reach a plan on Buckeye Road & Cottage Grove Road. You can read more about it here. The City Finance Committee will consider the resolution on Monday, July 30. Please attend and voice your opinions about this project.

Make your voice heard about Cottage Grove & Buckeye roads

My colleague, Supervisor Kilmer invited me to tour of Journey Mental Health with him on July 13th. I'm grateful for his mentorship, and collaboration. It was very helpful to see all of the services that Journey offers, and the way they are thinking about mental health care. We toured the facilities, and learned a lot about how they are incorporating physical health care into mental health care.

Sunday, July 22nd, I joined Monona Mayor O'Connor at the Farmers' Market for office hours. I heard about some concerns with lake "junk" and "gunk" and many folks just stopped by to catch up. If you are interested in stopping by to talk please visit us on August 19th.

Monona Farmers' Market

Monona Farmers' Market

Monona pool transformed for All City 2018

Monona pool transformed for All City 2018

We made some time for family over the last month as well, with All City 2018 hosted in Monona this last weekend, it was busy throughout the city. All City is a really wonderful event, where any child who is part of a team in the league gets to swim. There was a major Zero Waste initiative led by Teresa Radermacher this year that included a construction of a water station by the Monona Public Works which significantly cut down on the use of disposable plastic water bottles.

We also had a chance to get to the Dane County Fair. We walked through the animal barns, tasted some food, watched some performances, and enjoyed a couple of rides. The weather was cool, making for a delightful afternoon!

I feel really lucky to have the opportunity to spend some time hanging around the neighborhood parks, visiting campus, and the Children's Museum. My little one even felt so inspired by my friend Gabriella Gerhardt's four-leaf clover exhibit to do a little hunting of her own!

SPECIAL POST: Persistence and collaboration lead to positive results for Cottage Grove and Buckeye

Screenshot, google maps - Allis school

Screenshot, google maps - Allis school

You may have noticed that I am a little behind in my weekly updates. This is largely due to all of the work that has been happening! Besides my standing committee, and normally assigned commissions and boards, a group of us has been working to find a way forward with Cottage Grove Road and Buckeye Road. 

City Alders David Ahrens, Mark Clear, and Amanda Hall joined County Board Supervisors Kelly Danner, Jamie Kuhn, Jeff Pertl, and myself, in collaboration with Executive Parisi and county staff, came together to work out a solution we felt was acceptable to each entity involved, and achieved what we all wanted which is to have Cottage Grove Road and Buckeye Road repaired and improved for the community.

Resolutions were introduced to both legislative bodies today, you can read the press release here

Summary of the resolutions:

  • City and County will jointly pay for the reconstruction
  • City and County have already both invested substantial time and resources in the planning, design, and property acquisition
  • Failure to reach an agreement could result in a loss of $4.4 million in federal assistance
  • Shared goals are to address the substandard road condition, lack of sidewalks, improvements to pedestrian safety, especially adjacent to Allis Elementary School.
  • Madison Alders and Dane County Supervisors have been working with the Dane County Executive as well as City and County staff to resolve these outstanding issues, including making several compromise proposals
  • Dane County agrees to financially support the construction projects on County Highways AB (Buckeye Rd.) and BB (Cottage Grove Rd.) under the standard cost-sharing agreement. 
  • City of Madison agrees to accept responsibility for routine maintenance of the roadways, including snow and ice control and pavement patching, while the County agrees to forgo the jurisdictional transfer of both road projects at this time. 

From here the decision will lie with the Madison Area Transportation Planning Board (MATPB), which will vote the first week of August as to whether to remove the Federal funding from these projects and reallocate it to other projects. 

I am especially grateful to Supervisor Pertl for his leadership in this process, and Alder Clear's long-time service to the MPO, having served 10 years, and providing important perspective of transportation and planning. I am incredibly thankful to our counterparts at the city for always being willing to sit down and talk about how to achieve a shared goal, while working through some big challenges.

Please feel free to reach out with any questions. This has been an extreme learning process for those of us new to transportation, and we would be happy to share any information with you.


SPECIAL POST: Public Meeting tonight, Buckeye Rd. & Cottage Grove Rd.

If this topic is new, you can see news coverage here.

A few weeks ago, we began working with area alders and supervisors, the County Executive as well as County and City staff to resolve concerns regarding the proposed jurisdictional transfer of County Highways AB (Buckeye Rd.) and BB (Cottage Grove Rd.) from the County to the City. 

We have made significant progress on this issue, with the County advancing multiple proposals (including the original position advocated for by City staff). Unfortunately the Mayor has rejected all of these proposals, instead advocating the Madison Area Transportation Planning Board transfer the funds to cover federal funding shortfalls in other projects.

There is a public hearing and potential vote tonight at 6:30pm (Metro Transit Administration Building,  1245 E. Washington Avenue, Administrative Conference Room), and we need your help to protect this funding for our kids. Transferring the funding from the projects will:

  1. Short-circuit ongoing efforts to reach a positive resolution on this issue;
  2. Scuttle these crucial projects for an unforeseeable period of time; and
  3. Negatively impact neighborhood families, particularly those enrolled at Allis school.

Our top priority has been addressing the road condition, sidewalks and other improvements around Allis School. The nearly 500 students enrolled at Allis are 77% students of color, 67% low income, 25% English learners, and 14% special education. These students and their families deserve a road that meets urban standards around their school.

Additionally, both the County and City have spent years planning these projects and committed over $2 million to planning, design, and property acquisition for these projects. Given the time and resource investment, it would be imprudent to abandon these projects at this time.

Transferring this funding strips communities on the eastside of funds needed to reconstruct roads that are in poor condition and do not serve the needs of the communities. In the alternative, we find it critical that local leaders are open to compromise and reach a mutually acceptable agreement. Most of all, in the end we remain committed to moving forward, working together, and investing in these critical neighborhoods.

As such, we ask you as neighborhood and education leaders in our community to urge the Madison Area Transportation Planning Board to deny or delay this request until the regularly scheduled meeting on August 1, preserving our ability to continue working together in good faith on behalf our neighborhoods and families with school-age students.

We have included the contact information for the Madison Area Transportation Planning Board member below:

Contact information for the MPO members is included below:

Madison Alder David Ahrens

Madison Alder Mark Clear

Former Madison Alder Ken Golden

Metro General Transit Manager Charles Kamp

Madison Alder Steven King

Madison Alder Larry Palm

Dane County Director of Public Works Jerry Mandli

Dane County Supervisor Kelly Danner

Sun Prairie Mayor Paul Esser

Middleton Assistant Planning Director Mark Opitz

Village of Windsor Trustee Bruce Stravinski

Monona Alder Doug Wood

Town of Dunn Chair Ed Minihan

WisDot Civil Engineer Stephen Flottmeyer

List of emails to copy and paste (using commas)

List of emails to copy and paste (using semicolons)           

Thank you for your work on behalf the kids and families in our community.


Amanda Hall
Madison Alder, District 3

David Ahrens
Madison Alder, District 15

Jamie Kuhn
Dane County Supervisor, District 16

Jeff Pertl
Dane County Supervisor, District 17

Tanya Buckingham
Dane County Supervisor, District 24




Week 12

This update will be a little longer because we have a lot of catching up to do! I spent two weeks on a research trip to Sicily to map ruins in Agrigento. I'll begin with the most urgent message which is regarding immigration. The day after I returned to Monona, the Health and Human Needs Committee met. We heard from county staff about mental health services and immigrant support services. We are hearing a lot in the news about the way the federal government is treating people, but we are not getting enough information about what is happening in our own community. I will work with county staff to bring more of that information to you. In the meantime if you, or anyone you know is in need of assistance related to immigration issues, please reach out to Immigration Affairs Specialist, Fabiola Hamdan, hamdan@countyofdane.com, phone: 608-242-6260.

For a list of Dane County resources with links, visit here.

Dane County Immigration Affairs and other resources

Dane County Immigration Affairs and other resources

It was while I stood in front of the Temple of Concordia, and watched the sun illuminate the east facing side—the same sun, on the same pillars that have stood for more than 2000 years—that I felt deeply connected to the chain of human existence, and was reminded of the weight of our responsibility to do the most we can with the time that we have in our lives, as that chain continues into the future.

Sun rising on east pillars of Temple of Concordia

Sun rising on east pillars of Temple of Concordia

The meeting agenda for the June 28 Health and Human Needs Committee can be found here.  We met at Badger Prairie Health Center, a state of the art facility that is prepared to provide difficult health care to the most challenging illnesses.

June 14, Health and Human Needs held a short and insightful meeting, with presentation a presentation from Martha Stacker, Children Youth and Families. You can find the meeting agenda here. We then joined with our colleagues from Public Protection & Judiciary Committee, where we heard from Jacob Cirian at The Grow Academy, and John Bauman on the current and future of juvenile corrections in Dane County, as we walked through the juvenile detention center, joined by many members of MOSES.

On June 12 the Dane County UW-Extension Committee met, agenda linked here. We shared the biggest struggles to Dane County and the greatest opportunities. 

County announcements...

Please weigh in on a matter...

Dane County is considering a November advisory referendum on whether residents want to legalize marijuana. Is this a good idea?, The Herald-Independent

In other news...

Week 11

Temple C at  Selinunte , dating from 550 BC

Temple C at Selinunte, dating from 550 BC

I have been in Sicily for work to do some mapping of classical Greek and Roman sites. Next week the weekly update will return with all of the happenings at the County, including Health and Human Needs, and UW Extension committees, as well as some additional commissions that I'll be working with.

While I've been away, I have checked in with a few constituents who are impacted by high water levels to see how they are managing. Additionally, I've kept in touch with county supervisors and staff who are working on a solution to Buckeye and Cottage Grove Road.

Week 9

I attended an event that celebrated the 99th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, hosted by team19. Many familiar local leaders spoke, including Madison City Alder, Arvina Martin, Wisconsin Women's Network board members, Bianca Shaw and Karen Meulendyke.

We toured Madison South Health Center of Planned Parenthood this week, where we learned about education programs, testing, and vital health services offered to men and women throughout the state of Wisconsin. 

You can watch the full June 21 board meeting at City Channel, agenda to be found in legistar. As always, please feel free to contact me to let me know how you feel about items on the agenda or follow-up with questions. 

Supervisor Stubbs introduced a resolution to honor the work of Michael Johnson, president and CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County.

Supervisor Stubbs reads the resolution honoring Michael Johnson's service as President & CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County

Supervisor Stubbs reads the resolution honoring Michael Johnson's service as President & CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County

The County Executive recommended the Chapter 15 appointments, which will require approval from the County Board. I am slotted to serve the Land Information Council, where I look forward to active conversations about access to data, and learning more from the talented staff.

As a family we closed out the school year, and welcomed a first and seventh grader into the house. I was able to join on a field trip to the Henry Vilas Zoo, Wisconsin Aviation, and Cherokee Marsh where members of Madison Audubon Society led activities for the kids. We enjoyed soccer and the first Monona Swim and Dive meet at Seminole Pool. And, we spent many hours listening to my daughter prepare for a WYSO audition. 

County announcements...

In other news...

What's coming this week?

Week 8

It was a busy week, and a long weekend with both family and county events. For that reason, this week I will only include a summary of the week to start, and will add the "in other news" section within in the week.

Supervisor Buckingham Contact information -- please reach out on the Dark Store loophole legislation

Supervisor Buckingham Contact information -- please reach out on the Dark Store loophole legislation

I am still pursuing action on the Dark Store Loophole legislation. Re-inspired by Representative Shankland, AD71. I have been learning from Supervisors Kolar and Nelson, Board Chair Corrigan, about what the county has done. If you're new to the loophole is new to you, in a nutshell: Big box stores are refusing to pay their fair share of taxes which means home owners and small businesses will have to pick up the slack or lose access to important services. The legislature is in a position to close the 'Dark store' loophole which allows national chains to pay property taxes equivalent to that of an empty store.

On March 27, 2017 the County Executive signed a County Board approved resolution urging the governor and state legislature to close the loophole. 

The Dane County Board is considering a countywide referendum that would allow voters to convince state legislators to close the loophole. Brown and Outagamie counties are hoping to put pressure on state legislators by asking residents to vote on the issue.

Several months ago, many concerned residents gathered at the Monona Community Center to express their concerns about the Big Box Stores move to skip out on their taxes. This group is still working to do what it can to move the message forward. 

Please reach out to let me know how you feel about the Dark Store Loophole.

On Monday, we marched to honor those who have given their lives in defending the country. We were joined by friends who helped us connect with residents in the parade. Following the parade we joined the celebration at Immaculate Heart of Mary Backyard Bash.

On Tuesday, I was able to attend an informative session on the importance of apprenticeship programs, like those in Germany.

Kassel-Dane Sister County Partnership event, "Overcoming Workforce Challenges in Manufacturing"

Kassel-Dane Sister County Partnership event, "Overcoming Workforce Challenges in Manufacturing"

Wednesday was packed with the Moxie Conference during the day, an event that the Dane County Board was a sponsor. I ran into many friends there and reflected on the importance of all inclusive workplaces. 

Wednesday evening, I attended the MG21 Graduation where I heard stories from incredible students who have overcome what they believed at one time to be insurmountable obstacles. I left feeling deeply inspired from these young people.

Congratulations to all Monona Grove students who celebrated graduation today, and to La Follette students who will celebrate this coming Friday.

Full House at the Monona Community Center for the MG21 Graduation

Full House at the Monona Community Center for the MG21 Graduation

At Bridge LakePoint Waunona we celebrated the conclusion of the school year as the staff prepares for the summer sessions with the annual picnic.

One of the cutest graduations around! The Los Niños Primero participants graduated this week. The Los Niños Primero program provides Latino children ages 3 to 5 with developmentally and culturally appropriate preparation for 4K/Kindergarten and long-term academic success with quality, research-based early childhood education and family support. Parents are active participants in the program helping their children gain preparedness for academic success.

Los Niños Primeros Graduation

Los Niños Primeros Graduation

Hats off to all of the organizers of the Dane County Parks Unite Festival. The event celebrated the connection, via a footbridge, of two parks, one in Madison and one in McFarland. There were pontoon boat rides, science fun, tree climbing, good food, circus training, hula-hooping, disc golf, mural painting and more! We spent hours exploring all of the activities -- the event was such a success in bringing people together. I ran into several friends, and neighbors—some people I hadn't seen in years! I hope you were able to make it out.

This morning I joined Monona Mayor O'Connor at the Monona Farmers' Market for office hours where we chatted with residents all morning. It was a beautiful morning to be outside hearing about what matters most to residents of Monona/east Madison.

Sunday morning office hours at the Monona Farmers' Market with Mayor O'Connor

Sunday morning office hours at the Monona Farmers' Market with Mayor O'Connor

As a family we took in a lot of soccer this weekend, a cello recital, swim team practice started, and we joined family in Oxford WI for a get together. A full week, indeed!

In less important news, if we meet around town, I did chop off 13 inches of hair. It will be making its way to Locks of Love along with donations from my two girls. I've caught some people off-guard this weekend when I've been out and about -- if we meet, yep, it's me with a little less hair! 

Me, at home -- photo credit, my six year old

Me, at home -- photo credit, my six year old

In other news...

What's coming this week?

Week 7

This week I attended Bean Feed, the fundraiser to support the South Central Federation of Labor, the umbrella organization that organizes and supports local unions, and working people of Wisconsin. 


Continuing with supporting working people across the county, I attended the The Building & Construction Trades Council Workshop, whee we heard from many long-time supporters of training, fair pay, and benefits.

County announcements...

In other news...

What's coming this week?