This budget cycle two items has percolated to the top of my list of things that the city council must do to make the final product worthy of the needs and goals of our city.
The budget that Major Paul Soglin introduced was aimed in the direction of being fiscally tight, but short-sighted with long-term needs for Madison. That is not unlike many politicians who think the bottom line is the only thing that matters, and fail to understand that the economy will improve. Cutting investments in the very things that make our home so lively and special is just the wrong way to proceed.
Therefore I disagreed strongly with the cuts to city lifeguards at a number of our beaches, including the much-loved B.B. Clarke Beach. I also criticized the lack of funding, and the undermining of a promise from the city to the Overture Center.
While the Board of Estimates on Monday found the money for the lifeguards, which amounts to less than a dollar a year for city residents in taxes, they did not find the amendment from 13 alders to fund the arts center by $900,000 important enough to make happen.
That was a mistake, and needs to be remedied.
Paul Soglin has an ax to grind when it comes to Overture, and frankly many residents do not understand it, and certainly do not appreciate it. For all that the Overture provides today, and will continue to generate for the economy in the future it is pure folly to be stingy with budget numbers at this time!
The latest slap in the face to the arts community is the feeble attempt by Soglin to make a music video, using $50,000 as a way to find You Tube tourism.
Does Mayor Soglin really think a music video is going to make up for the breaking of a major city agreement to fund Overture, and that people will fall for the music video as a political cure? Does the mayor really think a music video will lure folks to the city?
I thought the days of smoking pot were over for the mayor.
People with a title behind their name are making it clear how they feel about Overture funding, and the music video.
“It’s priorities. It’s what comes first, and for us, the funding for the Overture Center comes first,” said Susan Schmitz, of Downtown Madison Inc.
People in this city need to get serious about funding the Overture in the way we agreed to, and not allow for the tight-fisted mindset to limit our views.
This is Madison, Wisconsin.
Lets start acting like it, again.
Put that tone to a musical video!