Mayor Paul Soglin Needs To More Strongly Advocate For Judge Doyle Square Hotel


There are levels of energy that any politician gives to this or that issue.  At times it is prudent to get out front and help educate and persuade the citizenry why there is a need for a certain policy decision.    Other times it is best to let the public interest rise to a certain point and then lead the charge.

It is hard to say which course of action Madison Mayor Paul Soglin feels is the best route to securing a needed hotel on the Judge Doyle Square site in the downtown area. Left as it is there seems to be building consensus–due to the naysayers with mis-leading information–now having a louder voice for no hotel, or at least one that does not require much or any TIF funding, that is gaining leverage in the city.

Not making sure that a viable hotel is constructed on this site would be a major blunder for the city and undercut the growing potential growth for Monona Terrace.  Over the many months I have, and continue to be, a strong supporter of the development plan for a hotel.

While we can discuss the meeting room space or the amenities that will be included in the rooms it is not in anyone’s interest, whether they understand it or not, to miss this opportunity to invest in the isthmus and in the process benefit the economic well-being of the entire city.

While I know Soglin has voiced his desire for a hotel to be constructed and urged those at the table to compromise and make things happen there is at this date a spineless city council–minus perhaps Alders Mark Clear and Mike Verveer–along with a series of opposition voices that seem to dominate the discussi0n.  That is not a formula for moving Madison forward on this matter.

I am deeply concerned that mayoral candidate Scott Resnick seems to want to start anew with the planning process and not even, by his own admission, see a hotel built on the site.   Instead of undermining the process it would be my desire, and I suspect many who have remained silent on this issue up to this time, to see our elected officials, along with those who wish to secure leadership positions to weigh in on the side of finding a way to construct the hotel.  One can only guess where candidate for Madison mayor Bridget Maniaci stands on the issue since she lives in Pittsburg while going to school.

While financing this development project has created weak knees in the council chambers means that it is more incumbent than ever for Soglin to double down on the reasons the city needs to move forward, in some fashion, with a hotel.  There now needs more than ever a strong spokesperson for the hotel, and it needs to be the voice of the mayor that leads the way.

There is no doubt that the benefits to the convention center and the city all lead to the conclusion for the construction of a hotel.  But over time the chipping away of support by the critics has allowed for a disdain for the project to fester and grow to the point that this development is in dire need of life-support.

That is a sad statement for Madison.  No one can applaud it, and at the same time have a sense of what is being lost.

One need not be reminded that in the midst of needed leadership over the hotel is the upcoming mayoral election.  Stepping up the push for the project and bearing down on the naysayers will create heat and headlines for Soglin, but that is what he signed on for when he ventured back into the mayor’s office.  If he wants to demonstrate that he is still up for the job that he wants to reapply for come next April the Doyle project is the perfect place to show his grit.

Not only is his prestige on the line, but so is Madison’s.

One thought on “Mayor Paul Soglin Needs To More Strongly Advocate For Judge Doyle Square Hotel

  1. Solly

    Yes! This needs to be priority 1 for the city of Madison!!!! For too too long, the Marriotts, the Hyatts and Hiltons have had to acquire their own properties, pay for them without subsidies and compete with competitiors that run their bidnesses without corporate welfare. What is this world coming to? Privatize the profit and socialize the risk!!! This is what made America great! As independent studies have shown, convention centers and hotels are second only to superfulous sports stadiums and arenas for sucking the taxes and lifeblood out of ordinary people to enrich the Richie Riches. And when the TIF district expires, of course the hotels will be 30 years old and need a new TIF district to refresh and compete. The taxpayers, school district and ordinary residents, who will never be able to stay there, or have a wedding reception at the hotel or mistake on the lake can suck it!

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