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Madison alders propose task force to determine next steps on government reorganization

Madison alders propose task force to determine next steps on government reorganization

Madison City Council (copy)

Madison's 20 alders are paid to work part-time though many say the job requires 40 hours per week. 

Madison's City Council will consider forming a new group to move forward on recommendations aimed at improving the effectiveness of city government.

After nearly two years of studying the composition of Madison’s local government, the Task Force on the Structure of City Government released a report in January with over 40 recommendations related to the mayor, City Council and large number of boards, commissions and committees operating in Madison.

Alds. Grant Foster, District 15, and Rebecca Kemble, District 18, introduced a resolution by title only, or so far without details, to create an ad hoc task force that would work on implementing recommendations laid out in the report.

Foster said he recognized the irony of creating another task force, given that part of the report analyzed the city's large and complex system of boards, committees and commissions. But he said it is necessary to identify next steps.

“We have these reports and unless it’s something staff can simply do, there’s usually no capacity within the existing system to do something,” Foster said.

Among the more significant changes, the task force recommended that the city transition from a part-time, 20-member City Council to one that is full-time and has 10 members. Also, the task force recommends moving from two-year aldermanic terms to four and paying alders $67,000 per year.

Madison's government structure must change to better represent and include residents of color and low income, according to the report.

The committee found “the city’s current government structure is an impediment to full participation and representation and, therefore, that the city’s structure is fundamentally unfair to a large portion of the city’s population, including, most notably, the city’s residents of color and low income,” according to the report.

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