At Madison’s June 1 City Council meeting, 11 council members voted to silence their neighbors.
Alds. Christian Albouras, Juliana Bennett, Nikki Conklin, Jael Currie, Tag Evers, Yannette Figueroa Cole, Keith Furman, Patrick Heck, Lindsay Lemmer, Arvina Martin and Regina Vidaver voted to adopt zoning changes to proposed small to mid-size housing developments as “permitted use,” thereby bypassing the sometimes arduous process of approval via conditional use procedures. While most would agree affordable housing should be a priority for the city, the process of communication and input should not be short-circuited.
Neighbors at meetings earlier in the year cited numerous instances where neighborhood input on new housing developments actually resulted in better outcomes. Instead of encouraging more involvement and communication, these 11 City Council members chose to suppress neighborhood input. Instead of inclusion, they chose exclusion.
Neighborhood voices have become collateral damage on the road to a worthy end. Hopefully neighbors will find their voices at the ballot box.
Ulrike Dieterle, Madison