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Dec 9, 201608:45 AMBlaska's Bring It!

with David Blaska

Hello, I must be going

(page 2 of 2)

Lead or get led

On that note, at 3 p.m. Jan. 5, Downtown Madison Inc. will send up an SOS to in the Common Council chambers for relief from the disorder caused by vagrants (sometimes euphemistically called “the homeless”). Junkies passed out in restaurant restrooms, chronic drunks menacing customers, filth and profanity driving away business. The problem is especially acute on upper State Street but is not confined there.

“This came out of our quality of life downtown committee,” DMI head Susan Schmitz tells me. Her members met with nine alders on Nov. 2 to hear their issues. Susan hopes the Jan. 5 session — this one on the Council’s grounds — will discuss solutions. It’s not a regular meeting of the Common Council; more like a committee of the whole.

We’ll see how many alders choose to attend.

Mayor Soglin appears to be on board. He’s been trying to limit squatters from commandeering street benches. Soglin understands that most of the panhandlers on street median strips could hold jobs.

I implore businesspeople, especially, to run for local office. Madison voters will elect all 20 alders next April. But now is the time that really counts. To get on the ballot, prospective candidates have until Tuesday, Jan. 3 at 5 p.m. to submit nominating petitions. You need only 20 signatures of eligible voters (and no more than 40) residing in your aldermanic district. Check the city clerk’s website for instructions and this map to find your district.

Believe old Dave, there are no Trumans or Eisenhowers on the Madison Common Council. Madison is hungry for your common sense. It does take a time commitment.

Finally — and it really is final — come see me at Stately Blaska Manor. Thank you Bill Haight, president of Magna Publications, for providing me with this forum for the past almost-five years.

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About This Blog

Raised on a farm near Sun Prairie, David Blaska is a recovering liberal who spent 18 years in daily newspapers, including 12 at The Capital Times in Madison as a reporter and editor. He served Gov. Tommy Thompson as acting press secretary in 1998 and is a veteran and survivor of 19 years in state government. He served 12 years on the Dane County Board of Supervisors. From December 2007 to November 2011 he wrote the consistently popular "Blaska's Blog" for Isthmus online's "The Daily Page" until, he says, the intolerant liberals ran him off. He blogs from Madison.

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