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May 1, 201510:48 AMBlaska's Bring It!

with David Blaska

Dane County towns want to secede from the leftist county board

(page 1 of 2)

The 35 town governments in Dane County have long chafed at county control of their zoning. Now they want out. The towns are seeking state legislation to exempt them from oversight by an increasingly leftist county board.

“Dane County towns are asking for freedom to escape arbitrary control. Our proposal is not novel; we would simply gain zoning options that most towns in populous counties already have,” said Dane County Towns Association President Jerry Derr and Vice President Tim Roehl in a memo to state legislators.

Source: UW-Stevens PointThey contend that town zoning is the norm in Wisconsin’s populous counties. “Out of Wisconsin’s 10 largest counties, Dane is the only one which insists on continuing to control its towns. Town zoning is the norm in populous and urban counties.”

Thanks to gerrymandering, 20 of the 37 county supervisors live in the city of Madison, even though the city represents less than half (48%) of the county’s population. Would Paul Soglin sit still for supervisors from Cambridge and Cross Plains sitting in judgment on city zoning?

Consider also that the population of the Town of Windsor (near DeForest) is 6,686 (2014 estimate) and the Town of Middleton is 6,143. They’re more populous than 13 villages that are exempt from county zoning, including the Village of Rockdale, population: 211.

Like cities and villages, the towns are zoned; unlike those municipalities, the county board has final say over any town zoning approval. (However, the county cannot approve a zoning denied by a town.)

Dane County is so afraid of giving towns the option to have town zoning that the county continues to refuse to comprehensively revise its 76-year-old zoning ordinance. … Dane County would rather have outdated regulations than risk losing control.


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Comments, page 1 of 2 1 2 Next »
May 1, 2015 11:14 am
 Posted by  Anonymous


You should be equally incensed about the current administration taking many zoning decisions away from the towns and counties and having the state take over. The party of "smaller government" has been on a control binge for the last 4 years.

I am all about having the decisions made at the local level, but our current leadership in Madison doesn't feel the same way. Just ask Tom Tiffany.

May 1, 2015 11:28 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

"Housing is a human right."
"Food is a human right."
"Medical care is a human right."

If you have all these rights to free stuff, that implies that others must have an obligation to work to provision you with the free stuff.

Which begs the question: you state that you have rights even though these "rights" create obligations for others, but, what obligations do you have to anyone other than yourself?

Is your assertion really "You owe me, but I owe you nothing"?

May 1, 2015 12:00 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

"The entitlement society" is right! In today's State Journal there's an article about plans to (finally!) remove the piles of crap (the actual crap, not the people who put it there) from the steps of the CCB. Part of the plan is to remove any unclaimed crap to a storage area (courtesy of the city, of course). One bum who took umbrage at having his/her crap meddled with was quoted as calling the storage space "inadequate." Breathtaking--even for the professional vagrant class in Madison!

May 1, 2015 01:56 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Not mentioned is that local towns currently have an option whereby large landowners can band together and veto land use decisions by elected local town boards as such farmers and large developers already have far more power than the average homeowner with smaller acreage in the town who often pay a disproportionate amount of the cost of town governments. In a 1990 dispute over land use policies in my town we basically found that the Town Board's ignoring of small landowners concerns in land use decisions actually reduced the value of farmers land when it was sold for development. Oddly in many of these land use disputes the "leftists" at the local level are small landowners who are in small business, financial or tech careers versus a minority of large landowners, realtors and developers. The county can play a key role in refereeing these disputes. The real issue here is not how the county does land use but the increased use of gerrymandering to distort representation. As can be seen that is a problem at both the state and the county level- the two also may be interrelated.

May 2, 2015 12:02 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

hey blaska,

obey the law as a survival strategy.

maybe you should practice what you preach.

quit printing lies.

May 2, 2015 12:41 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Control the land then you can control the people. Think about the places in the world where that has happened in past history. And now it's here in this country and this county. People have a right to decide where they want to live. SO FAR THEY DO. FOR HOW LONG?

May 4, 2015 09:42 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Let them go. We'll save a lot of money not having to plow all their roads. The county sheriff can then stop patrolling their jurisdictions (job creation for Barney Fife!) and jailing their drunk drivers (Good morning, Otis!) and other criminals who tend to find themselves homeless and re-offending on Madison streets once released from jail/prison. Call their bluff, Joe Parisi!

May 4, 2015 10:26 am
 Posted by  David Blaska

Most of the inmates in Dane County jail are taken off Madison streets. The towns plow their own roads.

May 4, 2015 12:09 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous


maybe you should also investigate why ag land is taxed at

May 4, 2015 02:33 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Wonder why Blaska would lie about Sandra Fuke and the nature of her her testimony?

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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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