Posts Tagged ‘Bryon Eagon’

Why Eagon supports Yahara Station

February 16, 2010

Ald. Bryon Eagon, who has not made good on his New Year’s resolution to blog more, nevertheless provides a comprehensive statement of support for a downtown(ish) station for the proposed high-speed rail line coming to Madison.

Economic Development. The hundreds of millions of dollars in federal money is meant not only to spur investments in transportation infrastructure, but also aims at spurring economic growth.

Smart Transit. This site currently hosts something like 14 bus connections.

Location. Location. Location. This about this: You’re coming to Madison from Milwaukee or Chicago. Where is your destination? Probably not the Dane County Regional Airport.

The post is much longer and his explanations much more thorough, but I’ll let you read them chez Eagon so you can give him a kick in the ass and get him to post more.

Here’s another question I will be looking into in the coming weeks: who in Madison opposes a downtown station, whether Yahara or a similar location. Will there be some contrarian alder who thinks the airport would be more practical, or that funds used for a downtown station would be better used elsewhere?

Spotted at the Union: High speed rail politics

February 5, 2010

Valued Sconz commenter Paul Axel is eating a ranch-chicken wrap, drinking a diet raspberry snapple and telling Ald. Bryon Eagon why Madison needs a high speed rail station downtown. It appears he’s preaching to the choir, but he’s introduced some interesting points on how to frame the argument in favor of a downtown stop instead of one at the airport.

Eagon: “When you think about people coming from out of town, Chicago, Milwaukee –– the last place you want to go is Dane County Airport.”

Now the two candidates for a downtown station are Yahara Station, at First and East Washington, and Union Corners, which is also on East Washington.

The mayor supports both an airport stop and a downtown stop. However, Kathleen Falk favors the airport. According to Eagon, at first Mayor Dave was reluctant to support the downtown option for fear of starting a city-county squabble that would scare off the feds in control of the stimulus money. However, now that the contract is official the debate can begin.

Axel is very eager to get as much community collaboration on this project as possible. He wants to talk to Analiese Eicher, WISPIRG, even the College Republicans! Axel believes Republicans can be brought on board if supporters of the plan frame the rhetoric in terms of benefits to small towns and small businesses.

UW to buy spot on Univ. Square

January 25, 2010

It looks like the multi-layered sports-bar monstrosity, whose absence breaks Ald. Bryon Eagon’s heart everyday, did not die in vain. The university has announced plans to purchase the land the restaurant would have been on. The McBurney Disabilities Resource Center and the Office of Admissions will set up shop there.

In my phone conversation with Eagon, the alder was glad that the land is going to be used for something, but expressed sadness at the multi-age entertainment facility that could have been. As I pointed out to him, Segredo’s, the “boutique bowling bar” which recently replaced Mad Ave, has very much the same schtick, and would likely have never existed had the Univ. Square bar worked out.

Edgewater: What to expect

January 6, 2010

Last night the Common Council unanimously agreed to postpone a second vote on the Edgewater renovation project. To clarify, after the Council upheld the decision of the City Landmark’s Commission to deny the project a “certificate of appropriateness,” some alders who had been absent during the vote pushed for a second consideration of the project, and scheduled it to take place last night.

According to Ald. Bryon Eagon, the postponement was decided upon in order to give the Urban Design Committee and the Plan Committee more time to hammer out details and propose changes to the developers. Eagon emphasized that while he believed the 12 alders who voted to overturn the Landmarks Commission’s rejection of the plan would remain united in favor of the $100 million renovation, there is hope that more negotiations can win the developers even more support in the Council.

Is city government accessible?

December 28, 2009

There’s been some talk recently about inaccessibility in local government. The State Journal ran an editorial (which I can’t find now!) criticizing the city council for having meetings so late in the night, when most people in their right mind aren’t going to attend or even watch on TV. The vote on the Edgewater finally took place a little after 5 a.m. Minutes before Ald. Judy Cnare had a yoga class (one of these days I’m going to try the early bird thing).

Meanwhile, Brenda Konkel, comprehensive as ever, grades all the alders on their use of the internets. Although she takes alders to task, she makes clear that they’re not the only ones to blame:

They get no support whatsoever. It’s pretty sad for a city our size. The primary council office staff are too busy gossiping and playing solitaire to be bothered with being helpful to the alders.


She gives Bryon Eagon, Steve King, Mark Clear and Chris Schmidt F’s for their use of the city webpage. The explanation for Clear’s F is a bit sketchy, and hints at an alternative motive Brenda might have had in failing him.

Granted, some of those members, including Eagon, could easily say that there communication with constituents is better served by a blog, which is easier to manage and a little bit sexier (have you seen Bryon’s blog!) than the city website. On this issue though, the Council still fails. So few of the alders update their blogs enough to maintain any traffic or dialogue, and as a result, they probably don’t come up in search results easily and people stop referring to them. The most bizarre example I found was Larry Palm, who for some reason has a private blog that readers must be invited to. Why?

So what we seem to have is a lot of alders who aren’t using traditional or new methods of outreach, and many constituents who are out of touch with the happenings of city government.

Nevertheless, many of these naughty bloggers found their way on to Brenda’s blogroll, while certain scrappy, citizen reporters were (ahem) mysteriously bumped off it months ago. Let it be known: the Sconz is not vengeful nor impatient. Just a little puzzled.

Nobody applying for ALRC position

November 20, 2009

It’s almost poetic. Weeks after the student community student newspapers made so much noise about getting a student voting member on the ALRC, only one person has applied for the new position, according to sources in city government.

That one person is Mark Woulf.

Bryon Eagon says potential applicants should get their applications in by the end of next week. Those interested need to fill out this application, which can also be found on the city’s website.



November 2, 2009

UPDATE: Eagon negotiates compromise with mayor. Eagon’s ordinance will no longer require that the citizen appointee be a student. It will add an alder and a citizen to the ALRC with a recommendation to the mayor that the citizen be a student. The mayor plans to appoint a student rep for a three year period. Eagon’s proposal will also keep the non-voting student member to the ALRC, meaning that students will have one voting member and one non-voting member at the table.

Mayor Dave Cieslewicz met with Ald. Bryon Eagon and promised to add a student member to the Alcohol License Review Committee regardless of whether Eagon’s proposal to require a student voting member on the committee passes the Council tomorrow.

The ALRC, which is likely to add another alder and another “citizen appointee,” will be voting on whether the citizen appointee must be a student tomorrow. However, Cieslewicz, has stated that he plans to appoint a student whether he is required to or not.

Bryon Eagon told The Sconz that the move was not ideal, but still a victory for students.

Coalition of students strategize to win ALRC vote

October 29, 2009

On Sunday a group of students, including members of the Badger Herald and Daily Cardinal editorial boards, met to discuss strategy to mobilize support for Ald. Bryon Eagon’s proposal to add a student voting member to the ALRC, as well as to win the Council vote on the measure next Tuesday.

Eagon and current ALRC non-voting rep Mark Woulf were at the meeting and gave the other group members advice on how to best influence Council members on the vote. Herald and Cardinal editors came up with a list of important student organizations to be contacted, including WISPIRG, the College Democrats and even Hoofers, an outdoor sports organization.

I was there primarily to observe the meeting, although I do support the proposal – though with not as much vigor, perhaps.

The papers decided to continue pushing the issue, evidenced by the editorials on Monday, with the hopes of motivating students to email or call their alders, but more importantly, to show up for the vote and make an impression on Council members.

Here is a very rough list of predictions on how members of the Council will vote. The projections were made for a variety of reasons, including support or opposition to the proposal in the past, general political philosophy or connections with other members on the Council (e.g. gets along well with Eagon).

In favor: Bidar-Sielaff, Verveer, Eagon, Rummel, King, Soloman, Clear, Maniaci, Rhodes-Conway

Against: Schumacher, Compton, Clausius, Skidmore, Thuy

?: Palm, Cnare, Schmidt, Sanborn, Bruer, Kerr

The Nitty Gritty boycott

October 23, 2009

I’ll start off by stating an obvious point, which my cherished commenter Paul Axel has advanced on this site on several occasions. The Nitty Gritty was well-deserving of a student boycott long before its owner “disrespected” students. It’s a terrible bar and it’s frankly an embarrassment that so many of-age students crowd into the establishment during “Power Hour” to guzzle down watered-down cocktails and be pushed up against walls vibrating to the sound of Miley Cyrus because the bouncers apparently do not respect the fire code (by the way, Shapiro earlier had the ALRC capacity of the place upped).

Like I said earlier, whether or not I support the Herald and Cardinal’s positions, I am happy to see the campus papers discover their student attitude. And as a history student, I appreciated the Declaration of Independenesque bullshit the Herald put in its version. The Herald – especially the Herald – tends to waffle and triangulate on student issues, and many of the ed board members fear nothing more than being considered liberal.

Because I think having a student vote on the ALRC is a good idea, I see no reason to oppose the boycott of the Nitty. Although the idea of a boycott feels mean-spirited to many-a-gut, it is an effective way of demonstrating a position. The target does not have to be evil or doing evil things. Shapiro did something we don’t like and we’re simply trying to get him to change his position.

Nevertheless, having a student vote on the committee is by no means intuitive. The idea of having constituencies have votes can be questioned. It makes sense to have expert witnesses and have community input on all legislation, but there is not necessarily a reason that any special interest or constituency should have a permanent place at the table – let a lone a vote. However, that’s the system we have. So we might as well get one of our own that same privileges that other groups have.

ALRC student vote passes committee

October 6, 2009

Ald. Bryon Eagon’s proposal to add a student voting member to the Alcohol License Review Committee was approved by the Common Council Organizational Committee and now awaits approval by the full Council.

After making a series of language changes, Eagon succeeded at winning the votes of Council President Tim Bruer and Ald. Mark Clear, both of whom voted against the original proposal on September 1. Along with the votes of Eagon and Alds. Marsha Rummel and Shiva Bidar-Sielaff, the measure passed 5-2, with Alds. Michael Schumacher and Judy Compton voting against.

Compton disapproved of adding a member to the ALRC who may not be old enough to legally drink. However, both Eagon and Bidar-Sielaff see potential in the possible addition of an underage member. Both believe the underage student population is under-represented in the city’s entertainment and social options. For instance, Eagon openly voiced disappointment last month when developer Scott Acker ditched plans to create a restaurant/bar at University Sq. after dealing with a skeptical ALRC. Supporters of the project saw the bar as a venue where 21+ students and their underage friends could socialize.

For more on the language, go to Bryon Eagon’s blog.