What do you give the neighborhood that has everything? Well certainly not another person with an opinion. When you start a blog, its like any good essay, pick a few central themes and nurture them with attribution and reasoned analysis. But it is no small challenge to write about by far the most engaged, opinionated, funky, and cool neighborhood in the nation.
Willy Street Blog was born in March 2012, in the midst of the recall drive, but soon turned away from state politics as plenty of great voices were already speaking to the issue. In a city that features stupendous local reporting from numerous outlets, why should anyone bother to read some random blog?
Annual Membership Meeting a chance to celebrate and set priorities
Former MNA President Scott Thornton addresses the 2012 meeting. MNA has seen a resurgence in membership recently and is strong advocate within the city.
In the same month that the Marquette Neighborhood was honored for being one of the greatest places to live in America, partly due to the strong engagement by its residents, a key meeting this week by its association may play a role in the shape of the neighborhood for years to come. The Marquette Neighborhood Association will hold its annual Membership Meeting Thursday October 17, 6 p.m. in the Marquette Elementary School cafeteria.
Most years this meeting is a time for the MNA Board to present an overview of the past year and the one ahead, elect new officers, consider initiatives, collect membership dues, and approve the budget. This year seems to carry special weight as several contentious issues in the areas of development, festivals, and how the Board itself conducts business and fills vacancies have bubbled up among the members.
The jammed packed agenda was deemed so critical that guest speaker Wisconsin State Representative Chris Taylor was asked to move her appearance to the November meeting to accommodate the proceedings.
Challenger Scott Thornton says rogue mailer sunk his bid
Alder Marsha Rummel won a fourth term representing Madison’s Sixth Aldermanic District.
What was termed as a competitive race by area media turned into a strong victory by a yawning margin for incumbent Marsha Rummel over challenger Scott Thornton in Madison’s Sixth Aldermanic District.
Tuesday’s vote total showed Rummel winning by 1500 votes in the hyper-aware Near East Side which was roiled by the appearance of a shadowy political mailer days before the election from a union-backed outside democratic group that normally meddles in state level issues.
“What a good night. Thank you!” Rummel posted on her personal Facebook page soon after several people reported on Twitter that she had declared victory.
Marsh Rummel and Scott Thronton, both neighborhood leaders, were not known to be rivals before the election and had worked together often in the past. The two candidate’s similarities on the issues left Thornton needing to find any angle to sow doubt about Rummel in the eyes of district residents. He attacked her communication, her votes on City Council, and her supposed lack of spine when it came to taking positions on issues. Continue reading →
Personalities may drive choice between highly qualified candidates
District 6 Alder Marsha Rummel (right) and Challenger Scott Thornton (left) following a candidate forum March 25, 2013
Madison District 6 incumbent Marsha Rummel and her challenger Scott Thornton talked neighborhood and citywide issues Monday night (March 25) at the final candidate forum before next Tuesday’s general election. Nearly 100 people crowded into a basement room of St. Bernard Catholic Church to hear the opponents argue more over style than substance.
It was as though we were back in the spring of 2008 and Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were giving their most earnest reasons why they should be elected. The stellar resumes of both Alder candidates has cracked the door on the less perfect and poor electoral measure that may make the difference: Personality.
Three-term incumbent wants to continue forwarding progressive agenda
Madison 6th District Alder Marsha A. Rummel seeks a fourth term on the Madison Common Council.
Marsha A. Rummel has been Alder of Madison’s Sixth District since 2007, and in that time she has seen lots of change.
Before being elected she had been active in the Marquette Neighborhood Association (MNA), serving for a time as President, and was interested in such issues as urban planning and affordable housing.
With a week to go before the election Willy Street Blog talked with Marsha Rummel about city planning, economic development, homelessness, her challenger Scott Thornton, and why she was briefly banned from a restaurant earlier this month.
Challenger says Ald. Rummel has failed to lead and communicate with residents
Scott Thornton. Courtesy Scott Thornton for District 6
Scott B. Thornton, 49, has lived in District 6 since 2000 and Madison since the late 1980s. One of his first jobs in Madison was working for the United Neighborhood Centers of Dane County which had its offices in the Atwood Neighborhood Center and he has been tied to the near East Side neighborhoods ever since.
However Scott has made his strongest impacts as President of the Marquette Neighborhood Association (MNA) for the past four years, nearly quadrupling the membership during his tenure. He also secured tax exempt status and aggressively developed a public art program in conjunction with the Madison Arts Commission that has flowered in public and private spaces around the Marquette neighborhood.
A report following the Madison Police Investigation into the officer-involved shooting of Paul Heenan on South Baldwin Street on November 9, 2012 has been released. Officer Stephen Heimsness, while responding to a 911 burglary in-progress call, shot Heenan three times after they had briefly struggled.
The details of that night have been somewhat in dispute leaving some neighborhood residents uneasy about police policies and transparency. The Dane County District Attorney’s office cleared Officer Heimsness of any criminal culpability, and the police department said he did not violate any policies in the process of executing his duties. Continue reading →