MHCA Area Director's meeting minutes

October 2014 Area Directors' Meeting Minutes

jgchipault Sunday 25 of January, 2015
Midvale Heights Community Association Annual Meeting Agenda
Tuesday, October 28, 2014 – 6:30 p.m. – Sequoya Branch Library

Area Directors present: Chuck Kreimendahl, Ron Rotter, Gary Poulson, Floyd Stautz, Jim Thoreson, Ed Rogers, Greg Fischer, Jenny Chipault, Denise Lamb, Mary J. Armstrong, Paul Haskew, Jonn Lager, Kay Reuter-Krohn, Tom Jarvis

  1. Guest Speaker - Police Chief Mike Koval
    1. Gary Poulson introduced Police Chief Mike Koval. In 1997/1998, Gary Poulson was an alder and met Officer Koval. Officer Koval spent most of his career as a training officer and by doing this he has impacted 70-80% of officers who are walking the streets today. Officer Koval has learned and lived and taught the Madison method of policing. We're grateful to have someone who has spent most of his career on the streets protecting us as our officer.
    2. Police Chief Koval speaks.
      1. We have roughly 120 neighborhoods in Madison. He's concerned about quality of life in those neighborhoods. He has lived in this particular area of Madison for years. Madison has been growing into an urban center with many of the same problems we see across the US. but he thinks we have a handle on things affecting our quality of life benchmarks. We have lower than normal crime indices.
      2. However, at 9am this morning, there were two cars exchanging gunfire at Whitney way and University - one round went into interior of a room of a house with a 70-some year old man on Flambeau Trail. This is a canary in the coal mine. As we become bigger, the sleepy-eyed town goes in rear-view mirror.
      3. Epidemic of heroin overdoses. 1 gram of heroin is $150; never been more potent or more accessible. Narcan is drug that counteracts overdoes. Every 8 hours he gets updates from phone - usually at least once every 8 hours there's an overdose. Getting some traction because talking about it long enough, but if not for Narcan, would be hearing about heroin more. Our police are responding to a pulse-less, non-breather; they do CPR to keep heart alive and in collaboration with Madison fire (6 minute response time), they administer by syringe the Narcan dose and then 30 minutes later the person that overdosed is walking and talking. We would have had 100 deaths in last few years in just city of Madison without Narcan. So if deaths were being reported, we might take this more seriously. Met expectations of protocol; street level will be trained on nasal Narcan. That is one of the issues that we have to confront.
      4. Awful lot of guns in our community. Finding shell casings or things hit by bullets. Some have asked if Madison is looking at shot technology to triangulate where a fire arm is discharged. But we're getting reports from our neighbors and we're calling in real-time. Talked with Chief Flynn from Milwaukee. Milwaukee hosted gun conference. There's been 3 homicides in 6 months that he's been on in Madison; 59 in Milwaukee. Community is galvanized in wanting to reclaim neighborhoods, but in Milwaukee they have to use shot technology because in 85% of cases, the technology told them because neighbors didn't call. He doesn't want to see us become that sort of resigned populace.
      5. He's been asked, "What do you see as your benchmark indices as future of Madison?" Two domains. One is played out in Madison metropolitan school district where there's 27,000 enrolled students, of which 65% qualify for federal subsidized meals (breakfast, lunch, or both). The Madison he was raised in had greater sense of plurality. Have-nots becoming more and more pronounced. In competing headlines over last 72 hours, there's been talk of BEP (Behavior Education Plan), which runs under the premise that we want to improve high school graduation for those of color especially. We support BEP until the point when public safety is compromised. So as we go through growing pains together, delighted to see ongoing dialogue.
      6. Other domain is the neighborhoods. Roughly 120 neighborhoods in Madison. He's a disciple of David Cooper, who hired him twice. He thought the FBI was better and tried that for two years. Under the Cooper regime, he got it right in that policing is done best when done proactively and relationally. Want to see a return to yesteryears. We had 18 neighborhood officers, we're at 11 now. Budget-wrangling is happening right now and he asked for 5 more. Give us a chance to be relational and looking at things besides crime. Yes, they are addressing crime issues but also quality of life issues - landlords, teens, etc. What he did in early May was ask staff to tell him if they have neighborhoods in their district that would benefit from neighborhood officers; 9 districts gave him a minimum of 6 hot spots. Looked at a map. 30 identifiable neighborhoods where things are on a slow boil and could go either way depending on what resources we give them. West-siders might know distinction between neighborhood officer (e.g., Allied Drive - they report there every day, West Mifflin, Williamson St.) and neighborhood resource officer. He took his niece to Chuck E Cheese and he describes whack-a-mole; that's his job in the neighborhoods. Neighborhood resource officer would get 2-3 of these hot spots.
      7. Just a couple of blocks due north is where we will be citing the Midtown Station - on Mineral Point by Mount Olive Lutheran church. This mayor has 7 years left until we fully annex the town of Madison. My concern is if we're keeping up pace of annexation. West District office is on McKenna Boulevard and it has outgrown its domain - 26 square miles, 85,000 residents - they would be 5th largest stand-alone city in Wisconsin. Luckily Midvale Heights in a safe place because people would have to go a long way to get to an emergency. 2020 or 2017 are proposed date for opening of Midtown. Scheduled for 2017, which will give us a resource that's more relational to your needs. These are the things that are percolating.
      8. Koval's armored tank was acquired before he took oath of office. But got a "win" from that albatross - had guy with a rifle that shot 8 rounds indiscriminately and we were able to get closer to the guy and could have vacated neighbors if needed to.
      9. Question from audience: What do you see as problems for this neighborhood?
        1. This is a pristine and wonderful neighborhood. Problems might be traffic related, e.g., bad driving. Have domestic violence in every quadrant of the city. This neighborhood has been very committed to being neighbors. We get calls asking if we would check on welfare, e.g., my neighbors haven't taken in their paper. Calling us about that stuff is a good thing. Gun violence is close, that's hard to get your head around.
      10. Question from audience: What about breaking and entering - 11 in the last couple of months.
        1. Burglary has gone up, but not as here pronounced as far west. 20% is far west (McKenna district station) between midnight and 4am. A lot is being seen as pattern related to drugs - taking stuff that can go to pawn shops to translate to addiction. Commercial based burglaries have been more sophisticated. Opportunistic in houses. He still does the cop thing and walks the streets - recently found keys in the ignition in unlocked cars in 3 cars in 6 block radius.
      11. Question from audience: Obviously the politics of gun control are against this, but is there anything the department can do to get guns off the streets?
        1. Trying to find the sweet spot with those people that believe we are out to hurt 2nd amendment rights, but clearly we have gun offenses every night. When he came on in 1983, they had an alert tone every time there was a crime in progress that involved guns or knives and would hear it 2-3 times in 6 day rotation. Now, 2-3 times in 8 hour shift. Cops work 6 days on and 3 days off. He's a big guy on having federal regulation that is stringent and background checks that are not artificial. Would like to bring pressure on gun manufacturing industry to do "smart guns" in which trigger would only pull if the gun recognized the palm print.
      12. Question from audience: Socioeconomic issues: you said 65% of kids in Madison on subsidized meals; how does that compare to the nation?
        1. Relative to the state we're probably ok, but Milwaukee is not a benchmark we want to be compared ourselves to. Likes metaphor of Tale of Two Cities: nice cars driven by 16 year olds at Memorial but 12 buses staging outside of Gammon and 75% of people getting off buses are people of color. Are police engaged in racial profiling? But think what you'll see if we have good people, through no fault of their own, trying to eke out a living, inviting you to come in and we want to you take riffraff out of here. Asking people to take a good look at faces of those we're arresting but also want to see places where we're making those arrests. All officers go through class given by Patricia Divine enlightening our officers about subconscious bias. Having said that, our workforce in Madison is more diverse. Around the country, complaints come from outside, whereas in Madison complaints come from co-workers who will not sit idly by. Average class in Madison is 29 years of age, all have bachelors degrees, 1/3 have masters degrees. Women are 12% on force nationally; Madison is 30% women. If you look at this class, you'll see interests in zoology, classic literature, Spanish, political science; there's diversity. A lot of free spirits.
      13. Question from audience: Article in paper about our teachers in public schools bombarded by unruly students.
        1. They have a way to vet their staging. They have an escalating staircase and some things are so significant they jump. Each high school has security guards (4 per school), ERO (education resource officers). I'm all for BEP but you have to let cops know that a teacher was threatened with a chair, or there's talking. Need to have an emboldened Superintendent to make ERO equal partner in real-time for those encounters. Not just there for ticket/arrest/escort; want them to be relational and work in tandem with principals. Have to iron out real-time communication gaps.
      14. Question from audience: We're told that the crime rate in Midvale Heights in pretty low, but what has tended to happened is that we have a rash of break-ins and Neighborhood Watch will rev up, but then winter happens and things die down. Do you suggestions for keeping Neighborhood Watch going?
        1. Have at least quarterly meetings. Be mindful of CPTED (Crime prevention through environmental design): back porch without light, overgrown shrubs, we need to take some measures as homeowners. Bring in guests speakers.
      15. Question from audience: Explain a bit more about Midtown police station - how will it impact us?
        1. When it first starts, you'll have 8-9 officers there. You can do stuff in-person, like register bike, report a theft, etc.
          1. Alder Maurice Cheeks speaks and says he supports it and will vote for it. But sooner we bring it online, sooner we have to pay for it and don't want to raise people's taxes. Also have fire station on east side that's scheduled to open in next couple of years. Do we prioritize both of these and figure out how to put it in operating budget?
        2. Koval says he'd sleep in his car in Midvale Heights. Allied got bad in 2008/2009 at height of cocaine. We were all-in on Allied. Raymond and Schroeder are a bit different now than 10 years ago; while we were all-in on Allied, that hose sprung a leak downstream. There's now displacement that we have to be careful about.
      16. Question from audience: Read that in states where marijuana is legal, heroin overdoses are down 35%.
        1. Suspects he'll be tarred and feathered about one sentence on marijuana. There are public policy debates to be had. He's influenced by the fact that there's been some fairly interesting studies being done on medicinal purposes. Are we ready to have a discussion as a state? Law enforcement is not a stick-in-the-mud about moving forward with that dialogue. But they are following the law.
  2. Call Business Meeting to Order & Introductions - Chuck Kreimendahl
    1. This meeting is for members primarily, but everybody is welcome.
  3. Board of Directors Election- Chuck Kreimendahl
    1. Even-Numbered Areas are up for election this year.
      1. Board members present, say name and what street you live on.
        1. Gary Poulson, Charles Lane
        2. Peter Schell, Togstad Glenn
        3. Paul Haskew, Togstad Glenn
        4. Tom Jarvis, Tokay Boulevard
        5. Floyd Stautz, Hillview Terrace
        6. Jenny Chipault - Hilton Drive
        7. Greg Fischer - Berwyn Drive
        8. Jonn Lager - Constitution Lane
      2. All have agreed to serve another 2-year term but floor is open.
      3. Move to elect slate of even-numbered board members. Second. Discussion? No opposition. Motion passes.
  4. Neighborhood Watch Report - Steve Fitzsimmons
    1. We live in a beautiful community. He used to be president of bird club and he'd struggle to get 20 people; nice to see turn-out. He did work with Fitchburg police dispatcher. Also has been neighborhood tornado spotter for last 10 years. Can't prevent tornadoes but can help ourselves regarding crime prevention. There have been 18-19 residential burglaries. Roughly 5 homes in his immediate area: couple doors down, couple doors behind, and across the street. He talked to board to figure out what to do to fight this trend. We're going to have a meeting November 11, 6:30-7:30 at Midvale Community Lutheran Church. We'll talk about strategies for how we can protect ourselves and protect our neighbors. Common sense things. Some things that might have us step outside of our comfort zone. He can facilitate working with police. Call 911 if see anything specific. On www.Midvaleheights.org, there's a link on left to neighborhood watch page, which has tips and suggestions, and his contact information. There are a lot of things we need to watch for. Trust your instincts. Neighborhood police officer, Dustin, will be coming to our meeting on November 11. Also want to point out that there's a Madison Police Department survey where you can express concerns about your neighborhood. We have a forum and email list and you can sign up for this email list via www.Midvaleheights.org. As soon as he finds out about something, he emails list and it raises our awareness. Try to get everyone to get more comfortable with the police. Dustin is happy to do ride-along for 4 hours. Keep lights on at night, garage doors closed, keys not in car. We'll be training during winter and when things warm up, our eyes will be on our streets and we won't be intimidated by our police.
  5. Elected Representative Reports - Maurice Cheeks/Carousel Bayrd
    1. Maurice Cheeks wants to talk about a few things that he's working on right now via budget that we're trying to pass.
      1. Restoring funding for crossing guard program. We haven't looked at policy regarding crossing guards since 1990s, so need to look at ways to have neighbors walk their children to school.
      2. Also supports creation of Midtown Station. Chief brings renewed energy to the role. He represents 10th district, which includes Orchard, Dunn's marsh, Allied Drive, Midvale Heights, Nakoma, and Summit Woods so it's been important for him to ensure that MPD is thinking about his district holistically. We've made strides at Allied, but at the same time we can't allow our other neighborhoods to slide from receiving attention from the police. While often times the break-ins might be neighborhood kids, that's not acceptable. He will continue to support request for neighborhood officers. The most effective way to ensure safety is to put neighborhood officers in place. We have 19 right now and want 5 more.
      3. Also looking to add wireless to the metro buses starting next year. Our public transit is the 9th most used public transit in the country - per capita - and every bus system that is used more heavily than ours has a regional transit authority. We're doing phenomenal work with relatively limited functionality and funding, but as we see more ridership and encourage ridership, next step is to add convenience of wireless.
      4. Something that hasn't gotten a lot of attention but that he's proud of is that city is going to invest in a tool that will make the budget process more transparent. There's technology to make this happen. Should go live spring of next year.
      5. Emerald ash borer is something we're concerned about as a community. Continuing to fund supporting or replacing our trees is something that will help us maintain our quality of life. Important to maintain vista.
      6. Advocating for participatory budgeting. There is a process that some cities have adopted to allow public to have direct input to how monies get spent in their neighborhoods. Allows citizens to have a more direct relationship with the budgeting process. Hopefully in the next year, we'll invest in the start-up cost and planning process for how we should roll this out. The more we're transparent and the more we can engage our citizens, the better off we are as a community.
    2. Carousel Bayrd notes that it's budget season. The county is really hurting. We're out of money. We're making horrible decisions. We're cutting things that aren't reflective of our values. We don't' want to make these cuts but we don't have money. We aren't providing as many meals to senior citizens, we're not providing as many facilities to people with disabilities, less on alternatives to incarcerate, less slots in drug court, crisis funds, etc. In general, county does human services, criminal justice, and environment. Big debate on the county board about covering up; her concern is that we hide the pain, the average person doesn't know anyone with disabilities so wouldn't notice if someone with disabilities isn't getting outside to walk around the block or not. But she thinks that, on some level, we need to make a statement about what's being cut. Most cuts come from state government.
      1. This is her 9th year. She's vice chair of county board.
      2. Big picture issue #1 is education, access to quality education. Top initiative in last year's budget was crisis mental health services in public schools. They call police, as they should, and then they are in jail; alternatively, they could call a crisis team. City is doing after-school programs; she's the county representative on that committee.
      3. Big picture issue #2 is criminal justice reform. Racial disparities. Big conversation about re-building our jail. She doesn't support building a new jail. We've done a good job of ignoring our jail and it's falling apart and it's a disaster. What she wants to address is mental health; some people are having a mental health crisis and need to be in jail, some don't. Help establish conversation about incarceration, can we incarcerate somewhere other than jail. Most crisis centers are voluntary. Working with teens on justice issue, e.g., have teen talk to homeowner they've wronged and apologize. Doing a pilot in south side of Madison.
      4. Big picture issue #3 is affordable housing. There's a housing co-op for youth struggling with homelessness. Space with wraparound service for youth that are homeless. Creating a community, sort of like a college dorm. There are 10 rooms and a waiting list within a week.
      5. Used to stay home two days a week, but now that her youngest is in kindergarten she's working with YWCA. Doing restorative justice at East and West high schools. She was just in an ad for Planned Parenthood for Mary Burke. Became chair for training democrat women to run for office.
  6. Announcements - Board
    1. State of the Neighborhood. There are a lot more kids and families and it's nice to have a community that's vibrant with youth. There's an ongoing t-ball program that we support, run by Michael Pressman. It's an alternative to little league that is more inclusive and fun. New program this year for us in Kids Clubhouse, which ran Tuesday afternoons and a couple dozen kids with supervisors participated. Program was developed in Nakoma neighborhood and it was successful there, so we started it here in collaboration with KEVA. Kids can sign up for whole summer or just a day and do games, sports, crafts, and educational things.
    2. No other announcements
  7. Adjournment to Social Session Board, Members and Guests

Minutes recorded by Jenny Chipault, Secretary