Former Mayor to Landmarks Commission: Drop Dead

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snoqueen
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Re: Former Mayor to Landmarks Commission: Drop Dead

Postby snoqueen » Sat Mar 08, 2014 12:08 pm

SL: I have stated my case, you've stated yours, and others can draw their conclusions. I can't really figure out what you're objecting to by now.

Dog: my best guess is Clarenbach was active in Madison politics starting in the early 80s so that's the era we are talking about. Here is a bio, if it'll help any:

http://mkelgbthist.org/people/peo-c/cla ... _david.htm

The house could have been totally trashed in the last few decades due to any number of factors. We can agree on that. I kinda think it was deliberate neglect, but I haven't been inside. Neglect is sometimes part of a business strategy that may be perfectly rational behavior on the part of the owner. It's often an issue in preservation, and might or might not be addressable through the building codes or even through zoning if a residential property is converted to use as a warehouse or storage facility.

I agree with you about the purposes of the original column. Still, I'm willing to take up the case for Landmarks just because I'd rather not let the whole city end up looking like that awful "lifestyle center" fake mini mall on the west side someone was griping about in another topic.

bdog
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Re: Former Mayor to Landmarks Commission: Drop Dead

Postby bdog » Sat Mar 08, 2014 12:52 pm

snoqueen wrote: I'm willing to take up the case for Landmarks just because I'd rather not let the whole city end up looking like that awful "lifestyle center" fake mini mall on the west side someone was griping about in another topic.

I wonder if Landmarks purpose should be more geared to preventing atrocities as opposed to preservation. Have we gained enough smarts to say this or that is what works for the long haul? Or is it all just a matter of opinion?

Referencing the other thread, I like the idea of an outdoor mall, just from a fitness aspect. But are there architectural ABCs at play too (stuff like Golden ratios)?

gargantua
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Re: Former Mayor to Landmarks Commission: Drop Dead

Postby gargantua » Sat Mar 08, 2014 1:15 pm

I remember this discussion from an Edgewater thread, and I would like to revisit a point that was made then. The process that we now have with Landmarks was created through a democratic process. The policy intention was that making changes to historic districts is supposed to be a rigorous and demanding process.

Given how contentious the issue is, goal met. Some of the same players are involved in this discussion and it's apparent no one has change his/her mind, but I disagree that the process is undemocratic, because a mechanism is in place for elected officials to reverse a decision. Yes, it's a high bar, but it was intended to be. And, those very same elected officials have the ability to change the process, and/or lower the bar if they choose to. Why haven't they? For example, I suspect changing to a simple majority override would garner a fair amount of support. Unless I'm missing something, it would only require a simple majority of council members to make that kind of change, wouldn't it?

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Re: Former Mayor to Landmarks Commission: Drop Dead

Postby Native » Sat Mar 08, 2014 2:40 pm

David Cieslewicz again shows that he was born knowing everything he needs to know, and that those who've spent a fair number of years learning their skills and then practicing them really cannot hold a candle to his awesomeness -for he regularly (and routinely) 'found' facts directly opposite to those reported to him by city staffers.

The Landmarks Commission and its staff has a lengthy history of working with landowners, not against them, to improve projects proposed to them. When it has said "no", it has done so with sound and solid reasons - all based in the words of the ordinance the Common Council has seen fit to adopt and amend for over 40 years. And the Council has only once reversed them. Only once.

So Landmarks opposes Brown's overly-large project, after he's (in the words of the building inspectors) demolished by neglect at least one of the buildings he seeks to replace? Former Mayor Cieslewicz needs to acquaint himself with the actual conduct of the Commission over the decades ... assuming the cognitive dissonance that might result doesn't cause him an injury.

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Re: Former Mayor to Landmarks Commission: Drop Dead

Postby Huckleby » Sat Mar 08, 2014 3:06 pm

Native wrote:When it has said "no", it has done so with sound and solid reasons - all based in the words of the ordinance the Common Council has seen fit to adopt and amend for over 40 years. And the Council has only once reversed them. Only once.

That's rich. A nearly impossible barrier to the council reversing Landmark Commission decisions is in place. Only once, indeed.

I do not understand the objection to allowing the common council, with their broader perspective, to have the final say.

snoqueen
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Re: Former Mayor to Landmarks Commission: Drop Dead

Postby snoqueen » Sat Mar 08, 2014 4:11 pm

The preventing atrocities task lies more with UDC, which I think does a good job with what they are given to work with. I enjoy sitting through their meetings or watching the video later when one is available, though I can imagine people uninterested in architecture and design would be bored to tears.

The committee is respectful of the design intentions of each project and tries to find ways to suggest improvements and foresee problems, particularly site-specific ones. If you get a compliment from UDC, it means a lot because they look at stuff all the time and are in a position to know. On the other hand they can't turn a grandiose strip mall into anything but a grandiose strip mall, so good luck with that.

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Re: Former Mayor to Landmarks Commission: Drop Dead

Postby Stu Levitan » Sun Mar 09, 2014 2:48 am

Huckleby wrote:I do not understand the objection to allowing the common council, with their broader perspective, to have the final say.


Who has objected to Council having final say? I certainly haven't. We are a subordinate body,just like Plan,UDC, etc. Of course Council has right to hear appeals of LC actions. Who is it you think objects?

And, Native, thanks.

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Re: Former Mayor to Landmarks Commission: Drop Dead

Postby gargantua » Sun Mar 09, 2014 12:16 pm

Stu Levitan wrote:
Huckleby wrote:I do not understand the objection to allowing the common council, with their broader perspective, to have the final say.


Who has objected to Council having final say? I certainly haven't. We are a subordinate body,just like Plan,UDC, etc. Of course Council has right to hear appeals of LC actions. Who is it you think objects?

And, Native, thanks.

I think he wants Landmarks to be merely advisory....which to me is the same effect as binding unless overridden by simple majority as opposed to 2/3 vote.

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Re: Former Mayor to Landmarks Commission: Drop Dead

Postby Huckleby » Sun Mar 09, 2014 12:50 pm

gargantua wrote:merely advisory

You generally understand me correctly, except that "merely advisory" doesn't sound right. I want the Landmarks Commission determinations to be respected and carry much weight. I know it sounds like I'm talking out of both sides of my mouth.

Which reminds me of a drummer joke: What does it mean when foam is coming out of both sides of a drummer's mouth? The stage is level.

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Re: Former Mayor to Landmarks Commission: Drop Dead

Postby Henry Vilas » Tue Mar 11, 2014 9:32 am

Someone at the Cap Times reads this forum.

In his Isthmus column last week, former Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz takes aim at the Madison Landmarks Commission for its decision to scrap developer Steve Brown's plan to put three five-story apartment buildings on Gilman Street.

On the site's message board, the Landmarks Commission chairman strikes back.
...
Levitan wasn't the only reader to take a shot at Cieslewicz. Someone with the handle "green union terrace chair" weighed in with:

"It is maddening that a former mayor doesn't understand how our representative democracy works. Did you vote for (planning director) Steve Cover, (city planner) Katherine Cornwell or anyone else in the Planning Department? Did you vote for the police or fire chiefs? Did you vote for U.S. Supreme Court justices, who routinely strike down laws passed by elected representatives?

"To make this argument, Cieslewicz is either being intentional misleading or ignorant."

Huckleby
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Re: Former Mayor to Landmarks Commission: Drop Dead

Postby Huckleby » Tue Mar 11, 2014 11:43 am

Of course the Cap Times does no debunking of greenunionterracechair's specious argument, they are grinding an axe.

The fact that the Landmark Commission is unelected is relevant in this case because they are granted extraordinary power vis-a-vis the elected Council.

Now, this is not the only instance, each situation has to be judged on its merits. The creation of historic districts has already given the Landmarks Commission very broad power. You throw on top of that the supermajority rule, and we have an unbalanced power that has to be corrected.

Cieslewicz presented a very common sense fix to the problem. To ignore the special circumstances of the Landmarks Commission, greenunionterracechair is either being intentionally misleading or ignorant.

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Re: Former Mayor to Landmarks Commission: Drop Dead

Postby Henry Vilas » Tue Mar 11, 2014 11:59 am

Huck, can a simple majority of the Madison Common Council override decisions made by the Planning or the Police and Fire Commission?

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Re: Former Mayor to Landmarks Commission: Drop Dead

Postby green union terrace chair » Tue Mar 11, 2014 2:29 pm

Huckleby wrote:Of course the Cap Times does no debunking of greenunionterracechair's specious argument, they are grinding an axe.

lol they quoted me and not you :P

But really I think it's pretty silly that some anonymous furniture item was quoted in the newspaper. I could easily be using a pseudonym and actually be a yellow or even an orange union terrace chair.

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Re: Former Mayor to Landmarks Commission: Drop Dead

Postby Huckleby » Tue Mar 11, 2014 9:47 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:Huck, can a simple majority of the Madison Common Council override decisions made by the Planning or the Police and Fire Commission?

I have no idea. I'd have to see the justifications to know what I think about the rules in each instance. Devil in the details, and the actual working. LC rules were shown to be a problem. At least one of these two has to go: historic districts, supermajority.

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Re: Former Mayor to Landmarks Commission: Drop Dead

Postby Henry Vilas » Wed Mar 12, 2014 8:04 am

Huckleby wrote:I have no idea.

That's why I asked the question. Just as I figured.


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