Tell your alder to support more police at Tuesday’s council meeting
It is possible that residents of Madison’s far northeast side do not realize what a social justice warrior they’ve got for an alder. Just how radical Left she really is, even for the Emerald City. How anti-cop. After all, the news media does not report roll call votes.
Rebecca Kemble is the twice-elected alder (the last time, unopposed) for the 18th District that lies between Cherokee Marsh on the northeast and Warner Park on the southwest. It’s an area of newer homes, including affluent Cherokee and the expensive new houses north of Mendota Mental Hospital. How well she represents it is another question.
Ald. Kemble vies with Marsha Rummel for the most liberal-progressive-socialist alder on the Madison Common Council. Both are Progressive Dane, a political party that is stridently to the Left of the Democrat(ic) party. Rummel, at least, represents the hippie-dippy Willy Street/Marquette neighborhood where the 1960s went to gentrify.
Kemble and Rummel are almost certain to vote No Tuesday evening (01-16-18) to a budget amendment that would add eight much-needed police officers to the force. It will be a close call. Budget Amendment #49855 is Item #48 on the agenda. It needs 15 votes for passage among the 19 expected to attend. Ald. Shiva Bidar-Sielaff will be a no-show.
Etico Solutions Inc., the independent agency the city hired in 2007 to examine police staffing numbers, says MPD needs 23 additional officers. The budget amendment before the council asks only for 8.
Those gunshots? Just kids havin’ fun
It was standing room only Friday night at the Goodwill store in the Northside Town Center for a neighborhood meeting Kemble co-sponsored with Alderman Larry Palm next door and a county supervisor. The topic: neighborhood safety.
Police Officer David Dexheimer told the worried citizens that 47 people were hit by gunfire in 2017 in the city. Of the 220 reports of shots fired, 64 occurred in the concerned neighbors north precinct — more incidents than any other of MPD’s five districts. (West had 53 incidents, East 52, South 32 Central 19.)
“Because of the frequency and where these things are happening, people are understandably fearful, and they want to, kind of, know what’s going on,” Officer Dexheimer said.
Former northside Alder Dorothy Borchardt asked Kemble point-blank if she would vote for more police.
“She wouldn’t say when I asked the question,” Dorothy told us. “I asked her and Palm how they would be voting. Palm wouldn’t say but I know he will vote for it. Kemble wouldn’t say but all her gobbledy gook about the report and ‘other more important community needs’ told us she will NOT be supporting it and the crowd did not like what she had to say.”
Lynn Ketchum also attended Friday’s meeting at Goodwill. She e-mailed all 20 alders and Mayor Paul Soglin this report:
At the end of the 90 minutes of info [and] questions and answers, one thing was clear: 100+ people want more police. We want to know our neighborhoods are safe.
Captain Jay Lengfeld and gang unit officer Terry Loos assured us that these incidents are not targeting people or property. They seem to be people riding around in cars looking for dark places like Northland Manor Park and Warner Park to shoot off guns for fun. ….
Get it? Just kids having fun!
At no time during the meeting did any MPD staff mention that more patrol officers would help. …
Only Police Chief Mike Koval, his command staff, and every police officer you ask — if you ask. Kemble resumes:
I added that I would be speaking with Parks about getting more lighting around Northland Manor Park and the driveway to Cherokee Marsh near the oil collection site. … A good alder looks at the big picture and not just his or her issue. That is especially true when it comes to budgetary decisions. We have to weigh requests in the context of every other city agency and initiative and according to our stated priorities.
Police? Not a priority
Yes, when it comes to law enforcement, Rebecca Kemble is a fiscal conservative. Otherwise, no so much. Kemble’s expected No vote Tuesday would be in character. (Contact the alder if you think she should change her mind. Contact all the Alders.)
Kemble also voted:
- Against seeking a federal grant (since denied) to pay for more police
- Against recompensing Chief Koval for defending himself before the Police & Fire Commission after he was exonerated
- Against banning panhandlers on busy city streets
- For a $108,000/year chief of staff for the alders to compete with the mayor
- For the $400,000 study of the Madison Police Department
- Against police body cameras.
She praised students — including her own children — for playing hooky from school in March 2015 to march in “honor” of Tony T. Robinson, the felon high on drugs who was shot and killed after he attacked a police officer.
She was arrested at the 2016 Standing Rock pipeline protest in North Dakota, the one that left all the garbage behind. They objected to a pipeline that would run parallel to an existing pipeline. Wrote about it for The Progressive magazine.
She was a member of the Derail the Jail clique.
Rebecca Kemble is, as we like to say, a real piece of work.