Dane County Board continues to spin wheels on jail

No referendum on jail consolidation!

The Dane County Board voted 21 to 14 (with 2 absent) against asking voters in referendum whether to replace the near 70-year-old, Alcatraz-style county jail on the top two floors of the City-County Building in downtown Madison WI.

Sup. Kierstin Huelsemann
‘White silence is violence’

The referendum supervisors turned down Thursday 01-19-23 would have asked for authority to spend an additional $13.5 million on top of $166 million previously committed in the normal budget process. The extra money is needed to cover cost overruns on a six-story jail addition due to the county’s endemic dithering. The addition would eliminate solitary confinement. It would also replace the decrepit Huber work-release center on the grounds of the fairgrounds at Alliant Energy Center.

The referendum vote having failed, supervisors realized they could not achieve the three-quarters super-majority to amend the budget by direct county board action and so punted that back to committee, where progress goes to die.

Sheriff Kalvin Barrett, we must say, was a powerful advocate for the jail. He showed supervisors pictures taken earlier Thursday of silverfish contamination in the “inhumane” City County portion of the jail. “The bathrooms we have are absolutely deplorable, there is exposure of lead, and poor water quality.”

“We should not be legislating by referendum,” Chairman Patrick Miles, McFarland, said. “We don’t know the total cost of the project yet (and won’t) until March. When that happens, I will be authorizing expenditures then. Whether we do now or in March does not affect the timing of the project.”

But last November, Miles backed a smaller, five-story jail tower — proposed at the last-minute — that would have sabotaged years of expensive planning. The county executive vetoed that.

“We are paralyzed; we are unable to reach consensus. That is why it should go to referendum.”

— Sup. Tim Kiefer, Waunakee

Madison would turn out like crazy to vote NO.

— Sup. Yogesh Chawla, Madison.

These 21 voted AGAINST the jail referendum

Andrae, Richelle
District 11

Bare, Mike
District 32

Castillo, Cecely
District 7

Chawla, Yogesh
District 6

Doyle, Elizabeth
District 1

Erickson, Chuck
District 23

* Glazer, Jeffrey
District 8

Gray, Anthony
District 14

Huelsemann, Kierstin
District 27

Hynes, Jeff
District 5

Kigeya, April
District 15

Miles, Patrick
District 34

Pellebon, Dana
District 33

* Ripp, Dave
District 29 

Ritt, Michele
District 18

Rose, Rick
District 16

Smith, Sarah
District 24

Wegleitner, Heidi
District 2

Wright, Jacob C.
District 17

Xistris-Songpanya, Olivia
District 13

Yang, Brenda
District 19

These 14 voted FOR the jail referendum

Bollig, Jerry
District 31

Collins, Aaron
District 10 

Downing, Patrick
District 30

Eicher, Analiese
District 3

Engelberger, Michael
District 35

Hatcher, Holly
District 26

Joers, Alex
District 9

Kiefer, Tim
District 25

McCarville, Maureen
District 22

McGinnity, Kate
District 37

Ratcliff, Melissa
District 36

Schauer, Andrew
District 21

Veldran, Matt
District 4

Weigand, Jeff
District 20

Supervisors * Larry Palm, Madison, and * Michelle Doolan, Cross Plains, were absent. They and Sups. * Ripp and * Glazer were among the 18 who commendably voted in November 2020 against a plan to shrink the jail addition to five floors from the planned and previously approved six floors. Those 18 include the 14 who voted Thursday 01-19-23 for the referendum.

Blaska’s Bottom Line: Sup. Chawla is correct, Madison voters would have massed to deep-six the jail. So is Sup. David Ripp: Putting meat and potato issues like public safety to referenda IS dereliction of an elected official’s duty. But the Dane County Board IS derelict in its duties.

What will break this log jam?

About David Blaska

Madison WI
This entry was posted in Crime, Dane County Board, Jail, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Dane County Board continues to spin wheels on jail

  1. Bob says:

    I watched as much as I stomach and “WOW”. I thought the registered speakers went rambling on but they were limited to 5 minutes. When the supervisors started their comments it’s “Get To Your F***ing Point”. I thought I was watching the U.S. Senate on CSPAN and yes Madison voters would vote it down.
    On a side note I don’t remember anyone talking about remodeling the old jail.

    Liked by 1 person

    • David Blaska says:

      Totally agree. Chairman Miles used most of his allotted 10 minutes describing what he was about to say instead of actually (you know) SAYING IT! Matt Veldran (who defeated Blaska for re-election in 2006) never could find the point of what he was trying to say.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bob says:

        I liked the woman (I think) that kept asking the Sheriff questions that by the look on his face didn’t have the foggiest idea what she was asking. In my working history some of my bosses liked my bluntness while most didn’t. They want everyone to be a diplomat.

        Liked by 1 person

    • One Eye says:

      aka “Verveering”


      • Special K says:

        Verveering….spot on! I’ve had to endure many City of Madison meetings with Verveer saying a lot of nothing.


  2. Kooter says:

    Progressives are retarded. Maybe a new word in the lexicon: “Progtard”!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Normwegian says:

    “fiddlers on the roof”

    Liked by 2 people

  4. One Eye says:

    Have to admit describing the jail as “inhumane” is getting old. The criticism could be equally applied to most student housing, the GEF buildings, 1 W Wilson, etc.

    Oh the humanity!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gary L. Kriewald says:

      Madison liberals regard any jail that doesn’t put mints on inmate’s pillows as inhumane. Just like they regard any neighborhood without a Whole Foods as a food desert.


  5. One Eye says:

    Also, “Unnatural red hair is derp,derp,derp”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • David Blaska says:

      What is going on in Fitchburg that would elect the red-haired woman (Kiersten Huelsemann)?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mordecai The Red says:

        Is she Progressive Dane? As much as I despise them, they’re quite good at getting their biggest loudmouths elected.

        White silence is violence to these folks until whites start suggesting that woke justice beneficiaries be held accountable for their own actions and success. As soon as that happens, whites are summarily told to shut up.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Gary L. Kriewald says:

        Yeah, she’s a gem–but half of them look like grad students in gender studies programs, so woke they haven’t slept in years. It’s no surprise that this particular subspecies of parasite should be infecting Fitchburg or anywhere else in Dane County, having so successfully colonized Madison.


  6. Mordecai The Red says:

    This group seems intent on competing with the Police Oversight Board on wasting taxpayer money while accomplishing nothing of value.

    Here’s a question I’d like to see in a binding referendum:

    “Should dereliction of duty by a county supervisor be punishable as a criminal offense?”

    It would never pass in Dane County, but if it did, this gaggle of 21 do-nothings would be the first “residents” of the new jail.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Bob says:

    Interesting how Dane County bought another 35 acres of land but can’t figure out what to do about the jail.


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