Madison Common Council approves budget

Council approves $1.75 million for Overture Center

Published On: Nov 14 2012 10:26:44 PM CST   Updated On: Nov 15 2012 12:16:47 PM CST
MADISON, Wis. -

The Madison Common Council on Wednesday finished approving next year's city budget.

The process took two nights. Council members mostly stuck together to oppose the mayor, especially on Overture Center funding, but there has been plenty of disagreement on the way to finalizing the $267 million budget.

There were some hugs after the meeting and also some frustration over how things were done. In short, the budget has been approved and taxes on the average Madison home will go up about $50 next year.

One of the difficult decisions was a 13-7 vote to internalize city golf operations, meaning four golf pros will lose their jobs at year's end.

"To call that the Madison way -- that is not the Madison way," said Alderman Mark Clear.

Madison's parks superintendent said the process has already begun to hire one new pro and four assistant ones and taking over the four clubhouse operations.

Earlier Wednesday night, alders voted to defeat Mayor Paul Soglin on funding for the Overture Center. Alders voted for $1.75 million to go to Overture, even though the mayor made the argument that city priorities have changed and there isn't enough money available.

"We're not special anymore. The demands of poverty have more than quadrupled," Soglin said.

The $1.75 million approved for the Overture Center is still less than the $2 million that Overture leaders wanted.

The council also approved more money for Madison Metro Transit, recommending that the money go toward new bus service to the troubled and isolated Owl Creek neighborhood on the southeast side.