Dec 23 Popup Food Pantry

Sandburg Community Food pantry will be hosting a popup food pantry on Wednesday December, 23 at the Sandburg Community School 2pm. This is an amazing example of neighbors helping neighbors. I highly encourage you to donate and help this group.

They have an Amazon shared list where you can purchase needed items and have them shipped to the food pantry directly.

If you are interested in volunteering, feel free to reach out to me.

PFAS Update

Tuesday, December 15, 2020 – 3:56pm

Today the Dane County Regional Airport (DCRA) released the results of more testing for PFAS in the soil and shallow groundwater of two historic fire training areas. PFAS are a large group of man-made chemicals that are fire resistant, and repel oil, stains, grease, and water, and PFAS at the airport is assumed to largely come from firefighting foams used in trainings to contain oil-based fires, including jet fuel fires. The Madison Fire Department stopped using these foams in 2019. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has determined that the City, County, and Wisconsin Air National Guard share responsibility for the sites as historic owners or users of the sites. A report of test results can be found on the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website here  under Activity # 02-13-583366.

The testing confirms the presence of PFAS in the soil and shallow groundwater in and around the fire training areas at significant levels. Questions still remain about how the samples at these sites compare to surrounding areas, and how shallow groundwater moves around the site and toward Starkweather Creek. The City continues to work with the Airport, the Air National Guard, and the DNR to scope further actions.

These test results come alongside news that the federal government is launching a remedial investigation of their property, which is also a source of PFAS contamination.
It’s important to note that pollution levels found in this study are from shallow groundwater that is separate from the deep aquifers the City uses for drinking water. PFAS are regularly monitored in drinking water and levels at all city wells remain far below proposed regulatory thresholds.

Here is the link to the November 2020 full testing report.

Here is the link to the Dane County Fire Training Areas historical testing.

PFC Selects Dr. Barnes as Next Chief of Police

For Immediate Release – December 18, 2020
Board of Police and Fire Commissioners of the City of Madison

Following a rigorous, comprehensive process and after thorough deliberations, the PFC has
selected Dr. Shon F. Barnes to be our Chief of Police. The PFC expresses its support and
confidence in his leadership. As is standard practice, the PFC will now be issuing a Conditional
Offer of Appointment.

Community input has been the foundation of this process. The PFC is grateful for the input that it
received. The COVID-19 pandemic presented unique challenges for the PFC, and the PFC adapted
its methods to obtain community input. The PFC prepared a summary of its process, which is being
published with this press release.

This process was thoughtful and deliberate. The PFC believes the process was fair. The PFC
wishes to thank its consultant, Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), for its diligent and
exceptional work in guiding the PFC in this process. The PFC also wishes to thank the Dane
County Sheriff’s Office for its professional background investigations.

4 Finalists for Police Chief Named

The Board of Police and Fire Commissioners of the City of Madison (PFC) has selected four
(4) finalists who will advance in the hiring process for the position of Police Chief for the
City of Madison. The PFC is pleased to announce the final candidates, together with a short
biography and photograph from each candidate.

The PFC will be holding a Special Meeting on December 9, 2020, at 5:30 P.M., to discuss
and deliberate on the final candidates. In addition, a regular meeting of the PFC is scheduled
for December 14, 2020, at 5:30 P.M., at which the PFC may continue its discussion and
deliberation, if necessary.

The PFC is grateful for all of the community input that it has received during this process.
The community input has contributed greatly to this process.
The PFC has named the following final candidates.

Shon F. Barnes

Director of training and professional development for the Civilian Office of Police Accountability in Chicago. Prior to that he was deputy chief of police for the Salisbury, North Carolina, Police Department from 2017-20. He began his career in 2000 with the Greensboro, North Carolina, Police Department, where he rose to captain.

Ramon S. Batista Jr.

Police chief, Mesa, Arizona. He began his career with the Tucson, Arizona, Police Department in 1986, working in patrol, the traffic division, police academy, public information and investigations and rising to patrol captain, SWAT/hostage commander, chief of staff, investigations bureau chief and chief of the patrol bureau.

Christopher A. Davis

Deputy chief for the Portland, Oregon, Police Bureau. He was appointed to Portland police in 1998 and previously worked as a police officer for the Arizona State University Police Department.

Larry R. Scirotto

Retired assistant chief for the Pittsburgh police. He spent 23 years with the Pittsburgh department, including in a leadership role as the commander of the Zone 3, the city’s most known entertainment district, and leading the Bureau’s Major Crimes Division and Professional Standards Branch.

Visit the Police and Fire Commission webpage here.

Police Civilian Oversight Board Meets

UPDATE 12/4/2020: The board was only able to get through the first 4 agenda items as the board members navigated getting to know each other as well as the framework governing the board. There were a number of questions about who nominated the board members as well as who determined which board members received two, three or four year appointments. According to council staff member Karen Kapusta-Pofahl, the Council President and the Mayor decided the initial terms. The newly appointed board members were able to decide that the Chair and Vice-Chair would serve 2 year terms.

Next meeting will be Monday, December 7 at 5pm. You can watch online here.

The first meeting of the new Police Civilian Oversight Board is meeting tonight 11/30/2020 at 5pm. You can watch online here

Here is the agenda.


  1. 63092 Public Comment (11/30/2020 meeting)
    Members of the body should make any required disclosures or recusals under the City’s
    Ethics Code.
  2. 63093 Mayor and Common Council President Welcome
  3. 63114 Board Member Introductions
  4. 63096 Vote on Length of Terms of Chair and Vice Chair
  5. 63094 Election of Board Chair
  6. 63095 Election of Board Vice Chair
  7. 63103 Establishment of Special Rules for Board Meetings
    City of Madison Page 2 Printed on 11/20/2020
    Agenda – Approved
  8. 63098 Overview of MGO 5.20
    Attachments: Link: MGO 5.20
  9. 63097 Overview of Open Meetings Law
    Attachments: WisconsinOpenMeetingsLaw.pdf
  10. 63174 Overview of Robert’s Rules of Order
    Attachments: RobertsRulesGuide.pdf
  11. 63109 Overview of City Ethics Code
    Attachments: EthicsCodeSimplified.pdf
  12. 63104 Selection of regular monthly meeting day and time

COVID-19 Temporarily Closes Sandburg Food Pantry

From the Sandburg Community Food Pantry facebook page

With heavy hearts, we would like to inform our pantry users and supporters that our December 2nd pantry will be our last, until further notice. We made this difficult decision due to Covid numbers in our community, and the fact that it has become too dangerous for our volunteers (we have been going through a shortage) and users alike. It has been an honor to serve our Sandburg community during this difficult time. We are compiling information, regarding other resources, our families can utilize while we are unable to serve them.We thank you for your understanding and support.

Con tristeza en nuestros corazones, queremos informar a nuestros usuarios y seguidores que la despensa del 2 de diciembre será la última, hasta nuevo aviso. Tomamos esta difícil decisión por lo que estamos experimentando en respeto a COVID-19, llegamos al punto que ya es muy peligroso seguir.Ha sido un gran honor servir a nuestra comunidad de Sandburg durante este momento difícil. Estamos recopilando información sobre otros recursos que nuestras familias pueden utilizar, mientras nosotros no podamos atenderlos. Le agradecemos su comprensión y apoyo.

Imagination Center Update

The Imagination Center at Reindahl Park was originally discussed in the Madison Public Library Strategic Plan for Eastside Growth in 2016. In 2019, there were many more discussions about how and when we could start building it and then 2020 happened. I reached out to Brent Pauba, City Project Manager who said, “The City has advertised a Request for Proposal which seeks Architectural and Engineering design services. Upon completion of the RFP process, we’ll proceed to the design phases of the Imagination Center at Reindahl Park.”

So the Imagination Center is still moving forward, although slowly. One of my main priorities is to ensure district 17 families get the imagination center that is needed. It is more than a library, it will be a commuity hub that will serve as a community forum, civic innovator, holistic health advocate, cultural platform and economic engine. 

Here are some of the articles written about the Imagination Center at Reindahl Park.

From civic space to child care, east side residents envision possibilities for proposed Reindahl Imagination Center. Abigail Becker. The Capital Times. March 4, 2020.

Soil Drilling, Testing to Begin in Reindahl Park. Hannah Mohelnitzky. City of Madison Press Release. November 19, 2019.

Ald. Samba Baldeh: Reindahl Park Library Would Bring Services to Those with Greatest Needs. Samba Baldeh, District 17 Alder. The Cap Times. October 17, 2019.

Snakes and Slides: How Locals are Imagining the Reindahl Imagination Center. Michelle Baik, NBC-15 TV. October 8, 2019.

Reindahl Imagination Center Would Be More Than “A Library in a Park”. Abigail Becker, The Cap Times. June 17, 2019.

Madison Considers Building $17M Library, Community Center at Reindahl Park. Dean Mosiman, Wisconsin State Journal. August 9, 2017.

Concerns for Well 15

Some neighbors have expressed growing concerns for PFAS contamination of Well 15 located at 3900 E. Washington Ave and water supply to areas along the East Washington corridor, the airport, the American Family area, and East Towne. This well pumps nearly 1 billion gallons per year and is a vital source of water for the east side of Madison. []

The well was temporarily shut down in March 2019 while additional testing for PFAS was conducted. These tests came back well below EPA’s Lifetime Health Advisory Level, but Wisconsin does not provide any regulatory guidance. The EPA is still working on regulation, but recommends drinking water advisory limites of 70 ppt (parts-per-trillion). Well 9 was also tested in 2019 and had one of the highest levels of PFAS at 53 ppt, still below recommended levels. Some states have started providing regulatory limits. You can find more about that here []

This is an issue we will continue to monitor.