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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Overture nominations prompt concern

In a meeting held to decide whether to confirm Madison Mayor Sue Bauman's seven nominees for the 13-member board of the new Cultural Arts District, the Common Council Organizational Committee voted yesterday to send its suggestions to the mayor for her consideration. 




Rather than confirm Bauman's nominations, the Common Council voted at its Jan. 16 meeting to refer them to the committee. 




The Cultural Arts District Board will govern the Overture Center Project on the 200 block of State Street. Seven of the board's 13 members are to be chosen by Bauman and approved by the Common Council, with the others appointed by Gov. Tommy Thompson and Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk. 




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Four amendments were raised to the motion to confirm Bauman's recommendations.  




The three amendments that passed recommended that Bauman withdraw her name from the list of nominations and appoint an alternate person, confer with the council before making future recommendations for the board and meet with the two alders she nominated to the board, Ald. Warren Onken, District 3, and Ald. Kent Palmer, District 15, together with Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4.  




Verveer represents the area around the Overture Project but was not nominated to the board. He said he was concerned that no one from downtown was recommended. 




Council President Ald. Dorothy Borchardt, District 12, suggested the committee not take any names off the list, but rather advise the mayor of names it thought were missing.  




But a few people said they did not think that this would have any effect. 




\I really don't think any discussion here is going to change anything,"" said Ald. Cindy Thomas, District 7.  




Thomas also said there was no guarantee the mayor would address the issues the committee discussed.  




""She didn't even come [to the committee meeting],"" Thomas said. 




Palmer said that it will be important for the members of the board to look beyond downtown at how the Arts District relates to the city. 




""People are going to have to look at very broad considerations,"" Palmer said, such as dealing with arts issues and with people. Palmer said that whichever districts the aldermen were from, they would still have the same objective in mind. 




The most common concern expressed throughout the meeting was that Bauman should communicate more with the Council when making these recommendations in the future. 




""If I had one suggestion for the mayor, it would be to include us in the process,"" said Ald. Linda Bellman, District 1. ""She needs to reach out to us."" 




After the meeting, Verveer said he felt uncomfortable discussing the situation, except that he thought the outcome of the meeting was probably the best possible.

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