News Sample – Budget

  • Hiring Freeze – Isthmus, Nov. 30, 2017
    • “The police are very good at playing politics come budget time,” she says. “They have by far the largest budget of any department. They never get cut. And their budget increases at a much higher rate than other departments.”
    • Konkel says she doesn’t see the same urgency to increase other departments’ budgets. “As the city grows, we have more streets to plow, more garbage to pick up and more services needed on every level. The police seem to be able to make the case on why they need more and more, while other agencies are consistently told to get by with less.”
    • The police department currently has 486 commissioned officers and 176 civilian employees. The agency has grown faster than any other, adding more than 130 full-time positions since 1999.
  • Off Limits – Isthmus, August 18, 2016
    • Former Ald. Brenda Konkel is skeptical of the calculation, noting that Madison has other police agencies working within its borders — the Capitol Police and UW Police — that aren’t included.
    • She says much of what the police do could be considered public relations, such as playing euchre at senior centers or basketball with high schoolers. “It’s like they have a PR machine at work, trying to improve their image,” she says. “And other departments can’t [afford] paper.”
  • Madison City Council to consider $25,000 for Nehemiah poverty program – Cap Times, Sept. 15, 2015
    • Tenant Resource Center executive director Brenda Konkel questioned that process, saying it seems like the money “just fell out of the sky for a particular agency.”
  • Laptop City Hall:  Brenda Konkel says city buses are no place for military ads – Cap Times, Feb. 21, 2012
    • Konkel notes that the $10,000 is mostly for just the first three months of this year but that if the military extends its buy through the rest of the year the city will earn around $38,800. “Are the lives of our children in Madison worth this money to us?”
  • Council OKs operating budget after veto threat from Soglin – Wis. State Journal, Nov. 17, 2011
    • Activist and former Ald. Brenda Konkel questioned why the city should deliver so much money to Overture when the city faces huge challenges with poverty and other social problems.

      “The budget is a statement of our values,” she said.

  • Madison cozies up to business – Isthmus, April 16, 2009
    • . . . the problem with Madison’s approach to business isn’t that it’s too hostile, but too random.  “Instead of saying, ‘Let’s spend $5 million on economic development,’ we do things ad hoc and throw money at things,” she says. “Anything that looks like economic development, people fall all over it. But there’s no rhyme or reason to it.”
  • Konkel Raises Serious Concerns About Integrity of City Budget Process – City Press Release, Oct. 15, 2007