VNA Council Minutes - February 26, 2019

Meeting Minutes

2/26/19 VNA Council Meeting

Call to Order

Approval of Minutes 

·       Lea Jacobs proposed a change to last month’s meeting minutes and would like the following to be stated:

    • There has been dissatisfaction within the neighborhood about the way the Council handled the differences of opinion in the neighborhood on this issue. Some neighbors felt excluded by the Council's deliberation and vote on this issue. Some felt it was necessary to re-establish trust going forward as well as to find better ways of resolving differences of opinion on important issues.

    • There is concern that we have spent more time on this topic than other development topics that have affected other parts of our neighborhood and that we need to address going forward.


·       The VNA meetings for 2019 will usually be held on the fourth Wednesday of each month.  The exceptions are: February (HotelRed conflict), March (MMSD spring break/HotelRed conflict), November (Thanksgiving), and December (Christmas). 

·       2019 Dates:  February 26th (Tues), March 19th (Tues), April 24th, May 22nd, June 26th, July 24th, August 28th, September 25th, and October 23rd, November 20th, and December 18th. 

·       Dates are posted on the web site in the “About Vilas” section.  All Vilas neighbors are welcome.

·       Thank you to HotelRED for giving us the space and hospitality to host our monthly meetings. Please support them when you can!


·       A reminder that our neighborhood web site is at 

·       New email address for the VNA –  

New Business

1.         Presentation from Laura (Xi) Wang and her attorney, Ron Trachtenberg, regarding her proposed restaurant/takeout business to be in the currently vacant building at 1403 Regent Street.  The business has applied for a Class A liquor license and the hearing at the ALRC is currently scheduled for March 20th.  

·       Prepared food grocery store (not a restaurant)

·       Hours: 9am-9pm daily

·       5 parking spaces, beer/wine available in cooler, liquor/tobacco products available behind counter

·       Questions/Concerns posed around liquor offerings, pedestrian traffic crossing Regent from apartments across the street, remodeling issues around her State St business (didn’t get approval from ALRC to do the remodel…states she wasn’t aware this was needed), traffic/parking

·       Confirmed no beer garden allowed on game days, etc

·       Alcohol sales will be limited to 10% of revenue

·       Liquor licenses are renewed yearly – and can be reviewed mid-year (if it were to become a problem)

VNA Council motioned to move forward in support of Laura Xi Wang’s proposal with a stipulation of no more than 10% alcohol revenue written into the license.

·       Council voted all in favor (7 council members present)


2.         President appointments for 2019

·       Lee Lazar - Nominating Chair

·       Sarah Bahauddin (replacing Doug Poland) and Jon Standridge - Representatives for Edgewood Liaison Committee 

·       Doug Carlson - Representative for Joint Campus Area Committee

·       Next elections will be in November (11/20/19)

Old Business

3.         Treasurer’s report – Pat Scheckel 

·       Update or recommendation on membership dues changes – Pat recommends no change this year as people have already paid. Suggests $10/individual and raising to $25/household starting in 2020 (has been $20/household for a long time).

·       $1,050 in account currently

4.         Social report - Lee Lazar 

·       Need a volunteer to host 2019 Badger game tailgate – contact Lee Lazar if interested (

·       Summer launch/block party – Saturday, June 15

·       Lee will ask Wes to move forward to get Jefferson blocked off

5.         VNA Directory – Block Captains 

·       Finalization of block captain roster – see 

·       Go to the link above and find your block captain!

·       Neighborhood directory project – no update

6.         Status of Vilas Ink newsletter – Pat Scheckel

·       Update on transition of publishing for 2019

·       $585/Vilas Ink newsletter to be published (4x/year) – not sustainable. We currently owe for 2 newsletters.

·       Pat offered to take over the newsletter

·       Doug Carlson proposed someone else take this on since Pat is already Treasurer. *Responsibilities include gathering content, producing content, soliciting ads, layout, and publishing.

·       Proposed forming a newsletter committee. If you’d like to volunteer to help, please contact Pat (

7.         Web site status – Chris Kelly

·       Bios needed from council members:  Sarah, Ben, Lea, Craig, Wes

·       Working to repair link from City of Madison web site

·       Block captains now listed

·       VNA Bylaws now available

8.         Joint Area Campus Committee report - Doug Carlson

·       Meeting next week – will get update next month

o   South lawn of Field House (on agenda)

o   Parking lot for new natatorium (on agenda)

9.         Potential Neighborhood meeting with City Planning Department to present and discuss zoning codes, rules, and other topics pertinent to Vilas – Lea Jacobs

·       Lea proposed a committee of 3-6 people to monitor zoning issues for the following 3 areas: 1) Monroe St, 2) Regent St, 3) within neighborhood

·       There were a few concerns that this would lead to getting involved in too many details and suggested that we keep it at a macro level. Want to make sure it’s productive and useful.

·       Lea clarified that her intent would be that this committee’s purpose would be education and reporting back to the neighborhood.

·       Lea will create an outline for review with the details of this proposed committee.

10.       Edgewood Liaison committee report - Jon Standridge and Sarah Bahauddin 

·       Goodman Athletic Complex – EHS moving forward with permits for lights and sound in accordance to city ordinances (Master Plan amendment not required)

·       Some attendees would like the VNA Council to consider a re-vote given the change of events

·       There is no formal submission by EHS at this time to be voted on

11.       Monroe street reconstruction / Retail updates 

·       No update

12.       Development update.

·       1630 Adams St construction – Now on Plan Commission meeting agenda for March 11 if anyone wants to attend

·       No other development news

New Business

13.       Vacancy – Wes Spitznagle has resigned his seat on the VNA council due to work commitments. 

·       Per Article 5, Section 8 of the VNA Bylaws, the Nominating Chair may present a replacement – with concurrence from at least 5 remaining VNA council reps - to hold the seat for the remainder of Wes’s term ending this fall.

·       Thank you to Wes for his service on the VNA Council

·       Lea asked if we can defer this process and hold a true election at next month’s meeting for this position.

·       We need to follow the Bylaws as written….a Bylaw rewrite project can be taken on as a future project if desired

·       Some concern was expressed over the late notice of this VNA Council vacancy. Given 3 candidates have been submitted for this position, a motion was made to proceed with filling this position.

·       3 candidates:

o   Paul Cuta

o   Wendy Fearnside

o   Samip Kothari

·       No candidate received 5 votes so we will table this election at this time.