VNA Council Minutes - April 24, 2019

VNA Meeting

April 24, 2019


Call to Order

Approval of Minutes 


  • Special thanks to HotelRED for making the meeting room, and A/V equipment, available for our use this evening.

  • Communications.

  • A reminder that our neighborhood web site is at 

  • Email address for the VNA –  

  • The Vilas Ink newsletters are now being posted on the web site at

New Business

1.     MPD “Good Neighbor” Program presentation.  (Officer Marzullo, Madison Police Department).  More info:

·       From MPD:  "The Good Neighbor Project is the Madison Police Department's community safety program.  When we take the time to get to know our neighbors, we feel a stronger sense of community. It's comforting to know we have neighbors who are looking out for us and will help us. The police officers who live and work in our neighborhoods also care about our safety and well-being. When we get to know our neighborhood officers and work together with them to solve problems, we create an even larger social support network where everyone feels surrounded by people who care."

·       Officer Christopher Marzullo,, 608-229-8200

·       Thank you to Rosalind Woodward for coordinating this evening’s Good Neighbor presentation.

·       They have a large trailer with a grill and amplified sound they can bring to events. We asked about availability for Saturday June 15th, our Vilas summer party. Lee will follow up on this.

·       Communities that share information with each other are more secure

·       If you have any problem, like regular speeding down a street, feel free to contact him

·      There’s a City of Madison website where you can enter your address if you’re going to be away. This will trigger a patrol past your house at least once a shift.

·      The Midtown Police District is 70K people. Allied Drive to Allen in Middleton. Both Memorial HS and West HS. On the east edge, West Washington is the boundary.

·       Juveniles are driving around early in the morning when people are warming their cars to go to work. They are not hotwiring cars. They are taking cars that have keys in the ignition or have a spare key somewhere in the car.

·       Orchard/Mound/St. James Ct is seeing burglaries and thefts from cars and it’s always from cars that are unlocked. LOCK YOUR CAR DOORS! From Ring doorbell cameras, they have identified a suspect and now they’re trying to identify where that person is currently living.

·       The Vilas Park parking lot along Edgewood Ave has seen some minor issues, like teens hanging out when they should be home. Suggestion from Office Marzullo that Vilas Park master plan could potentially include motion lights in that area.

2.     New Alder for District 13.  

·       Potential for improved cross neighborhood dialogue 

3.     Neighborhood Association training proposal by Arbor Hills and Bay Creek. None of the VNA council members were familiar with the proposal, which came to Chris via email. Chris will ask Alder Evers about it.

Existing Business

4.     Treasurer’s report – Pat Scheckel 

·       $1372 in the bank

·       This is after we’ve paid the final $585 to Rachel Verbrick for the creation of the spring issue of the VilasInk newsletter

·       We should be on solid ground moving forward

5.     Social report - Lee Lazar

·       Summer launch party is Saturday June 15th on the 1900 block of Jefferson.


·       Lee will get flyers together

·       Tuesday May 14th – beer tasting at Brasserie V. More details to come.

·       Still looking for a host for the football tailgate party in the fall. If you’d like to host, please let Lee know.

6.     VNA Directory & Block Captains – Roz Woodward 

·  Finalization of block captain roster – see

·  Neighborhood directory project

7.     Status of Vilas Ink newsletter – Pat Scheckel

·       Update on transition of publishing for 2019

·       Deadline for contributions to the summer issue of the newsletter is May 20th

·       Thank you to Rachel Verbrick for keeping the newsletter running these past few years.

8.     Web site status – Chris Kelly

·       Bios needed from council members:  Ben, Craig

9.     Joint Campus Area Committee (JCAC) report – Liaison - Doug Carlson

·       Thank you to Doug for organizing the 6:00 p.m. presentation from the UW Athletic Department about the restoration/facelift of the fieldhouse and the creation of a south plaza.

10.  VNA Zoning committee concept discussion.  – Lea Jacobs

·       Discussion of Lea’s proposal

·       Charge a committee to form, educate themselves about what’s happening in the neighborhood.

·       Bring issues to the VNA Council as well as to the whole neighborhood

·       Make themselves aware of the zoning laws

·       Potentially work proactively to identify improvements we’d like to see

·       Lea will reach out to Greenbush and DMNA to see how they’re dealing with this.

·       Perhaps have city zoning officials come to the meeting and explain what can be done in certain parts of the neighborhood

·       Neighborhood plans should conform to the vision of the Comprehensive Plan

11.  Edgewood Liaison committee report – (Liaisons - Jon Standridge and Sarah Bahauddin) 

·       Collaborative Working Group (Sarah, Jon, Chris, Craig) – overview, updates, discussion

·       Purpose of the sessions: Finding a way forward for Edgewood High School and the community regarding the EHS athletic field that optimizes the interests of key stakeholders

·       Two meetings so far, 90 minutes each Tuesday, professionally facilitated. Up to 12 scheduled in total

·       7 DMNA, 4 VNA, 3 Edgewood represented

·      Notes are transcribed and put in public folders on the website:

·       First two meetings have been foundational and they’ve yet to really dig into the details, but that should start with the next meeting.

12.  Monroe street retail updates 

  • Sequoia Ramen & Sushi

  • In the old Brocach space on Monroe

  • Chris Kelly was the only neighborhood attendee at the open house

  • Applying for a Class B combination alcohol license

  • Target is June 1st, but that could slip due to contractor issues

  • 1403 Regent St, at the end of Jefferson St, next to Sconnie’s Bar

  • Update from Fraser Gurd, who attended the ALRC meeting

  • At the last VNA meeting, the Council voted to recommend approval for a liquor license for the takeout food establishment, with the condition to hold their liquor portion to 10% of their overall revenue. The Alder forwarded this to the City.

  • However, the license was approved by the city ALRC with no limits on the percentage of alcohol by a vote of 4-3. There is concern this could become a liquor store. City attorney didn’t think it was the right tool and placed other restrictions on the sale of alcohol.

  • One difficulty might have been that the Alder position turned over the night before the meeting.

  • Frustrating for the neighbors and the Council that our guidance was disregarded. Discussion that in the future, we may not be able to take a nuanced position and maybe need to take a more black and white position.

  • All liquor licenses renew every year. If there are problems, they should be documented and formally communicated.

  • Ben Biltz will review the video of the ALRC meeting and will potentially send a letter to the city expressing our disappointment with the decision. 

13.  Development update.

  • 1630 Adams St – Roz Woodward  

  • They’ve started building. They’ll be placing a premade roof on top.

Other Business

14.  Vacancy – 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 a few months, through the end of Wes’ term this fall.  The Council will discuss at April meeting whether to fill this position or leave it vacant until elections in November.  If the Council opts to fill it, the vote may occur at this meeting.

·       Brief discussion that with only six Council members present, we should wait until the next meeting in May.

·       We may leave the seat open until the full election in November, since it’s only six months away.

·       Discussion on creating an elections committee to run the November election. Lee Lazar is the nominating chair. If you are interested in helping with this committee, let him know.