Jul 122014

Meeting Agenda

Questions for discussion with West District Police


Summer is upon us which usually means an uptick in criminal and violent activity. SWMCO, as a liaison between the police and the community, would like more information and to initiate some discussion. We see some promising new programs, like Focused Deterrence, but we would like to know more. We also welcome the new chief’s emphasis on community policing and improved relations between the police and the community.

Hot spots

1. What are the goals for policing in the key neighborhoods of Theresa/Hammersley; Balsam/Russett and Park Ridge/Park Edge as well as the Raymond Road area?

2. What strategies will you be using?

3. What have you learned from last year?

4. How can the neighborhoods be enlisted in the effort? Would you see having an advisory committee as helpful?

Surrounding neighborhoods–break-ins

1. What strategies are you using in regard to this problem?

2. There seems to be a lot of fear and concern. Is there any way to communicate progress without compromising the investigation?

3. Is there a way to educate homeowners and assuage their fears?

4. Is there a way SWMCO and the associations can help?

5. Is there a benefit for, and is it worth contemplating, a larger neighborhood meeting?

Summary of the Meeting

Several of us from SWMCO — Matt Phair, Gloria Meyer, Krista Ralston, and Larry Winkler (other members of the neighborhoods were unavailable) — met for two hours with Captain Vic Wahl, Lieutenant Tom Woodmansee, and Lieutenant Mike Hanson to discuss policing, crime and safety issues in the neighborhoods, the positive influences in the neighborhoods, how they can be enhanced, and how SWMCO can help with this. Crime is actually down this year (knock on wood) with the recent rash of  burglaries (one victim being Alder Phair — twice) being the sore point. Police relationship with the communities have improved from last year and are likely helping gather information about these burglaries — they have information they are working with and are continuing to investigate. Burglaries are always tough to close, especially when there are no witnesses and even harder when the items taken have little monetary value and are not traceable.

Responding to these burglaries, the police have knocked on doors to inform residents of the incidents and to help them with prevention measures, including encouraging Neighborhood Watch. It might take only one alert individual to help break the case.

The negative incidents the police respond to almost exclusively are in the quality of life areas, which are nuisance rather than criminal behavior. The police in many cases want to refer some individuals to get help with conflict resolution, some drug and alcohol abuse problems, and mental health problems. However, cutbacks to organizations and agencies (and policy changes within agencies) means there are less feet-on-the-ground to deal directly with the people having these issues. There are no particular persons or housing areas that have these problems. Russett and Balsam areas are more problematic at this time.

There was general agreement that putting together an advisory committee of people in the neighborhoods is a good idea. This needs to be part of the critical focus of SWMCO and encouraging additional participation of people in the SWMCO Action Committee which is down significantly. Increasing the vitality of the Action Committee must be a prime goal if SWMCO is to become effective in fulfilling its goal of community organizing.

We also discussed the viability and advisability of holding a neighborhood area wide meeting with the police. The MPD was concerned as such meetings have devolved into “bitch” sessions generating much heat and little light, and would not have positive results. We agreed with that assessment.

Instead, we suggested we hold a number of small meetings, expecting 50 or 60 people, where the neighbors can share information and discuss issues, and where police representative can be present to clarify issues and elaborate. This would be organized by SWMCO and other neighborhood organizations, not by the police.

So SWMCO’s next steps are 1) to work to create an advisory committee, 2) to work to hold multiple neighborhood sessions for between 50 and 60 people, with help from existing neighborhood associations as appropriate, 3) to continue discussions to maintain a productive relationship between MPD and residents.

All in all, we felt the meeting with MPD was informative and productive and leaving us with direction and next steps.

 Posted by at 7:30 am

SWMCO Agenda and Minutes of Action Committee Meeting of 14 Jun 2014

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Jul 092014

No Board meeting was planned for this day, since it was determined earlier that there would be no quorum. The Action Committee meeting proceeded as scheduled (no quorum is required at Action committee meetings) at 10 a.m. Because only Gloria Meyer, Krista Ralston and Larry Winkler, we did not follow the agenda below, but it is included for completeness. Gloria volunteered to take the minutes. Our guest was Nick Simonson from the Dane County Office of Lakes and Watersheds.

SMWCO Meeting Agenda of 14 June 2014

SWMCO Action Meeting Minutes 14 June 2014 – Draft

 Posted by at 6:22 pm

SWMCO Agenda and Minutes of Board and Action Committee Meetings of 10 May 2014

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May 062014

SWMCO Board / 9 to 10 a.m. : SWMCO Board Agenda 2014-05-10

No formal minutes of the Board were taken. Phil Hassett, Matt Phair and Larry Winkler were present, Abby Potter was absent due to illness, Sheray Wallace was absent to due her graduation. Congrats! Tous Assa (the Treasurer) decided to take a break from SWMCO; Larry Winkler will take over the role of  (interim?) Treasurer so we may continue to pursue our 501c3 petition with a full slate of officers. 

SWMCO Action Committee / 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. : Agenda5-10-14

 Posted by at 3:45 pm

SWMCO Agenda and Minutes of the Board and Action Committee Meetings of 12 Apr 2014

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May 062014

As of March 29, with the election of SWMCO’s first Board of Directors, there are now agendas and minutes for the SWMCO Board and the SWMCO Action Committee. When the 12 Apr 2014 minutes are approved at the May meetings, those minutes will be published here.

SWMCO Board Agenda 140412

SWMCO Action Committee Agenda 140412

SWMCO Action Committee Meeting Minutes 2014 04 12 Final

 Posted by at 3:05 pm

SWMCO Minutes of Annual Meeting of 29 Mar 2014 and Publication of Bylaws

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May 062014

The following minutes of SWMCO’s first Annual meeting is attached here. At the meeting, the first Board of Directors was chosen, and the first officers elected by the Board.

140329 SWMCO Annual Meeting Minutes

The annual meeting, election of a Board of Directors, and Officers of SWMCO followed the SWMCO bylaws, attached here for reference.

SWMCO Bylaws 2014 Jan

The results are as follows (though the terms of each director was determined at the 12 April 2014 meeting — here for completeness).


  1. Tous Assa (2 year term)
  2. Phil Hassett (2 year term)
  3. Matt Phair (1 year term)
  4. Abby Potter-Davis (2 year term)
  5. Sheray Wallace (1 year term)
  6. Larry Winkler (1 year term)

The officers:

  1. Phil Hassett (Co-Chair)
  2. Sheray Wallace (Co-Chair)
  3. Abby Potter-Davis (Secretary)
  4. Tous Assa (Treasurer)

The minutes also reflect discussions on others to add to the Board of Directors. We also discussed ideas of expanding the participation of community in especially the SWMCO Action Committee.

 Posted by at 3:01 pm