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Jay led the city into modern times by several changes made in 2009, shortly after he was elected mayor.  First, a policy was implemented that all minutes would be available in draft form within 5 days of the meeting, instead of waiting for those minutes to be approved.  This gets critical information to residents expeditiously.

Second, Jay implemented the paperless agenda policy which saves taxpayers about $8000 per year.  It also gives residents instant access to ALL the information that the Council and other committee members have right online.  You can see what the Council is discussing as it happens!

Finally, Jay implemented a policy to record all city meetings and publish those videos online, so residents can hava access 24/7 to see any meeting they might have missed.

All these policies greatly improve access to city information by the residents.  Despite opposition by some Council members, Jay worked hard to make this happen, and the residents now have that benefit!

Jay also implemented a policy in which the mayor's calendar was available on the city's website.  By doing so, all city residents could know who the mayor was meeting with, when, and a brief description of why.  Unfortunately, the current mayor doesn't want that information available, and removed that from the website as soon as he took office.  This will be among the first things re-implemented when I take office again.

Finally, Jay implemented a policy to record all city meetings and publish those videos online, so residents can hava access 24/7 to see any meeting they might have missed.

Land Use

In 2010, Jay led the Council to unanimous approval of a number of zoning code revisions, including the new addition of SmartCode, a cutting edge form-based code, which will be implemented in Green Tech Village. This new style of development will maximize value while preserving environmental resources. In addition, this style of development is also very efficient for municipalities to service, so the long-term impact will be a net reduction in property taxes on the average home.

Fitchburg is moving into a new era in terms of how we handle development. Working with the Council, Jay has provided leadership in the following areas:

1. The Council is now aware that new development must be planned and built so that the new property taxes paid cover the cost for the City to provide services. This concept is now part of our new comprehensive plan.

2. Transportation is a major factor in both existing neighborhoods and new developments. We have made it a priority to make certain that new neighborhoods are designed to take full advantage of a variety of transportation options so that no one mode carries the entire demand.

3. The City's parks are, in many ways, its crown jewel. We have taken some major steps to make certain that existing neighborhoods are properly served, as well as planning parks in new neighborhoods to meet the specific needs of those neighborhoods. This strategy has proven to be a success!

4. Telecommunications Tower Ordinance. It sounds boring...and it probably is. A number of residents were concerned about the potential proliferation of cell phone towers in the City. We want the coverage, but we want new service added in an orderly manner. Fitchburg had no ordinance regarding the placement of these towers. Jay worked with several City committees to develop the new ordinance. The ordinance requires co-location (multiple carriers on a tower), and requires good evidence that a new tower is needed before it is approved. The ordinance is still very new and may need some tweaking, but it is better than having no ordinance at all.

Environmental Protection

Jay has led Fitchburg to many awards for environmental protection. In 2010 alone, Fitchburg was one of only six communities in Wisconsin to earn the Gold Water Star award because of our conservation efforts. Fitchburg was also honored by the 1000 Friends of Wisconsin as one if the first five Green Tier Legacy Communities in the state of Wisconsin. Also, Jay was recognized and honored as one of the first twelve Badger Bioneers. Jay's leadership in environmental protection has been unparalleled in Fitchburg.

Jay has done a lot of work with the Council to improve and expand the scope of our efforts in these areas:

1. Fitchburg was the first community in Dane County to enact a 300 foot environmental corridor around sensitive wetland resources. The previous standard was 75 feet, which is slightly less than the width of the standard urban single family home lot. Our work in this area has compelled Dane County to move toward this same standard.

2. The Council has supported proposals Jay has offered to begin the work of repairing some of the environmental damage that has been caused by bad development practices of the past.

3. Fitchburg has enacted the highest standard to reduce phosphorous content from stormwater runoff in Dane County. This is necessary to protect the habitat in Lake Waubesa.

4. Going back almost 20 years, Jay worked with the Council to preserve and protect the Nine Springs E-Way. This a critical regional resource that provides wildlife habitat and ground water protection.

5. Working with the Council, Jay proposed a collaboration with the County to solve the groundwater depletion problem. Water is being pumped out of the water table at a faster rate than it is being recharged. The result is that the water table is gradually being depleted. The effort he initiated will develop a sustainable regional solution.

Unfortunately, Jay's opponent isn't interested in maintaining these critical policies, and has talked about changing them. This is not the time to undo two decades worth of environmental improvements.

Taxes and Fiscal Responsibility

From the first budget he voted on, Jay has been concerned about the money we spend. Property taxes are on everyone's mind, and Jay Allen will continue to work with City staff to run an efficient and effective operation.

In the years prior to his first election in 1993, Fitchburg's financial situation had been rapidly deteriorating. In August of 1993, we had hit bottom, with the lowest bond rating the City has ever had, as well as completely depleted cash reserves and a staggering amount of debt. In 1994, Jay was part of the team that developed, approved, and implemented the Financial Management Plan. He has worked with every Council and Mayor since it was implemented to make certain the City follows the principles in it. We have seen five bond rating increases since it was first implemented. In 2002, as Chair of Finance and Council President, Jay was part of the team that made the presentation to Moody's Investors Service requesting a bond rating increase. Fitchburg now has the highest bond rating for a City it's size in Wisconsin. This has saved taxpayers many thousands of dollars.

Working with the Council, Jay helped craft the aggressive policy Fitchburg has in regard to borrowing. Many municipalities borrow everything with 20-year notes. Our current policy is that Fitchburg borrows only with 10-year notes, unless the project is for $1 million or more. This has saved many thousands in debt service.

Fitchburg used to borrow all its debt with 20-year notes. This was a major problem because of some of the things we were borrowing to do. Among them were road sealing and equipment replacements for items less than $50,000. You can probably see where this is going...

When we reseal a road, the expected life of that project is about 8 years. With a 20-year note, we ended up borrowing to do it again twice before the first one was even paid off. The same thing happens with small equipment purchases, such as smaller city vehicles like cars and pickup trucks. Those vehicles do not last for 20 years, yet we were borrowing money on 20-year notes to buy them.

Jay was a leader in crafting a new policy that changed all that. Road sealing is now part of the regular operating budget. We pay as we go, rather than using the credit card. The same is true with certain small equipment items. This change has saved many thousands of dollars for Fitchburg residents, and Jay had a pivotal role in making it happen.

Because of the actions we have taken, Fitchburg has a lower tax rate than most cities and villages in Dane County. We have done a good job of keeping taxes under control, and the policies Jay has helped to implement have been a big part of that.

Fitchburg currently has an Aa1 bond rating from Moody's, a rating that was accomplished while he was mayor. In the last four years, no progress has been made to improve that, and the current mayor plans to borrow enormous amounts of money, with debt service amounting to $100,000,000. That is an absurd amount of debt. Jay will work to reduce that amount of borrowing to something manageable.

Emergency Services and Public Safety

Jay's involvement over the past 20 years exemplifies his commitment to our emergency services and public safety. He have invested a lot of time and energy to make sure this most basic of City services meets the needs of the taxpayers.

Our Emergency Medical Services are provided through a cooperative agreement between Fitchburg, the City of Verona, and the Town of Verona. You know this service as Fitchrona EMS. In 1999, a previous mayor actually proposed dismantling Fitchrona. This would have cost Fitchburg taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars, and severely decreased this basic city service. Jay worked with the Council to defeat this effort. More than that, he was part of the team on the EMS Commission that developed a plan to upgrade from EMT service to Paramedic service. Our presentation led to unanimous approval of the plan. We also went from a 1.5 ambulance service to two full-time ambulances. Jay provided leadership on both the EMS Commission and the Common Council to make these crucial improvements happen. As we look forward, we can all be confident that he will make sure the level of service we provide keeps up with the demands.

The Police Department has continued work on its five year plan. While those improvements continue to be made, Jay's opponent, as part of the 2010 budget discussion, proposed an amendment which would have eliminated three police officers. Jay led the Council to denying that amendment. Jay is the ONLY candidate for mayor who will NOT take officers off the street.

As Council President, Jay worked with the Council to provide adequate staffing in our Fire Department. This was absolutely critical, as the department has been struggling to fill paid-on-call positions. We now have two engine companies staffed at all times. This is important to maintain the five-minute average response time that the residents need.

In 2005, Jay introduced legislation to provide additional early warning sirens. These are the sirens you hear when there is an emergency like a tornado. The old system was installed in the 70s. Since then, the City has grown, and many areas were not covered. Jay worked with the Public Works Department and the Fire Department to develop a plan for covering the rest of the City. This plan was implemented in 2005. He also proposed a new policy requiring that developers install sirens in all new developments.

General Government Improvements

From 2000 through 2004, Jay spent over 150 hours working with with several City committees, the Common Council, several staff members, the City Attorney, and two different Mayors, to rewrite Chapter 1 of our code of ordinances. This 66-page document defines how the City operates. Several sections were in conflict with State Statutes, and some committees were not adequately defined. Among the major changes were the following:

1. The creation of the Transportation and Transit Commission. Transportation is one of the largest issues the City faces. This commission is charged with overseeing all transportation issues in the City. Since its creation, the Commission has completed the Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan, improved transit in several neighborhoods, and been intimately involved in the transportation element of the Comprehensive Plan.

2. Redefining the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee. Under the previous version of Chapter 1, Ag & Rural had no real function. By 2000, the Committee had no members, and most of the Council wanted it eliminated. Jay worked with Ed Kinney from the Plan Commission to establish new scope and function for the Committee. It has now become an important part of the planning process. The Committee will also be working to come up with policies to provide for the future of agriculture in the City.

3. A new policy to make sure our committees are filled. By 2003, nearly 1/3 of the positions on City committees were unfilled, with no hope in sight for filling them. We created a policy which has resulted in those critical spots being filled in a timely manner.