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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Citizen Activism Wins Amendment to Madison Fence Ordinance

Cross-posted from RealMadison.org!

Citizen activism doesn't mean you have to hug trees, join the ACLU, or wear Birks and dreads. Sometimes activism is just calling your city commissioner or going to the meeting with some neighbors to make sure government does the right thing.

Monday night, a little citizen activism got that job done. MDL's Elisa Sand reports that about 20 people showed up at the Madison City Commission meeting to keep an eye on the final reading and passage of the now infamous Ordinance #1468, the fence ordinance. Evidently the watchful eyes of folks at the meeting, as well as some concerns expressed to commissioners since the first reading a couple weeks ago, encouraged Commissioner Dan Bohl to propose amending the ordinance to remove one word: maintain. The commission was o.k. with that, so now, you cannot construct or erect a fence that encloses your city electric meter, but if you already have a fence that encloses your meter, the city won't make you rip it out. (Now, if the city could explain to me the difference between construct and erect....)

See? Citizens can get government to listen. Be the squeaky wheel, show up at the meeting, and you just might get the grease.

Now, about that Mundt Tournament....


  1. I'm glad we live in a community that can communicate among officials and city staff to resolve an issue. The meeting Monday night was very civil and those who wanted to speak were given ample time. Looks like the revision was a done deal long before the meeting occurred.

  2. This was the first council meeting that I attended and was happy with the results. Too bad all of us ran out after the fence ordeal was done. Later in the meeting they raised our electric, sewer and garbage rates. Yikes!


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