Madison
44° F
Overcast
Overcast
Advertisement

Mayor Soglin, Overture Center at odds over funding

Published On: Nov 18 2012 10:33:47 PM CST   Updated On: Nov 19 2012 12:12:25 AM CST
Paul Soglin
MADISON, Wis. -

Madison Mayor Paul Soglin said he’ll sign off on the city council’s budget, but he still disagrees with the decision to give the Overture Center $2 million this session.

"We've got to make some decisions here about the redistribution of our own money," Soglin said Friday.

Overture Center spokesperson Rob Chappel said educational programs for area kids will be the first thing to go if city money is cut.

"Really, the city funding is one piece of the puzzle that includes ticket sales, rental revenue, private donations, many other sources of income," Chappel said. "If any one of those pieces of the puzzle disappears, we have to start looking at programs that don't generate revenue on their own."

Soglin’s most recent argument against the city funding Overture is that those educational programs don’t just benefit Madison kids. In fact, Soglin said students from nearly 50 schools outside city limits participate in a program that provides discounted tickets, meals, and bus rides for children.

Soglin would like to see the money going toward the Overture Center spent on tax cuts and helping the city’s homeless.

"Those two are a higher priority than tens of thousands of kids from schools outside of Madison and Dane County having their lunches and tickets paid for by the city of Madison," Soglin said.

Chappel confirms the educational programs at Overture reach out to kids outside of Madison, but he says he’s proud of the facility serving on a regional basis. He said there are at least 19,000 children from Madison benefiting from those programs.  Chappel said the center won’t apologize for bringing people downtown, and that Soglin was the one to first support their efforts.

"The decision has been made here in Madison that taxpayer money should go to support the arts," Chappel said.

Chappel said the city signed a ten-year structural agreement, committing money to Overture each year. The center’s lawyer said that obligation needs to be met.  Madison’s city attorney has said that agreement is not legally binding.

Advertisement
  • PHOTOS: 27 tons of documents destroyed during BBB Shredfest 2016

    The free BBB Shredfest event Saturday offered anyone with documents containing personal information to shred up to three bags. Destroying documents is one way to protect one's identity and thwart fraudsters.

    More than 1,600 cars stopped by two Madison locations from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday, and 27 tons of documents were shredded, a Better Business Bureau representative said. The sites were at SVA Certified Public Accountants, 1221 John Q Hammons Dr. and Warner Park, 2930 N. Sherman Ave.

  • Elise Romas

    PHOTOS: Thousands take part in 34th annual CrazyLegs 2016

    The 34th annual CrazyLegs Classic 8K Run and 2-mile Walk Saturday raised money for UW Athletics. As of Friday night, 13,000 people had signed up to participate, and organizers expected more to register Saturday morning before the race begins in waves at 11 a.m.

    WINNERS: Pat Jenkins, 24, of Cambridge, is the top finisher in the men's category. UW law student Jessa Hackman, 24, of Madison, is the top female finisher.

Advertisement