David Blaska w/ art by Ann Shultz
The City is taking comments on how to improve James Madison Park. The property includes three large and elegant houses, two of which might be moved elsewhere. The house on the far northeast end at 704 E. Gorham St., however, will not be moved. It is known as the Collins House. It is a former bed and breakfast.
Some want to sell it as a private home but Brenda Konkel wants some "public use." What to do with it?
That's obvious, isn't it? Given that this regal home is planted in Ald. Konkel's district, it would make the perfect location for something the good leftist has long sought: a "wet" shelter for homeless vagrants. Call it "Brenda's House." It's the ultimate in inclusionary zoning.
Chances are, this mansion has a wet bar inside just waiting to wet the whistle of its first wino. It's the perfect location. Just blocks away from the city's trendiest watering holes. Well heeled lobbyists and corn-fed Democrats from central Wisconsin will open their pocketbooks to aggressive panhandling stoked by old John Barleycorn. Let's face it, the State and Bassett Street areas are getting played out. Students are facing a 5.5% tuition hike. By contrast, the near eastside libs are an untapped revenue resource of guilty handouts. Virgin territory.
... think of it as a small tax .. small tax ... small tax.
Why should the neighbors of Brittingham Park have all the fun? Isn't that what this city does? It spreads the pain. Poverty and misery at Sommerset Circle? Broadway Simpson? Allied Drive? Send in the construction crews and push the bad actors somewhere else. Gorham Street is the next to bear that increasingly common neighborhood adjective: "troubled."
Kristen Petroshius can organize a "Welcome Neighbors" party for the new tenants. Patricia Schneider can chronicle the tear of thanks trickling down the vagrant's cheek. Or is that a stray bead of 190-proof Everclear? Never mind, it makes for a touching story.
No longer will the improvident need to worry about where to sleep off their drunk. No longer will the indigent have to look for work or attend AA meetings. Not as long as there is poverty in the world or discrimination somewhere else. Celebrate victimhood! Enable poor lifestyle choices! Impeach Bush! Indict Cheney!
The Collins House will be their home. The City will foot the bill. The nonjudgmental residents of Brenda Konkel's Second District will pay the price while the residents of the "Tom Collins" house drink themselves into a snot-flinging stupor by noontime. No longer will they be homeless stumblebums. They'll be Brenda's stumblebums.
Welcome, she'll say, to "this side of town."
The next meeting of the James Madison Park Property Planning Committee is Wednesday, July 9, at 5 p.m., location to be announced. Send your brilliant ideas to molinger [at] cityofmadison.com. I did!