Tag Archives: Rotary

Our Proposed Enactment – “…subject to two or more inconsistent meanings” ??

–submitted by Paul Riehemann and Karen Kendrick-Hands

Going Green Logo

We received a reply from Rotary International on the Going Green Fellowship Group’s (GGFG) Proposed Enactment which was endorsed by the District.  It’s not good.

The Proposed Enactment asks that Clubs and RI be able to support the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate the global warming humanitarian crisis.


Letter to the District from RI’s Constitution and Bylaws [C&B] Committee –

2016 Council on Legislation: File 163-E.  Excerpts:

The Committee has tentatively determined that file 163-E, proposed by the Rotary Club of Madison, is duly proposed, but defective under RI Bylaws section 7.037.2:

(a) it is subject to two or more inconsistent meanings

If the RI Board agrees with the Committee’s determination as to the status of your proposed legislation, it will not be transmitted to the 2016 Council for consideration. Even if it is transmitted to the Council, a member of the Constitution and Bylaws Committee may comment at the Council that the proposed legislation has been determined to be defective.

In their review of the legislation, the Committee made the following comments:

During its review of file 163, the Committee believed that this proposed
change would be inconsistent with the constitutional documents, as it could be
considered political in nature and would be in conflict with article 13, sections
1 and 3 of the Standard Rotary Club Constitution.

You may wish to be aware that the deadline to submit amendments to proposed legislation is 31 March 2015. Please respond with any amendments to your legislation as soon as possible.


District 6250 Reply –

With the support of many District and Club leaders, District Governor Dave Warren forwarded this REPLY.  Excerpts:

  • “It appears that the Constitution and Bylaws [C&B] Committee’s declaration of File 163-E-D to be defective was in error and contrary to Rotary International’s governance procedures.”
  • “The C&B Committee has furnished no evidence or basis for the proposal’s susceptibility to two or more inconsistent meanings.  That finding, we believe, is incorrect.
  • “To bring its decision into compliance with RI’s governance procedures and to render an action that is “Fair to All Concerned”, Rotary District 6250 urges the C&B Committee to reconsider and alter its “tentative” action on File 163-E-D to advance the District 6250’s proposal for consideration at the 2016 Council on Legislation.”
  • “District 6250’s Going Green Fellowship Group proceeded precisely as then President Elect Gary Huang advised when he spoke at the Rotary Club of Madison, saying that initiatives in Rotary “must begin with the club.”  We are deeply disappointed that the C&B Committee is considering keeping our duly proposed and endorsed enactment from reaching the 2016 Council on Legislation for their consideration.”


RI Response –

The Committee will review and discuss your letter at their April 28-29 meeting. Based on the results of that discussion, the Committee would be able to extend the deadline for amendments, to allow your district time to address any concerns.


We’re confident that the C&B Committee and Rotary will follow the Four-Way Test here.  We are not going to make any amendments at this time since we don’t have any feedback on the concerns raised.


The Proposed Enactment asks for an exception to Rotary’s non-political stance to fully empower RI and Clubs to support the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate the global warming humanitarian crisis (GWHC).  Some believe that the GWHC is not political.  Under these dictionary definitions of “political” we believe action on the GWHC is political, as is Rotary’s successful campaign to assist in the eradication of polio.


  1. relating to the government, the state or the public affairs
  2. of or relating to citizens
  3. having a definite policy

Additionally, some solutions will require legislation – see the Group’s Open Letter.

We’re heartened by the support of so many in District 6250 and our Club and will keep you posted.


–submitted by Renee Moe, Chair of Large-Impact Service Project Task Force 

Five years ago, our Board of Directors charged the Club with identifying four areas of service. For the past two years, the Club has been engaged in planning and member engagement around our large-impact service project, including member surveys, visioning session, and other meetings.

Last year, our Service Committee Chairs cataloged our existing service into three areas: Basic Needs, Education and Mentoring and Civic Leadership. This year, the Club has embarked on identifying a large-impact service project utilizing additional member input and engagement.

The Board has asked an ad hoc large-impact service committee to make a recommendation for the June Board meeting, aligning around the charge: Rotary Club of Madison shall become a LEADER in building a strong, diverse but unified, and sustainable Madison community.

Through a series of meetings, the Equity Ad Hoc Committee made a project recommendation which focuses on adult employment and mentoring which was accepted by the Large Impact Project Ad Hoc Committee. The Committee would also like consideration of a youth/education/mentoring/internship component. Both will allow our Club to become a leader in building a strong, diverse but unified, and sustainable Madison community, AND provide many opportunities for a large number of Rotarians to be directly involved in service.

There are many details to be worked out, including defining scope and scale; communicating with and hearing from members to foster Club-wide engagement in the education/volunteerism/operations of the project; learning more about what is currently happening in the community in these areas; getting feedback from external stakeholder groups also working in these areas (so we can be complimentary and supportive of community-wide initiatives); identifying measures of success/timelines/committee support; and more.

This blog post is to update you and the larger community about our progress, and to thank you very much for your participation in our all-member surveys, many meetings, and Centennial vision session. We are making progress! There will be more opportunities to learn about and influence our large-impact service in the coming weeks and months! Thank you for your Service Above Self.



Bradley vs Daley

–submitted by Mark Stover;  photo by Mike Engelberger 

Bradley AW  Daley J

On April 7, Wisconsin will do what it has been doing since 1848: hold an election where the people of the state choose who will sit on the State Supreme Court.  This election is between James Daley of Janesville and Justice Ann Walsh Bradley of Wausau.  Justice Bradley is the incumbent and has been on the Supreme Court for 20 years.  Judge Daley, the challenger, has been a judge for 26 years.  Both are natives of Wisconsin.

Through a series of opening statements, structured questions, and closing statements, Rotary Club members got a chance to understand more about the positions of each of the candidates.  When asked what qualities distinguish each candidate, Judge Daley mentioned he was a Vietnam-era veteran.  He retired as a Brigadier General from the Wisconsin National Guard.  He helped start the first veterans’ court in the state.

Justice Bradley pointed to her dedication to protecting a fair and impartial judiciary.  She noted her concern that out of state money funding media supporting one candidate over another introduces a dangerous potential for questioning impartiality of the judiciary.  Justice Bradley suggested that what is needed most in a judge these days is the courage to act independently.

The candidates agreed with each other that transparency of process in the Court’s administrative hearings should increase making those hearings more open to the public.  They also opposed the idea of appointing Supreme Court Justices, each agreeing that the election process was the better route.  Justice Bradley believes the election system should continue to be improved to be the best it can be.  Judge Daley argued that elections should extend to the election of the Chief Justice by the other Justices.

In closing, Judge Daley said he was running because he was unhappy with the decisions made by Justice Bradley over the last 20 years.  He cited cases that he said put roadblocks in the way of law enforcement and made it harder to do business in the State of Wisconsin.  Justice Bradley argued that Chiefs of Police, Sheriffs, and District Attorneys support her because of her work in support of law enforcement.  She again raised her concerns about the apparently increasing partisanship on the Supreme Court and the effect it has on the perception of fairness and independence of the state’s highest court.

In the end, you and your friends, family and professional colleagues will have the final say – as Wisconsinites have been voicing since the state’s founding.  Please vote on April 7.

Soglin and Resnick Debate Madison Issues

–submitted by Kay Schwichtenberg; photos by Valerie Johnson

Soglin               Resnick

With the general election on April 7, the Rotary Club of Madison was given a special view of the candidates and the issues for the Madison mayoral election.  The format was a debate with each candidate given the topics when they arrived at the meeting.  Both candidates were given a question and time to respond.  Short rebuttals were allowed.

Paul Soglin is a longtime Madison resident and has served as mayor 1973-79, 1989-97 and 2011 to present.  He lives in the Hoyt Park neighborhood with his wife Sara, and has three daughters.

Scott Resnick is the COO and co-founder of Hardin Design and Development, and is serving his second term on Madison’s City Council, most recently serving as President Pro Tempore.  He lives downtown with his wife, Kelly.

Question 1: Madison is in the midst of a downtown building boom.  Are you concerned about the rapid increase in density? What about high-rise developments such as The Hub on Gilman and Frances Streets?  What about historic preservation?  How much is too much?

  • Soglin cited the tight housing vacancy rates that were driving up prices and sprawl from four years ago and said the new city plan addressed those issues and encouraged the construction that is currently underway. Preserving State Street’s image that Madisonians know, protecting historic districts and design are critical features of how Soglin said the city should manage its growth.
  • Resnick, who represents the campus district, wants to keep the downtown area vital and affordable for those who are starting careers and life in Madison. He promotes having a downtown area that is safe and welcoming to all.

Question 2: On one hand growth is the long-term lifeblood of any economy.  On the other hand, we hear of cities such as Austin, Texas, which looked a lot like Madison 40 years ago, that now wonder whether such substantial growth may have been a mistake.

  • Resnick said economic growth is about jobs. To get them, he believes the city needs to create an environment that encourages entrepreneurs and fosters new business development.  He believes that Madison has the resources to make that commitment.  He wants the city to be a community that supports strong innovation where there is economic growth for all.
  • Soglin answered that Austin’s problems were caused by a lack of planning. However, Madison and the mayor’s office have worked to rewrite its downtown and zoning plans, which will help manage sensible growth.  He touted his willingness to make tough decisions, such as supporting the controversial Judge Doyle Square which he sees as a strong source of job creation.

Question 3: By one reckoning, the share of Madison people living in poverty has increased 50% during the past decade.  Seventy-five percent of African American families are below the poverty level.  It appears that what we’re doing to reduce poverty is not working.

  • Soglin strongly disagreed with the veracity of the data in the question. Emphasizing that poverty in Madison is not at an acceptable level, he says the current 2013 data shows a reduction from 75% to 58% for African American poverty in Madison. He believes that Madison is closing all of the gaps and outpacing the rest of Wisconsin and the U.S.
  • Resnick says that the solutions to poverty are education, safe housing, strong transportation and equitable forms of financing. Investments must be made in early childhood education, affordable child care and Internet and computer literacy and access.

Question 4: There is a lot of criticism of the City about race equity with regard to arrests, incarceration and treatment by the police, particularly with respect to our African American and Hispanic communities.  Do we have a law-enforcement race-equity problem?

  • Resnick said that we “have issues of trust throughout city government” and that the court system cannot solve this issue. We need jobs and equity.
  • Soglin believes that as we create success in schools and employment, we will ‘end the classroom-to-prison’ pipeline. He insists that we respect the police departments.  He said the Madison Police Department is not racist, and focus should not be on that department as representing all of the ills of society.

Question 5:  Our Madison lakes are a sad reflection of what they once were.  What can the City do to substantially improve them?

  • Resnick believes that we should not be the only one at the table citing that we should be in partnerships with experts that address the run-off issues. Only broad-scale collaboration will solve challenges facing the lakes.
  • Soglin believes that we need comprehensive solutions that require collaboration with the farmer, and local, county and federal governments. He cited the $35 million that is being spent with the Madison Sanitation district to filter out phosphorus that is making its way into the watershed.

   Question 6:  In 1980, Ronald Reagan gave us all a laugh when he said that he wouldn’t politically exploit Walter Mondale’s youth.  Mr. Resnick, some must wonder if you are too inexperienced to lead City Hall.  Mr. Soglin, Madison’s challenges have not diminished on your watch, in four years you will be the same age as Reagan when that question was asked.

  • Soglin said “age has nothing to do with the election.” He has been called gray, bland and tired to everyone’s laughter.  Government can’t do it all but he will not shy away from the tough decisions and is not afraid to offend when it is in the best interest of the city and it citizens.
  • Resnick said he has the experience to be mayor, and pointed to his knowledge of technology, innovation and job creation based on his personal business experience. He also cited his leadership positions in the City Council as valuable experience. Those are the leadership qualities that he brings to the table. He said we can do a lot when we all work together.


  • Resnick believes that we must make investments in the city that will make the city a great place to live 40 years from now. He said the city must work to ensure that all the city’s voices are heard.
  • Soglin said the city must spend more effort to address poverty and equity, and in building the city’s economy, which will facilitate progress in those areas. In applying the city’s limited financial resources to those areas, Soglin said we need to make inspired decisions on resourcing’ that will require clever collaboration.

For more information about the candidates and their positions on the issues, go to: www.soglinformayor.com and www.resnickformayor.com.

So, Rotarians……it is time to go to vote.

We would like to thank Madison City Channel for videotaping our meeting this week.  You can watch it on the WEB.

2015 Rotary International Convention – Canary in a Coal Mine?

–submitted by Paul Riehemann

Going Green Logo


Today more than 13 million inhabitants of São Paulo, Brazil find themselves on the edge of an unprecedented public calamity.  As is usual in calamity situations, the most vulnerable, poorest communities are likely to pay the highest price with their health and their dignity.  More and more scientific studies show the link between deforestation in the north and the reduction of rainfall in the southeast, presenting further evidence of how the effects of climate change are already upon us.

excerpts from: Brazil drought: water rationing alone won’t save Sao Paulo          —The Guardian, Feb. 11, 2015

The drought is interfering in several ways with the Rotary International 2015 Convention which starts on June 6th in São Paulo.  One is dengue fever:

   Drought-Stricken São Paulo Battles Dengue Fever Outbreak
    –Wall Street Journal, March 3, 2015

      The tropical mosquito-borne virus, which often results in high fever, intense
muscle pain and convulsions, has killed at least 17 people in São Paulo state in the first six weeks of 2015. That’s up from just three deaths through mid-February of 2014, according to national health officials. Suspected cases have surged tenfold to 51,849 over the same period.

There were warnings:
Severe Droughts in Amazon linked to Climate Change, says study    CBS NEWS, Jan 2013

Many thanks to Roth Judd and Karen Kendrick-Hands for pointing out this RI Convention/climate change connection.

What to do?

Rotary can be a leader in helping to solve global humanitarian crises being caused by climate change.  Urge your District representative to the 2016 Council on Legislation to support District 6250’s Proposed Enactment (File 163-E-D).  It empowers Rotary to work to mitigate these crises by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.


Another Call to Action

 Researchers Link Syrian Conflict to a Drought Made Worse by Climate Change   –New York Times, March 2, 2015

“What began as civil war has since escalated into a multifaceted conflict, with at least 200,000 deaths.

The United Nations estimates that half of the country’s 22 million people have been affected, with more than six million having been internally displaced.”


The Edgewater

Supple Amy1

“Why do we call it ‘The Edgewater,’ not ‘the Edgewater Hotel’? Because we look at it as a unique destination.” The hotel rooms are just part of the draw, along with ice skating, unique restaurants, public spaces, and lakefront access, explained Amy Supple, Chief Operating Officer.

A strategic plan was begun in 2007. It called for recognizing the location’s civic connection, recreating a prime downtown asset while acknowledging the history of the out-of-date Edgewater, filling Madison’s need for a variety of hotel rooms, and creating a community asset accessible to the public 365 days a year.

Supple noted that the Faulkner family, who formerly owned and managed the hotel, kept an extensive scrapbook of photos and clippings. Much of that material, along with the black-and-white celebrity photos that decorated the old Cove Lounge, now either hang in the new bar or are displayed digitally on the mixed media wall near the new Statehouse Restaurant.

Many in the room had their own personal remembrances of the old Edgewater and questions of Supple reflected that.

“How are the floors numbered?” Answer: Unlike the old Edgewater with the lobby labeled Floor One and the lakefront down on Floor Seven, the new numbering system starts with lake level as Floor One.

“When will the pier open?” Answer: Construction on the pier, with 40 boat slips open to the public, will begin after fish spawning season for a grand opening on July Fourth.

Once the pier is open, a water taxi will be available to pick up people around Lake Mendota, and drop them at The Edgewater for a meal or a stroll to other downtown destinations.

The meeting concluded with a tour of the property for those interested.

Our thanks to Amy Supple for her presentation to our club this week; to Bill Haight for preparing this review article and to Valerie Johnson for this photo.