Letter: An open letter to Mayor Soglin

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Dear Mayor Soglin,

We write this letter to assert that the OSCAR Group should serve as the official stakeholder group, working with City of Madison planning and economic development staff on the future of the Oscar Mayer property.

When we met with you on Aug. 8, 2016, we began a discussion of the role that OSCAR wished to assume and the service that we can provide both to city staff and our neighbors. We were reassured by that meeting that the City of Madison was not only interested in our views but willing to partner with us to provide for the future of this site. OSCAR’s goal is to ensure that stakeholder  needs are met, both in terms of providing accurate information on the status of the site as well as providing input and guidance on what ultimately happens at the site.

For months previous to our meeting, and in the intervening months, OSCAR has worked hard to begin discussions with neighbors, the Northside Planning Council (NPC), our alders, city staff, Kraft representatives, UFCW representatives, and local businesses. OSCAR has now formally partnered with NPC and includes representatives from key stakeholders including the closest neighborhoods — Sherman (within whose boundaries the Oscar Mayer property lies), Eken Park, Emerson East, Maple Bluff, Cherokee — and the Northside business community.

As a community group emerging from the Oscar Mayer neighborhoods and with the resources, relationships and experience of NPC, OSCAR will be more responsive, representative and rooted in the community than a city committee could be. A robust, inclusive process will create an outcome everyone will be invested in.

Residents and businesses are the city, and the core stakeholders in this process. The city and city officials, planners, etc. ultimately work for us. Recognizing this dynamic was a crucial step in the successful process that developed around Union Corners.   

By leveraging OSCAR as the official stakeholder group, with NPC as its partner, the City of Madison will be able to take advantage of both our grassroots foundation and our carefully cultivated relationships and expertise.

We look forward to continuing our work with you and your team as you develop the special area plan.

Thank you,
The OSCAR Group & NPC