Before too much time passes, my wife and I want to take a moment to thank all of the people at the City of Madison for helping us to open The Livingston Inn. Contrary to the government employee stereotype, everyone we encountered at the city was engaging, knowledgeable, and patient. All this during a period when municipal staff are squeezed by budget cuts and overshadowed by an interesting year of statewide politics.
Some examples of our positive encounters with Madison staff:
- The woman from Zoning who was very patient in walking us through the approval process, despite piles of applications around her and a new computer system.
- The assistant from Economic Development who was very cheerful even on a day when I visited her third floor office in an old municipal building with no A/C on a hot, humid day.
- The fire inspection chief who was so complimentary of our house and who shared thoughts about owning a bed and breakfast. He also indulged the awe of my son who marvelled at his height and asked how tall he was (6′ 10″!).
- The friendly guy in the Clerk’s office who hadn’t issued a B&B license in awhile but figured it out quickly and wished us well.
- The police officer we met as we moved in and made our family feel at home in our new neighborhood.
- All of the folks at the Landmarks Commission who made us feel we were doing something good for the community.
- And the many other people in Inspection, Public Health, Engineering, Treasurer’s office, Streets & Recycling, and other departments who were helpful and friendly with each phone call and visit.
I’ll end this post with a special acknowledgment to Percy Brown and his staff and committee at Economic Development. Percy was simply a delight to get to know. A conversation didn’t go by when he didn’t make us smile or laugh. Together with his committee, who visited the house, Percy built a relationship with us that made us feel very welcome as a new business in Madison.
In the end, I guess you can say we’ve walked city hall in Madison and we liked what we saw.