Updated: Jan 31, 2020
The League of Women Voters gave candidates the opportunity to answer four questions that they will publish in local newspapers and on Vote411.org. They also asked candidates to make a 2-3 minute video addressing what I wanted voters to know about me and what they can expect from me during my time in office.
You can see my responses and video below. Please note that the responses had to be very limited but I would be happy to discuss them in further detail. When I knock on your door, just mention them to me or feel free to send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What in your background qualifies you for this office?
I have been serving this city for the past five years as CEO of the Monona East Side Business Alliance (MESBA). The experience that most qualifies me to serve on council includes running a chamber of commerce for five years, owning a business for 10, serving on numerous volunteer boards and committees, my ability to build relationships quickly, my community organizing experience, 20 years in the tourism industry, my marketing and communication skills, and having a good amount of grit that comes from overcoming vast challenges prior to attending UW-Madison.
What do see as the opportunities and challenges of the Monona Sustainability Plan?
I see more opportunities to strengthen our multi-modal transportation options, create more bike lanes, purchase more electric vehicles, and consider hybrid police vehicles. We have an opportunity to build the ridership of Monona Transit so we can expand the service. I would like to see more high density infill developments on Monona Drive. Many of our challenges are ones that face all American cities—we need to reduce our consumption, we can't sell our recycled materials due to too much volume, reducing our fossil fuel usage, and reducing stormwater runoff and chemicals flowing into the lake.
Should Monona increase the amount of affordable housing? If so, how?
We actually have a decent amount of affordable rentals although none of it is designated as “affordable housing.” Buying homes in Monona is very challenging so I would like to see more creative housing options developed. Cottage Courtyards would be an excellent addition to Monona’s housing stock. It would allow for the elderly and young families to come together with an immediate sense of community. Tiny homes, pocket neighborhoods and cooperative housing should all be explored. We need to be more creative so new families from all socioeconomic groups can get ahead by buying a home in Monona.
Should Monona improve access to public transportation? If so, how?
Absolutely. Our Sustainability Plan has a focus area dedicated to increasing transportation alternatives but this is a big challenge for us. Current legislation blocks the formation of a Regional Transit Authority (RTA) and this is exactly what we need to have a regional transportation system that works for all of Madison’s suburbs. Madison Metro is cost prohibitive for a small city like Monona but I do have hopes that we can continue talks with them and work towards a more collaborative option. Our other option is to build Monona Transit’s ridership greatly so we can expand the service.