Family: Married to Lois Beck for 31 years. Four children, eight grandchildren.
Originally from: Fitchburg.
Education: High school; some continuing education courses through CWA and my employer
Occupation: Farmer; I own and operate our family farm (since 1973), my family has farmed in Fitchburg since 1913 and I have owned and operated a small construction company, the Jones Company, for 37 years
Political experience: I served on the Fitchburg Township Board during incorporation, Fitchburg City Council, Fitchburg Ag and Rural Affairs Committee, Fitchburg Veterans Memorial Park sub-committee, have run for council and mayor
Other notable affiliations: Heartland Credit Union board for 20 years; president of Communication Workers Union Local 4630 during time with AT&T; national committees for CWA while with Local 4630
Why are you running?
I have a lot of experience in local government, am a small business owner, and help manage a $300 million Credit Union. I can provide a voice for the Fitchburg farmers, and business people among with all of our residents (in) our district. I am self-employed and have the time to give back to our local government and help all of the people in our district.
What are the most important issues facing your district?
Managing development and all of the issues that come with it: Traffic, roads, stormwater. The biggest one is maintaining our great quality of life. Fitchburg is a great place to live, and we must try to keep it that way for both the urban and rural residents.
The city put the comprehensive plan process on an eight-month timeline. Do you agree with how this was handled?
Yes, the staff did a great job of trying to get input from everyone.
How can the city balance promoting development with the needs of the rural residents?
One way is by following the comp plan, we have a plan, we need to follow it. It also requires open communication and common sense moving forward.
What does the city need to do to ensure equitable access to city services, particularly for those west of Verona Road and in rural areas?
Open communication with as many residents as possible, We only have so much money to provide services to everyone. If we work together we can solve any problems that come up.
Would you push for any changes to the agreement to annex part of the Town of Madison when it dissolves?
No, it was a well thought out plan, we along with the Town of Madison, City of Madison, Dane County and the State of WI, developed the plan and it will be complete soon. I support it.
What responsibility does the city have to manage increasing problems with stormwater and flooding?
We have a responsibility to try and help manage stormwater. I serve on the Ag and Rural Affairs Committee, we have been active in trying to solve problems in the rural area, especially the Lake Barney area. I have attended most of the meetings with the local land owners, along with 7+ state, county and local governments. We have been meeting to bring solutions that will help local property owners while not causing flooding of our neighbors to the south and further down the watershed. Stormwater is a big problem for both urban and rural residents. We must work on solutions.
If budgets and spending limits did not prevent it, what is one project you would champion to improve the quality of life in Fitchburg?
I intend to work towards a purchase of development rights – state grants would help create funding that would help buy the rights to ever develop, leaving as much of the south Fitchburg area as open space and farmland. We have had a great quality of life in Fitchburg, why do we want to spoil it by letting it develop.
What is the best thing about Fitchburg?
Great quality of life. We are close to a large urban area, but still rural in parts. We have great access to bicycle activities, to farmers markets, a chance to see where our food is grown, and in some cases, meet the farmers who grow our food. It does not get better than that.