Family: Spouse, Brad (60), dog, Morgan (11)
Originally from: Beloit, grew up in Janesville
Lived in Fitchburg since: 1998
Education: Bachelor of Science from UW-Whitewater
Occupation: Treasurer of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin
Employer: Retired engineer for AT&T
Political experience: President of Young Democrats, student senator at UW-Whitewater, worked for Congressman Les Aspin (district office, Campaign, and D.C), worked for the Maryland Attorney General, chair and treasurer of the 2nd Congressional District Democratic Party of Wisconsin, at-large board member of Democratic Party of Wisconsin, treasurer of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin (3rd term).
Why are you running?
My jobs have taken me all over the United States, but Fitchburg is where I feel my heart is for 22 years now. I feel that my experience has fine-tuned my ability to succeed as your representative. I know I can be the forward thinking leader that our district needs.
What are the most important issues facing your district?
The most pressing issue facing Fitchburg has to be climate change, followed by the debate over development, and maintaining our high standard of living. First on my agenda would be addressing the detrimental effects of flooding in my district, followed by discussing where development should and should not happen.
The city put the comprehensive plan process on an eight month timeline. Do you agree with how this was handled?
There must be adequate time for the people of Fitchburg to advocate for their opinions. As long as we have enough time for this dialogue between our city council and my constituents, then an eight-month timelines is adequate. It still must maintain its thorough outline for the future of Fitchburg.
How can the city balance promoting development with the needs of the rural residents?
First, there must be a conversation of how both sides of this debate can be appeased, especially through discussion over the comprehensive plan and where the urban service line will limit development. From that discussion, I will deliver a forward thinking consensus back to the council.
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?
There have been several attempts to address this issue, which at the time did not work for various reasons. We need to revisit our transportation options, to analyze costs and make the most fiscally responsible decision for where my constituents want transportation improvements.
Would you push for any changes to the agreement to annex part of the Town of Madison when it dissolves?
This is first about negotiation, I would put forth the conversation to my constituents. I would hold neighborhood forums to encourage discussion and to see how my district would like our city council to act moving forward. I would then present their input to the other alders of Fitchburg.
What responsibility does the city have to manage increasing problems with stormwater and flooding?
It is our city’s responsibility to address the flooding. We require improved management of our water and drainage; we need the focus of county and state officials to offer their resources to improve our accessibility to clean drinking water. This is an issue that needs our focus.
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 would focus on strategic decisions to improve our watershed practices. That would mean creating better drainage methods in southern Fitchburg, thorough mechanisms to deal with rainwater collection, and an overhaul of our water supply pipes. I would create better mechanisms to deal with the detrimental effects of climate change.
What is the best thing about Fitchburg?
My husband, Brad, and I chose to move to Fitchburg over 22 years ago because of its mix of urban and suburban living, while also having access to parks and nature preserves, I want to maintain our reason for moving here. Fitchburg to me is our opportunities, our services, and our high standard of living. In every way Fitchburg offers the best opportunities for every stage of one’s life. It is diverse, it is changing, and to have a part in the changing and maintaining of the city I love would be an honor.