County Supervisor, District 11
Al Matano, incumbent
1. What in your professional and community background qualifies you for this elective office? I will serve residents and work cooperatively with supervisors to make sound county policy, using reason and communication. Formerly: Chaired the DC Environmental Council, delegate to the S.C. Federation of Labor, SPRITE hosts/ 7 years, sat on the Employment Committee of the Equal Opportunities Commission, volunteer at Bootstrap and Briarpatch, board of Business and Education Partnership, currently board member of Historic Madison. Worked with teens/ 18 yrs and in HR at CUNA Mutual. Currently AVID tutor for MMSD and attend the awesome Madison College to study math. 30 year residents of Westmorland. Interested in rural/urban issues, especially water.
2. Are there additional steps Dane County should take to ensure that disadvantaged people have access to adequate mental health services? We live in an inspirational county and the board is doing wonderful things on mental health issues.The Beacon, the new Homeless Day Resource Center, Porchlight's Safe Haven program providing transitional housing and case management, and money dedicated to NAMI (Nat. Assoc. of Mental Illness) for training are and will make significant improvements for our community. Building Bridges, the growing program to create mental health crisis teams, the school based mental health teams, and other programs are exceptional. I do not know of any additional steps the county could take at this time. I'm proud of them.
3. Should Dane County take any actions to facilitate countywide public transit? Please explain. Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is a current initiative to improve our ability to move throughout our county easily, efficiently and cost effectively. One of my passions is how urban and rural residents in the county work together. The schism is wide and deep in WI/ U.S. Improving countywide public transit will directly affect that divide. We need to continue to expand bike routes, avoid major highway construction without studies on the impacts of what it would do to all (including low income) neighborhoods, and consider our disabled, elderly and low income residents in every step of the process.
4. Should the County Board take steps to increase public engagement in board and committee deliberations? If so, what would you recommend? If not, why not? Transparency is the right to know, a foundational right of American government. I fully support increased public engagement and involvement at all levels. Even if the process gets "messier", there can be no lasting policy solution without public input and bipartisan discussion.We could create a framework to put some boundaries on increased engagement by examining things in each discussion like pros and cons, who benefits and who loses, etc. I would actively support increased discussion, would not limit the right to engage and would have a framework with fair boundaries to manage the discussions productively.
1. What in your professional and community background qualifies you for this elective office? Professionally, I manage a small business, and know how to creatively tackle big projects with small budgets. Personally, I have been active in serving Madison in a variety of capacities. My community service spans the range of issues - I help provide therapy for kids with physical and mental challenges; foster dogs with rehabilitation needs; assist students learning English as a second language; chair the Resolution Committee for the Dane County Democratic Party; and serve on the Youth Commission for Dane County. I am a collaborative, hard-working, and transparent leader, and I will remain focused on Dane County’s largest issues.
2. Are there additional steps Dane County should take to ensure that disadvantaged people have access to adequate mental health services? There are certainly areas to improve access to mental health services for the disadvantaged. Our community support services, specifically our case management department, is at capacity, and needs to be expanded. Mental health providers with Comprehensive Community Support programs have identified a gap in integrated treatments for individuals with dual diagnoses - we should facilitate more collaboration between departments here. We need more culturally competent care for African American families, who are disproportionately less likely to receive care for mental health needs. Finally, we need to aggressively pursue diversion programs to keep disadvantaged individuals in crisis out of jail.
3. Should Dane County take any actions to facilitate countywide public transit? Please explain. Public transportation is an important part of our community’s quality of life, commitment to protecting our environment, and infrastructure to support families and workers. We need greater service to seniors for medical appointments, groceries, and social outings to remain connected to the community. We need to quickly repair our bike paths to increase safety and retain our status as a bike friendly community. We should consider responsible public/private partnerships that could expand transit opportunities. Local officials need to continue lobbying the reluctant state legislature for RTA approval in order to facilitate expanded transportation options.
4. Should the County Board take steps to increase public engagement in board and committee deliberations? If so, what would you recommend? If not, why not? An engaged Dane County is a force for good, and can transform us into the progressive and equitable region we strive to be. Engaging with the public should be cumulative and constantly occurring. Documentation needs to be accessible and jargon free, and meetings should be scheduled at a variety of times to meet the needs of am/pm workers, young families, seniors, and more. Art and activities are always better at incorporating everyone’s voices than a standard committee meeting. I would love to test out new community engagement strategies, like moving meeting locations, “walkshops”, and more informal feedback scenarios.
Madison, WI 53705
1. What in your professional and community background qualifies you for this elective office? I have served on the Dane County Board for a number of years. I earlier served four years on the Dane County Housing Authority's board. I am an attorney with a history of public service.
I am proud of my record of achievement, and there is still work to be done.
My strengths include:
— Knowledge and understanding of the workings of Dane County government and the issues we decide.
— A willingness to provide clear commitments on issues, along with a rationale for those positions.
— Relationships with many players in County government or who interact with County government.
2. Are there additional steps Dane County should take to ensure that disadvantaged people have access to adequate mental health services? I believe that we should be spending money on treatment, rather than punishment. As long ago as 2002 we had a study of the possibility of an AODA facility to divert people from incarceration. If we are able to spend money on treatment rather than incarceration, we will be able to work within the limits of our budget, as defined in part by levy limits imposed by the state legislature. In addition, we should work to leverage Medicaid monies as possible, including the comprehensive community services benefit.
3. Should Dane County take any actions to facilitate countywide public transit? Please explain. Transit improvements for Dane County are a long term goal of mine. The current vision is for bus rapid transit (BRT), which involves buses that run on streets, but are comparable to a rail system.
BRT will provide backbone service on two routes - an east-west route from East Towne to West Towne, and a north-south route from Warner Park to the south transfer point.
Enhancements to local Metro bus service will include some reorientation of local routes to BRT stations. Regional bus service will provide service to outlying communities like Oregon and Stoughton, Sun Prairie, DeForest, and Waunakee.
4. Should the County Board take steps to increase public engagement in board and committee deliberations? If so, what would you recommend? If not, why not? To increase public engagement, Dane County has used the Legistar system to make meeting agendas and minutes readily available. As technologies improve, we should find still more user-friendly software. We have to make an effort to make the actions of the County Board more visible to the public. County Board staff have been issuing press releases summarizing action at each County Board meeting. We should also encourage people to seek citizen seats on Dane County boards and commissions. We should use social media and text messages to promote knowledge of key meeting dates, such as budget deliberations.