Middleton Alder

Two-Year Terms
Vote for One

Find your district here.

Candidates:

District 1 (click to jump to this district)
Kathy Olson
, Incumbent

District 3 (click to jump to this district)
Katy Nelson
Sarah Cords

District 5 (click to jump to this district)
Luke Fuszard
Howard Teal
, Incumbent

District 7 (click to jump to this district)
Dan Ramsey II
, Incumbent


District 1

Kathy Olson

Middleton, WI 53562
middletondistrict1@gmail.com
Twitter: @KathyOlson53562

1. What in your professional and community background qualifies you for this elective office? I have served as the City of Middleton’s District 1 Alder since 2015 and have been actively involved in the Middleton community for many years including:
City committee appointments: (Current) Sustainability Committee, Landmarks Commission, Community Development Authority, Pedestrian Bike Transit Committee, License & Ordinance Committee. (Past) Middleton Plan Commission, Personnel Committee, Middleton Library Board of Trustees. 

Other: 2008 Middleton Good Neighbor Award Winner, past president of Historic Middleton Neighborhood Association, past president of Middleton Area Historical Society. My husband, Steve, and I have lived in our home for 29 years. Both of our children were educated in Middleton public schools.

2. How would you plan to prepare your city for predicted consequences of climate change? The City of Middleton, as a leader in sustainability, must continue to take big, bold steps to mitigate the environmental and financial effects of climate change.
Middleton adopted a Sustainable City Plan to address: Energy, Transportation, Land Use, Water, Waste, Economy/Food/Fair Trade, and Public Outreach and Education. 

Recent successes include: Creating a sustainability coordinator position, passing a resolution for 100% renewable energy utilization for the city government’s operations by 2040 and for the community by 2050. approving solar panels on three city buildings and a five-megawatt solar array at Morey Airport and opening a recycling center.

3. Should your city take any steps to increase the availability of affordable housing? There is a very real need for affordable housing in the City of Middleton. The Middleton Affordable Housing Task Force has made significant strides. As a city we need to continue to support and promote infill development, affordable homeownership for families and Middleton’s supply of affordable housing units. The City’s Comprehensive Plan addresses affordable housing by having developers incorporate workforce housing within new construction. We also need to be mindful of our citizens on fixed-incomes by controlling property taxes to allow senior citizens to continue to afford living in their homes.

4. What other important issue faces your city, and what could your city council do to address it? I have immense gratitude for all the opportunities that living in Middleton has afforded me and my family. I will work to ensure that all residents will continue to enjoy the high-quality services provided by the city. Middleton needs to continue to focus on maintaining safe, attractive neighborhoods while continuing to balance growth with livability. Together, we can preserve what has made Middleton extraordinary and prepare Middleton for a successful future.


District 3

KatyNelson.jpg

Katy Nelson

Middleton, WI 53562
katy@zuccapilates.com
Facebook: Katy Nelson for Alder, District 3, Middleton

1. What in your professional and community background qualifies you for this elective office? I have a BBA - Marketing degree from UW-Whitewater (1987).
I have lived in Middleton's District 3 since 2005.
I have owned my own business, Zucca Pilates & Functional Fitness, for 12 years. It is currently located in District 3.
I am currently on the Middleton Zoning Board of Appeals.

2. How would you plan to prepare your city for predicted consequences of climate change? Currently, single family residences can have 35% of their property covered with non-porous material. This calculation, however, doesn’t include driveways. So currently, a person could cut down all trees in his backyard and have most of the yard turned into a large driveway, and still technically be under the 35% rule (risking flooding surrounding areas). I would like to have Middleton reevaluate this ordinance, with an eye toward climate change. I would also like to see commercial developments have some obligation to the same effort.

3. Should your city take any steps to increase the availability of affordable housing? Middleton is having a hard time finding enough places for affordable housing. Our city is small, and land is currently very expensive. This is a tricky topic for some residents, who don't want to feel like their city is being overbuilt with apartments. I believe that with the right designs, landscape and placement in areas of the city that are mostly commercial, residents can come to see apartments as a way to buffer sounds from streets;  to keep real estate taxes down (so it's not up to just single resident homes); and to have diverse income levels in our community.

4. What other important issue faces your city, and what could your city council do to address it? Last year's August storm was a glimpse of extreme climate change storms to come. Storm sewers were overtaxed, and our ponds and trails were damaged beyond our belief. The days and weeks after the storm were heartbreaking, as we saw the totality of damage, and the power of water. Middleton faces the issues of continued recovery for the Pheasant Branch Conservancy, Tiedeman and Strickers Ponds, and Highway 14, as well as future plans for how to protect our prized natural resources. I look forward to helping with this issue.


SarahCords.JPG

Sarah Cords

Middleton, WI 53562
district3.sarah@gmail.com
Facebook: Sarah Cords

1. What in your professional and community background qualifies you for this elective office? I’ve had service jobs and experiences—as a farm market vendor, a librarian, a longtime Elder Mentor volunteer for Catholic Charities—and now I work as an editor and fact-checker. Service jobs are all about listening to what people need, and my current work is all about doing the research. I’d like to bring those skills together in this office. I also got a chuckle from one person who signed my nomination papers and said, “Good…we need an everyday person on the council”! I’m from Middleton, I love raising my kids here, we’re here for the long haul.

2. How would you plan to prepare your city for predicted consequences of climate change? Middleton in currently experiencing a lot of growth, both commercial and residential, and the city has some inherent landscape challenges (as the Aug. 20 flooding showed). All new building projects need to be responsibly planned, developers need to provide stringent site preparation and stormwater management plans, and residents have to encourage the city to prioritize green and natural spaces. I support solar energy and sustainability initiatives, but believe we also need to strengthen our sense of community and feel more connected to one another, which is an important part of becoming more resilient.

3. Should your city take any steps to increase the availability of affordable housing? Matthew Desmond’s recent book “Evicted” was about Milwaukee, but it showed the need for affordable housing everywhere. Many building projects being considered here aren’t truly “affordable” to most families in my district. Middleton occupies a place between the more urban center of Madison and outlying rural areas and absolutely needs to think and plan regionally. We’re in that middle place, and we need to focus efforts on what’s been called the “missing middle” of housing—condos, fourplexes, townhomes, row houses. We need to identify and encourage developers who might be open to those types of projects.

4. What other important issue faces your city, and what could your city council do to address it? All of the issues facing my city are important! I want the city council to be less about personal reputations than it is about good governance of the city’s and its residents’ resources. Middleton residents have a lot of concerns in two main categories: their personal economies and the livability of their city (including quality of life issues like safety, traffic, green space, and access to amenities and resources for all). The council needs to listen and respond to individual needs, but also keep the big picture in mind, and it needs to do it with more transparency.


District 5

LukeFuszard.jpg

Luke Fuszard

Middleton, WI 53562
lfuszard@gmail.com
www.lukeformiddleton.com
Facebook: Luke Fuszard 
Twitter: @lukefuszard

1. What in your professional and community background qualifies you for this elective office? My wife and I chose to move to Middleton because of its excellent schools, wonderful parks, and growing job opportunities. For the past five years, I've been a remote worker for two different tech companies headquartered outside of Wisconsin. My professional experience will become more common in the years ahead as companies have the flexibility to hire anyone with an Internet connection no matter their location. Given that background, I believe the Middleton Common Council must work hard to ensure our community adapts to the changing nature of how we live, work, and play.

2. How would you plan to prepare your city for predicted consequences of climate change? On July 17, 2018 the Middleton Common Council unanimously approved a resolution to generate 100% of its energy from renewable sources by 2040. One month later, the city was devastated by massive flooding that destroyed area homes and businesses. Middleton must continue to lead on the issue of clean energy and simultaneously prepare for more adverse weather events in the years ahead. One thing the city could do is help citizens harvest their rainwater for irrigation and potentially even firefighting. City buildings could also have garden rooftops which absorb up to 80% of the rain that falls on them.

3. Should your city take any steps to increase the availability of affordable housing? I bought my first home in Middleton and am very aware of the barriers to attainable housing for Millennials. Over the last couple of years, the city has increased the number of affordable apartments for families that prefer not to buy. The next step the City of Middleton can take is to create smaller lot sizes thus resulting in more dense single-family neighborhoods. More homes means more supply and thus more availability for individuals and families to move to Middleton.

4. What other important issue faces your city, and what could your city council do to address it? As I’ve been knocking on doors and talking with residents in the Fifth District, one item that frequently comes up is a lack of knowledge around the role and responsibilities of the Middleton Common Council. I believe part of the solution can be found in harnessing online tools to do things like host virtual town halls, only surveys and real-time conversations that both quickly educate and genuinely solicit feedback. Improving public involvement with Middleton government will propel engagement and trust in our community.


HowardTeal.JPG

Howard Teal

Middleton, WI 53562
tealh@chorus.net

1. What in your professional and community background qualifies you for this elective office? I have spent the last 18+ years serving the residents of the city of Middleton as their alder person for district 5. Having served on every committee and commission including currently the Finance Committee, the Airport Commission and the Fire Commission, I have gained a wealth of institutional knowledge that helps me understand the short term and long term needs of the city.

2. How would you plan to prepare your city for predicted consequences of climate change? Middleton was decimated this last August with flooding.We incurred millions of dollars of damage and it will take take years to recover. I believe that some of this extensive damage was possibly caused by climate change that caught up with us. Middleton has undertaken a number of planning projects over the next few years to rectify the damages. The city will learn much from what happened so we can prepare ourselves for the future.

3. Should your city take any steps to increase the availability of affordable housing? The City of Middleton's master plan includes a mandatory provision for affordable housing for all new developments. We have a number of multiple housing projects underway with more in the works. As a member of the common council I have cast my 'yes' vote for affordable housing ( workforce housing ) for every new housing development for may 18+ years as their representative.

4. What other important issue faces your city, and what could your city council do to address it? State mandated levy limits are making it very difficult to raise revenue to support general city operations. We need to work with the State Legislature to change these laws. Middleton is an isthmus for traffic and we are looking at ways to reduce traffic. Last years devastating flood resulted in millions of dollars damage to our pedestrian infrastructure and we are looking at ways to repair the damage.


District 7

Dan Ramsey ii

Middleton, WI 53562
ramseyfordistrict7@gmail.com
Facebook: Dan Ramsey - District 7 Middleton, WI

1. What in your professional and community background qualifies you for this elective office? I have served as Alder for District 7 in Middleton for 2 years. I currently serve on the Plan Commission, License & Ordinance Committee, Bike, Pedestrian and Transit Committee as Vice-chair , Airport Commission as Vice-chair, Conservancy Lands Committee, and the Water Resources Commission. I'm the owner of RPM Management LLC, a real estate management and maintenance company.

2. How would you plan to prepare your city for predicted consequences of climate change? Middleton has resolved to be a 100% Renewable Energy community by 2050. Middleton is currently working to partner with MG&E on a solar array project - the goal of which is to provide a portion of the city's energy needs through solar. We also are taking steps after the flooding of August 2018 to design and repair our public lands in such fashion as to minimize potential for future damage. We are working to partner with Dane County and other jurisdictions to address our storm water infrastructure making it more efficient . I fully support these efforts.

3. Should your city take any steps to increase the availability of affordable housing? Middleton has worked to increase the availability of workforce housing by making it a priority in our TIF (Tax Incremental Financing) agreements. This has helped increase the number of apartments available. Our challenge is to create affordable ownership opportunities. We need to be creative in balancing multifamily housing with owner occupied workforce housing, allowing and encouraging our young people to live here in every stage of their life.

4. What other important issue faces your city, and what could your city council do to address it? As in all communities, Middleton faces challenges in providing top tier services at a reasonable cost. With state mandated levi- limits this becomes more difficult every year. It is important that we are wise stewards of our property tax receipts while continuing to provide for public safety, roads and infrastructure. As a council we must weigh all costs making sure that we are giving our residents value for their tax payments.