Elizabeth Hetrick, incumbent
Susan West, incumbent
Mark A. Sullivan, incumbent
Middleton, WI 53562
1. What in your professional and community background qualifies you for this elective office? As an engineer for 20+ years, I have learned to use data and facts to assist me in making good decisions and to convince others using this same data. As the current Alderperson for District 2 in the City of Middleton, I have learned to listen to the opinions and expertise of my constituents, citizen volunteers, and city staff; to find compromise solutions to difficult problems; and to balance a city budget. On the various city committees to which I have been appointed, I have worked on supporting our Middleton youth, our library and our local businesses.
2. Some Dane County municipalities provide opportunities to register and vote at alternate locations, such as libraries. What steps, if any, should your city take to make it easier for residents to register and vote? The ability to vote is the keystone of our democracy. It is incredibly important to me that barriers to voting be eliminated to ensure that government continues to represent the will of the people. In the City of Middleton, I believe we have done a good job of making the voting booth accessible to everyone. In this past year, I voted to move the voting locations within the City of Middleton to rebalance the number of voters at each location. In addition, city staff has done a tremendous job, allowing voter registration at the library and the local Senior Center.
3. What issues in development and transportation does your city need to address? When talking with my constituents, I have been told that we need better roads. Whether you use a bicycle, a car, or a bus for your transportation, everybody agrees that the roads in Middleton need to be a high priority. We passed the 2018 budget to include more money for road repair and I will continue to support this in the future. I also voted for expanded bike routes throughout the city including a new Northeast connector bike path along Century Avenue. I’d also like to increase access to public transportation, especially at nights and on weekends.
4. What other important issue faces your city, and how would you address it? The main issue for me is how to prioritize the many needs of the city while sticking strictly to a very tight budget. There are many important issues, and so many of these issues deserve time and resources. But we cannot fund everything. If you spend more money in one area, you have to remove resources from other important programs. My goal is improved communication with my constituents to learn their priorities, to explain what the city is working on, and to encourage each person to get more involved. Together, we can do more.
1. What in your professional and community background qualifies you for this elective office? I care about people and have a long history of volunteering. I am action-oriented, innovative, and an entrepreneur. I have served in federal government for 15 years with experience in budgeting, facilities, management, strategic planning, and labor relations. I co-founded a start-up company and designed an app to help voters review issues and candidates to make a more informed decision; it's been downloaded in 48 states. I serve on the Dane County Dems Executive Board. Previously, I served on the Affirmative Action Commission in Madison, the Monroe Street Arts Board, and Chaired the Democratic Party of Wisconsin's Women's Caucus.
2. Some Dane County municipalities provide opportunities to register and vote at alternate locations, such as libraries. What steps, if any, should your city take to make it easier for residents to register and vote? There are many opportunities to increase voter engagement. Currently, I see a need to increase awareness of elections, particularly at the local and state levels. Outreach with community groups, outreach to the media, and on social media may increase voter engagement. The city can continue to share needs for identification to register and ensure easy access to voting locations as they plan for 2019 and 2020 elections. I designed a voter app called 1myVote and it's downloaded by all age groups from 17 to 74. We find that people really want to vote; the need for tools and access seems paramount.
3. What issues in development and transportation does your city need to address? I support more workforce housing to help people working in local businesses to be able to afford to live here. When I was a manager, I struggled with retaining workers and managing schedules because employees drove over an hour frequently seeing beltline backups. I serve on the Workforce Housing Committee and have supported workforce housing. As for transportation issues, our roads are a concern, as potholes abound in my neighborhood. I also care about mass transit opportunities now and in the future, as well as traffic flow and congestion issues. Working together, we can move Middleton forward.
4. What other important issue faces your city, and how would you address it? We need to support our schools, increase public safety, and maintain our beautiful park system. With schools as the foundation of our community, we need to support our students as they grow. Our police, paramedics, and firefighters wonderfully protect our community; we can upgrade their tools and technology. In maintaining our parks, we can continue to support parks and improve access to the conservancy for flow throughout the green space system. I love walking my children to parks, splash pad, around the district in winter all bundled up, and adding Sauk Trails in September.
1. What in your professional and community background qualifies you for this elective office? Public service is one of the tenets on which I was raised; volunteerism, working to better our community, and representing those who feel they don’t have a voice are part of the foundation of my life and I see being an Alder as an extension of those beliefs. Professionally I am a Project Manager which gives me the skills to look at council decisions through a strategic view-point and understand how they will affect Middleton in the long-term. Finally I absolutely love being the Alder for District 4 in Middleton, I love listening to my neighbors’ concerns and representing them.
2. Some Dane County municipalities provide opportunities to register and vote at alternate locations, such as libraries. What steps, if any, should your city take to make it easier for residents to register and vote? Middleton has done a fantastic job of seeking out alternative locations for voting including senior living homes, fire stations, and the police department. While not all of these have worked out I commend our Elections Clerk Lori Burns for working incredibly hard to find places for Middleton residents to vote. What we need most is a large building near districts 7 and 8 as an alternative site on that side of town as we have yet to find something suitable.
3. What issues in development and transportation does your city need to address? Middleton desperately needs a safe bike path along the Century Avenue corridor and better bus service. As a rider of public transportation to get to work I can attest that our current level of bus service is not where it needs to be. While buses run regularly at rush hour it can take up to an hour for a bus to come during non-peak times and on weekends. This schedule favors those with traditional work hours and does a disservice to anyone with a non-traditional work schedule.
4. What other important issue faces your city, and how would you address it? The biggest issue facing Middleton is the need for more workforce housing, however instead of continuing to line the pockets of developers I would like to see TIF used to finance low income loans for home purchases and home improvements. The backbone of Middleton has long been working class families living in single-family homes and we need to do more to continue to ensure working class families are able buy homes in Middleton. Other issues are roads and traffic; Middleton Beach Road needs to be repaired and we need more measures throughout the District to reduce speeding.
Middleton, WI 53562
Mark A. Sullivan
Middleton, WI 53562