Monday, December 27, 2010

All in, all done.

Got semi-official word (from the City Clerk), the incumbent has filed non-candidacy papers, so, unless there is another person keeping cards close to chest and not announcing that they intend to run, I should be unopposed.

So baring anything weird, I get to start much more seriously considering my position on the bigger picture, both in my district as well as throughout the city, and start talking with other council members, committee members, staff, and residents about various issues that I need to be aware of, lest I trip over a minefield. Knowing many of the folks in the Council already, I'm familiar with some of the things that come up among them... sometimes it's down right entertaining to watch them on TV. Should be interesting to sit among them for a change.  I'm going to enjoy it!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

How fun ever!

Little did I know how enjoyable it would be to visit with folks in the district! I spent a number of hours walking around a couple parts of the neighborhood, supposedly to get signatures for the nomination papers. I left a lot of "Sorry I missed you" notes along with some info about me on some houses. Others had people answer the door, but too busy or not interested in visiting (the Packer game was on, after all!)  And I only ran into 2 that I would call grumps.

But there was quite a few where people were extremely interested, some even bordering on eager, to visit about what I've been doing and what I want to do. Many wanted to pick my brain about things going on on Allied or the Beltline/Verona Road construction that will be happening beginning in 2012 or other things that are important to them.

All in all it was tiring and exhilarating at the same time. I'm still 3 short of the minimum 20 signatures, but it should be easy to get up to the preferred 30 in the next day or two to get them turned in with time to spare. But I'm going to be bummed when I have enough and don't have that excuse to learn more about the area and the folks in it.

Have to think about where I want to go next... hmmm...

Saturday, December 25, 2010

The beginning

Years ago I realized that the place to start is not at the beginning, but, rather, from where you're at currently. So I'm going to start this from just a short time back, less than a week, I think. But, a bit of history first.

Over the past year and a half of official unemployment I've been going through a process of discovery to learn what I want to do in the next big phase of my life. Where I'm coming from is a long period of working over the internet from home, largely isolated from social interaction. A decision to change that isolation led to my buying a home in Fitchburg, Wisconsin in 2002. As I phased out of online work, I accepted a job with a steady stream of coworkers, which was good... until the bottom dropped out of the economy. Since I was one of the last in, I was also among the first out. For better or for worse, since so very many people have been in the same situation, I've been able to accept extended unemployment benefits and have learned to live extremely modestly.

Soon after I bought the house, I began taking an interest in the community around me, particularly in the Allied Drive area. Over time I became involved in many of the different aspects of the community, participating in the Allied Area Task Force, neighborhood associations, area service agencies, community gardening in the park which is my back yard, and others.

After a while, many people started suggesting that I do something more with my interests in the community, and, earlier this week, I was talking with folks at Fitchburg City Hall about some ideas, and they ended up suggesting that I run for Alder since apparently the current Alder has been unsure whether he'll run again. (Still need to grab a few minutes to try to catch him to confirm that, still a rumor at this point.) So, here I am, starting off in the blog-o-sphere so people can get to know me a bit more than they otherwise might.