Friday, March 18, 2011

One last questionaire, I hope.

This one is for the FitchburgConnect newsletter. It's always interesting to see what is published as opposed to what is sent. This is what I sent:

Name:  Dorothy Krause 
Age:  54 
Hometown:  Milwaukee, WI 
Current address:  2105 Apache Dr, Fitchburg, WI 
Occupation:  Community Activist 
Family demographics (Spouse/partner, children):  Empty nester, 3 grown children,  
Public office experience:  First time running for public office 
Community service/Volunteer experience: 
Treasurer, Dunn's Marsh Neighborhood Association; Owner, Madison Freecycle; Communication Chair, Prairie UU Society; Adobe Community Professional. Member/Participant: Allied Partners, Allied-Dunn's Marsh Neighborhood Association, Allied Area Task Force, Communities United, CACCommunityGardensDaneCountymebank  Ti , Madison Fruit and Nuts, Allied Wellness Coop,  
Best way to be contacted:  email to preferred 
What makes you the best candidate for alder/mayor? 
As a homeowner in the district for 8 years now, I have been dismayed by the apparent lack of attention given to this district by Fitchburg Alders. I've been working in the district already, and am eager to spread my wings to serve the greater Fitchburg community. Getting into politics during this period of time has become more akin to cliff diving then 'just' jumping in from the deep end, as it was when I initially made the decision to run. Consequently, I've learned a lot about what is going on in state government, and beyond, in a very short time. It's a spooky time, but also energizing. I am glad to be running, and see a greater need then ever to have at least some people in office that are at least as concerned about the good of the people as they are the bottom line.
What do you hope to accomplish during your term? 
I'll continue to pay close attention as construction begins on the Highway 151 / Verona Road construction begins; I'll work with residents in the western half of the district to help them feel a greater part of Fitchburg; I'll keep working in the Allied area and other 'troubled' parts of the city to create income earning opportunities in those areas to help them become productive parts of the city. I'll participate in planning new Fire Stations and support SmartCode developments. 
What is the biggest issue facing Fitchburg right now? What would be your first goal? How do you plan on accomplishing that goal?   
The changes being made in the Governor's office and beyond will impact everything about politics everywhere. I'm afraid the result of that will command a good majority of attention. My goal for the past number of years has been to help disadvantaged areas of the city become productive. That is going to get much harder, given state issues. We need to encourage area businesses to find ways to employ those populations and we need to create additional income earning opportunities within those areas. Lot of work and tough challenges ahead!
 What plans do you have to encourage economic development in Fitchburg?   
In short, we need to make money in Fitchburg, and we need to keep it here. We need to encourage businesses, large and small, to invest here, and we need them to employ a lot of local people at reasonable wages. We need to support our local businesses by purchasing their products or services.
The city recently passed a smart growth plan. How will this plan help or hinder development in the city? 
I spent time over the years following the SmartCode planning process, including spending most of the week observing at the charrette last year. For areas of the city that it is appropriate for, it will be wonderful. Developers will have the freedom to design parcels of land on a neighborhood scale, including the ability to mix and match various elements in the way that make the most sense rather then following an imposed land-use plan. Once people fully understand it, they will embrace SmartCode. 
 What is your fiscal policy? What is your view on taxes in the city? What sort of spending is appropriate for the city?   
I'm realistically too new to all of this to have developed a "fiscal policy" as such. I am in learning mode on a lot of issues, but especially the purely business side of things. I've spent a lot of time listening to people in the city who know the business side and I've come to respect their opinions. My personal view in general is to prioritize what you have-to-have from what you'd like-to-have from what you could-do-without. Once you know what is on which list, it becomes more apparent where the available money needs to go. How high you want to climb in the list helps determine how much income you're going to have to come up with to do it. How my family and small business view will scale to city government has yet to be seen, but I'm happy to be able to learn from those that deal with it all the time. (Nancy alert!) 
 How should regional transportation plans fit with the citys development plans? What, if any, mass transit plans should the city pursue? 
I was not happy to see the RTA fold. I was eager to support transit alternatives that enabled residents to move around the entire urban area relatively quickly, easily, and affordably. I encourage the use of public transit when appropriate, and wish it were a more reasonable option within Fitchburg. I would hope that reasonable transport options will become available, particularly along east-west corridors through the city. I will work for, and support, transit plans in Fitchburg.
What should be done with the McGaw Park shelter? 
Hard question. In the not too distant future a lot of park features throughout the city are going to start wearing out. I've been hearing the concerns within the city related to how to determine what parks will need what improvements at what point in time. Given that, if the McGaw shelter is used for relatively specific events, i.e.: ballgames, it might not be unreasonable to ask those participants to contribute to the cost of a shelter, whether by fundraising or user fees, especially if they have expectations beyond a very basic facility.
There was a lot of hubbub last year about whether sidewalks are needed in every neighborhood. What is your stance? 
Planning sidewalks in new neighborhoods is not a problem. In areas that were designed without them, however, a balance needs to be found between safety, cost, and property owners wishes. They are not necessarily appropriate everywhere. In places where property owners don't want them but safety becomes an overriding factor, reducing the financial cost for the owners would be a reasonable compromise.  
What role should the city take in public/private partnerships, such as the splash pads at McKee Park? 
I welcome groups taking a financial interest in city services beyond those that are essential. If people would like to have a splash pad, I'm happy to have them invest in it. But the city still needs to be the final decision makers. We have to take care to not allow money to equal power in such issues.  
What role do you think the new library should play in the city? What services should people expect from the library? Will it be worth the cost in taxes? 
The library is a fact. We're going to pay for it. And we get to decide how well it will serve us. We need to be aware what services it anticipates providing, what it is capable of providing, and how the people want to be able to use it. I want to see many events and meetings there, recorded to FACTv as appropriate, to be replayed over cable TV or accessed online.
Are the new fire stations a worthwhile investment? Why? 
From all the reading I've done, and the people I've visited with about the new stations, I have to agree that they are needed, particularly as it relates to expansion to the east side of the city. The buildings are worn out, it's raining (literally!) on both equipment and living quarters, wearing them out even quicker. The expense of patching them up is costly and short lived. This is the time that it is economically least expensive to bite the bullet and do it. I don't think we have anything to gain by waiting.

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