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Election Q&A: Dane County Board District 24

Election Q&A: Dane County Board District 24

From the Election Q&As with Dane County Board candidates series

Sarah Smith is the only candidate running for the District 24 seat on the Dane County Board of Supervisors. Incumbent Tanya Buckingham is not running for re-election. The election is April 7. 

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith

Age: 27

Profession: Communications director

Education: Bachelor's degree in history/history of science and medicine, and a master's degree in educational policy from UW-Madison

Political experience: First time candidate

Other public service: Currently serves on the Sustainability Committee for the city of Monona and as Emeritus Chair on the board of the Young Democrats of Wisconsin 

Campaign website:

Why are you the best candidate for the district?

I stepped up to run for Dane County Board because I was raised to believe that the most valuable way a person can spend their time is in service to their community. I want to spend my time ensuring that Dane County continues to be a leader in issues of sustainability and equity. I want to dedicate my energy to developing solutions to protect the quality of our lakes- and keep our basements dry. I want to serve as a Dane County Supervisor to fight for the issues that matter most to my neighbors.

What is the greatest challenge facing the district and if elected, how would you address it?

Especially for people that live close to the shoreline as many of our neighbors do, water quality and rising lake levels are critical to the future of our community. While the county has been working toward developing solutions, we will need to continue to address new threats of flooding and pollutants like PFAs. It will require partnerships across county and municipal governments to develop the best comprehensive solutions.

In what area do you think the county could improve?

Dane County can do more to prevent entry into the criminal justice system, improve interactions with the system, and limit recidivism. With successful programs like Drug Court and Community Restorative Court, it’s clear that our community can be a leader in promoting restorative justice not punitive punishment. We should continue its expansion of CRC programs that provide mentoring opportunities for students throughout Dane County. I also support the creation of a Mental Health Diversion Court to address mental health issues with treatment and rehabilitation instead of punishment.

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