Dane County Board members who take office this spring will face daunting tasks. The coronavirus outbreak will demand experience, vision and flexibility from board members as they wrestle with the challenge of maintaining public services and public safety at a time when budgets have been stretched to the breaking point.
We’ve been impressed by the steady approach of County Executive Joe Parisi as the crisis has developed. But he will need a strong board to work with him in the months to come. Here are our endorsements:
DISTRICT 5: Elena Haasl
Both Elena Haasl and José Rea are able and progressive contenders. Our nod goes to Haasl, a UW sophomore, double majoring in political science and community and environmental sociology. She’s a student running in a district where students form the largest constituency and she has good ideas for keeping the lines of communications open.
DISTRICT 25: Tim Kiefer
A member of the board since 2012, Tim Kiefer is a leader on environmental issues. He’s also a hands-on constituent representative for Waunakee and surrounding communities, especially when it comes to highway maintenance and snowplowing, advocating for the North Mendota Parkway and improvements to Highway M, and championing upgrades for Schumacher Farm County Park. Accessible and engaged, Kiefer merits another term.
DISTRICT 26: Kevin Cunningham
An Eagle Scout who served as a Hospital Corpsman in the Navy and is now a scientist, Kevin Cunningham is the kind of candidate who posts “The ultimate handwashing guide with visual to show you why it's necessary” on his Facebook page. He’s ready to serve in this critical moment. And he’s a committed progressive whose platform highlights commitments to fight for affordable housing, cleaning up the lakes and watching out for the most vulnerable. His opponent, Holly Hatcher, a registered nurse with solid progressive instincts, would also be a fine board member. Our endorsement goes to Cunningham because we think he’d be an especially strong addition to the board at this time.
DISTRICT 31: Jerry Bollig
Having served 18 years on the Oregon Village Board and eight years on the county board, Jerry Bollig has a commitment to public service and an ability to make the connections between local and country government that are even more important now. He works hard on the board, is engaged with county department heads and staff and merits reelection.
DISTRICT 37: Kate McGinnity
Southeastern Dane County was well served by retiring Supervisor Bob Salov. Salov’s deep ties to Cambridge and surrounding communities made him an informed and effective advocate for rural and small-town Dane County. The board needs someone who can carry that work forward. We think Kate McGinnity can do that. A former public school special education teacher and founding member of the Cambridge Action group who has a long track record of volunteering with local groups, McGinnity is a progressive thinker with a passion for community service. She’s the right pick.
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