Two candidates are vying to represent District 4 on the Sun Prairie City Council. The term is for two years. The election is April 5. (I) denotes incumbent.
Deanna Nelson Weber
Address: 1334 Overlook Pass
Family: Three children: son, 19, at UW-Madison; son, 17, senior; and daughter, 15, freshman, both at Sun Prairie schools
Job: Medical device representative, train robotic surgeons
Political experience: None
Other public service: Volunteer at VFW & Sunshine Place; tutored children in inner-city Milwaukee; mission work in the U.S. and overseas
Education: Bachelor’s degree in business administration, UW-Madison
Mary Polenske (I)
Address: 1809 Chadsworth Drive
Job: Retired in 2008 following 15 years as the director of Sun Prairie EMS
Political experience: Six years as District 4 alderwoman, council president the past three years
Other public service: Currently Transit Commission chair, BID Board (council representative), Fire Advisory Board, Fire Executive Committee, and Personnel Committee
Education: Madison College, med tech; extensive coursework in emergency medical care and management
What makes you the most qualified person for this position?
Nelson Weber: My career in the medical field has prepared me for elective office because I collaborate daily with different types of people and personalities to get things accomplished. Surgeons demand perfection and only work with representatives that are honest, know the issues, and are thoroughly prepared with concrete, objective evidence. These same qualities should be expected of a City Council member.
Polenske: I was elected to City Council in 2010 and am now running for my fourth term. The past three years I have been elected by council members to council president. I have served on most every city committee or commission. I enjoy the challenges of city government and the opportunities of community service it allows me to provide.
How would you describe the council’s relationship with the mayor, and what would you change?
Nelson Weber: Not being on the council, that is hard for me to say, but as a citizen that recently spearheaded an effort to save our city’s ash trees, our mayor was very responsive and accommodating.
Polenske: Our mayor has a good working relationship with council members.
If you could reverse one city action, what would that be?
Nelson Weber: I would reverse the initial emerald ash borer policy that resulted in the removal of about 700 beautiful ash trees in our city. Thankfully, our grassroots effort (Facebook – Save Our Ash Sun Prairie) resulted in the remaining 600 healthy ash trees being treated, a plan that saves taxpayer dollars, keeps property values intact and is better for the environment.
Polenske: I would reverse the decision to not include the Comprehensive Plan update in the 2016 Budget. With the growth in Sun Prairie we need to invest in a new Comprehensive Plan.
— Samara Kalk Derby