Two candidates are vying to replace Amanda Hall, who resigned from the Madison City Council’s District 3 seat on the Far East Side in February. The election is April 2. The term is two years.
Address: 4910 Goldfinch Drive
Family: Three children, ages 7, 11 and 13
Job: Consultant and project engineer for telecommunications companies
Prior elected office: None
Other public service: Volunteer, Adopt Ice Partnership Volunteers program through the Madison Parks Division helping maintain the ice rink at Heritage Heights Park; past volunteer, local youth hockey association; past member, the Covered Bridge subdivision and McClellan Park Neighborhood Association, now known as the North Star Neighborhood Association
Education: La Follette High School; bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, UW-Madison
Address: 5405 Sudbury Way
Job: Communications strategist
Prior elected office: None
Other public service: President, Wisconsin chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW); president, Madison chapter of NOW; communications director, Madison chapter of NOW; communications chairwoman, Dane County Voter ID Coalition; pro bono marketing director, Heartland Farm Sanctuary
Education: Master’s degree in business administration, Edgewood College; bachelor’s degree in arts, psychology and communication arts, UW-Madison
What makes you better qualified than your opponent for this position?
Cerro: In visiting with District 3 residents, they’re looking for a council member that will finally represent them and their concerns. They seek a council member who places their interests first, and not one operating on behalf of special interest groups that endorsed them. Residents want a council member that will respond regularly to inquiries, and who will assertively defend their concerns.
Lemmer: My advocacy experience, communications expertise, and education. My communications background means I will keep my district informed and engaged on the issues that impact them. My MBA gives me financial insight. I’m endorsed by Rep. Melissa Sargent, retired District 3 Ald. Lauren Cnare, and many other state legislators, council members and County Board supervisors.
What could the city do better and how would you help achieve that?
Cerro: Our elected officials can do better by representing their constituents first. Unfortunately, in recent years, Madisonians have been silenced behind the deafening sound of national special interest groups and industry associations pushing out their agenda. Madison has many talented and capable residents who all want Madison to be a city to emulate, and we need to be listening to them.
Lemmer: Everyone deserves to feel safe in their community. We can address public safety issues while ensuring everyone has opportunities to succeed. I’ll support programs to create engagements that build trust and collaboration among police, neighbors and community groups. We’ll also need to support after school programming, restorative justice, and area businesses that provide professional training opportunities for youth.
What would be your approach to development in Madison?
Cerro: Development needs to be well thought out, providing for the varied social, economic, and governmental needs of the city. Madison is constrained by the narrow limits of the Isthmus, and the heavy traffic burden placed upon it. Madison needs to look to spread development outward and expand development of the park and ride system in order to alleviate traffic congestion.
Lemmer: We need to be responsible, while strategically encouraging housing, commercial and business development throughout our city. Madison has a housing crisis: it’s expensive to buy, difficult to rent, and increasingly difficult for us to stay in our homes with rising assessments. I will work to make both market rate and affordable housing more available.