In a joint announcement, Democratic candidates for Borough Council, Council President Carmela Vitale and Downtown Development Commissioner and Secretary John Hoover are pleased to announce their goals for the 2017 campaign.
The candidates state: “As long time Madison residents and community volunteers, we bring the needed skills, experience, creative ideas, and approach to municipal government that Madison residents expect.
The current Council has put the borough on a solid financial footing with a clear, systematic approach to planning. Budgets are now well under control, municipal tax increases have been kept to a minimum, our AAA credit rating has been protected and borough services are improved. Working together, we intend to build on that foundation and deliver residents the quality of life they expect.
This means we will:
- Stimulate healthy growth through
- A balanced, solution-driven revitalization plan for all of Madison’s commercial districts–our historic downtown, our east and west ends of town, and our side streets – that fills empty storefronts with consumer-attractive, competitive businesses and contemplates policies that benefit the borough, residents, developers and business owners.
- A commitment to the Open Space funding that protects what makes Madison unique by preserving open space and our historic public buildings and provides adequate facilities and an environment suited to both passive and active recreation.
- Policies that encourage home owners and developers to maintain Madison’s stock of historic homes and neighborhoods and preserve our borough’s character.
- A commitment to equitable borough housing for a future that includes our seniors, our children, and our borough employees, knowing that diversity of incomes, ages, and backgrounds strengthens the whole community.
- Policies and continued infrastructure improvements that the make Madison streets and sidewalks safer and more inviting for walkers and bikers, our seniors and children.
- Continue investing in Madison’s infrastructure – its roads, sidewalks, equipment, facilities, sewers, water mains and electric distribution network. We understand that infrastructure ages and that we must constantly invest in its renewal in order to stay ahead of this aging process. We believe that this is best accomplished on a sustainable pay-as- you-go basis utilizing available utility surpluses.
- Celebrate Madison as a ‘Welcoming Community.’ We fully support the February 6 Welcoming Community Resolution that ensures, ‘equal, respectful and dignified treatment of all people, regardless of their immigration status’ and reminds us that ‘he Borough of Madison has long embraced and welcomed individuals of diverse racial, ethnic, religious and national backgrounds.’ The safety and health of residents is our priority and we will participate in future community building activities that build on the words and spirit of the resolution.
- Move to full conformance with the borough’s Strategic Planning guidelines by continuing to reduce dependence on utility surpluses and other non-recurring revenues for funding operations. We intend to grow qualified residents’ participation in the electric rebate program and, as in 2017, we will return excess utility surplus to rate payers through dividend rebates on their electric bills. The performance of the utility and borough finances will determine the annual amount.
- Expand regional cooperation, like the Joint Municipal Court and Joint Meeting and our Board of Health and borough Information/Technology services that we provide to neighboring communities. These initiatives reduce costs and improve performance for all concerned and encourage collaborative action.
- Advocate for sustainability and a healthy environment, aggressively incorporating new technologies such as LED street and parking lot lighting, the borough’s discounted home energy assessment program, “smart” electric meter reading, and solar power electric generation. Increase awareness, prevention and education of mental health and substance abuse – Madison is a Stigma-Free Town.”
Vitale and Hoover concluded, “We are committed to knocking on every door in Madison before Election Day and look forward to continuing to meet and listen to the concerns of Madison voters. We are all about making things happen for the good of Madison and our community. Recent Borough Councils have accomplished much for Madison, delivering dependable services in a fiscally responsible manner. But there is still a lot to be done. Together with our colleagues on Council, we will do our very best to continue to deliver the kind of good and effective municipal government that Madison voters expect.”