Maureen Byrne Statement

byrne_headshotPeople in Madison put down deep roots.  My husband Tom and I moved here with our first son and another on the way back in 1992.  For many of us, T-Ball was a right of passage.  Youth sports in general were wonderful places to encounter new and old friends.  The Madison Community Pool was where we first gave our children a little freedom – knowing that there were many eyes watching over the pool.  

How do we maintain this quality of life, make it accessible to the next generation, and continue to welcome new residents?  What can we do to make it welcoming to all?  The answer is:  we continue what we’ve been doing and strive to do even better.

I am proud of the work I’ve done for Madison since I was elected to the Borough Council.  And as I look ahead, I am focused on these areas: Keeping Madison as wonderful for the next person that moves in as it was for my family, managing our complex budget with as much care as we manage our own personal budgets and the quality of life issues that impact us all such as parking and open spaces. 

Crafting the budget for the town has been an incredible opportunity for me to understand the governing of Madison on a micro/macro level.  There are so many things that we’ve become accustomed to – garbage removal, recycling, a wonderful library, dedicated, professional Police and Fire Departments, a Department of Public Works that maintains our roads and our utilities.  In the not too distant past, the borough faced leaner times.  We saw cuts in the number of hours the library was open, reduced trash collections and capital improvements, like road reconstruction, upgrading utilities, and improving the sewer infrastructure were put off because of a lack of funding

Fast forward to 2019, and the picture is very different.   As a result of the Strategic Planning Initiative, convened by my running mate, Mayor Bob Conley, and chaired by then Councilmember Ben Wolkowitz, the Borough now has a roadmap and action plan that have allowed us to amortize the cost of large capital projects and purchases, while maintaining the services and personnel that we count on to provide them.  In 2019, as a result of a well informed and discussed budget process, tax increases were held at 0%, and the electric utility dividend, which is payable to our users as a rate reduction, was increased to $2 million.  Now we are talking about how to manage the surplus in the budget!  

What will we be talking about between now and November?  Parking, affordable housing, acquisition of more turf fields, shared services, to name a few.  On all of these issues we have a positive story to tell.  

I have learned a tremendous amount over the last three years, and I’m proud of my ability to work with all my colleagues on Council.  I have made a real difference as the Council’s Community Affairs liaison and now as Public Works liaison.  As a result of my work on the budget as Finance alternate, I’ve been appointed by the Mayor to study and make recommendations on how to handle the budget surplus.

Madison works as well as it does by involving volunteers – elected and not – in all its areas.  I’ve had the opportunity to work directly for Madison, its families, children, and older adults over the past 27 years.  I have served as Chair of the Friends of the Madison Public Library and as a member of the Downtown Development committee.  I have been a Co-chair of the “Taste of Madison” event and am a long-time member of Madison’s Thursday Morning Club.  If re-elected, I promise to continue advocating for all of Madison, without labeling or compromise, because that is who I am and that is what Madison deserves in its representatives.