Thank you for the opportunity to serve District 11. I’ve lived in Madison for about 10 years, currently in Hill Farms. I’ve experienced our community through the eyes of an undergraduate student, a young professional working in non-profit, an academic, and a volunteer. During the day, I am an advocate for safety net clinics in our state, working with state policymakers and partners to ensure that all residents have access to quality health care, regardless of their ability to pay or insurance status. I’ve previously worked on local public health evaluation projects, rural workforce development, and Medicaid policy. After serving an AmeriCorps service term in California, I returned to Wisconsin and worked directly with underserved teens in Madison high schools, helping them find and keep their first jobs. On the County Board, I serve on the Public Protection & Judiciary Committee, the Area Agency on Aging Board, and serve as a liaison with the Vera Institute of Justice. When I’m not at work or engaged in Board activities, you can find me at the Odana dog park with my rescue, Roux. Please reach out at any time and I look forward to working with you.
Sharing updates on a few timely issues in this blog post, including:
With every new term, new Board and Committee appointments are made. While I’m chairing the Public Protection & Judiciary Committee, I am also thrilled to be appointed to the Dane County Food Council, and a City of Madison committee related to long-range transportation planning. Members of the public can also apply to serve on Boards, find details here.
As always, please reach out if you’d like to connect on an issue or share ideas. I hope to see you at the Meet & Greet on Saturday, June 11! Cheers,
Dane County Board Supervisor District 11
Sup. Aaron Collins and I are hosting a Meet & Greet with Local Supervisors on Saturday, June 11.
Where? Bordner Park Shelter, 5610 Elder Pl. (South Rosa Road & Elder Place)
When? Saturday, June 11, 3:00 - 4:30 PM.
No RSVP necessary.
Aaron represents the adjacent district to the west of district 11, including Spring Harbor, Glen Oak Hills, and the western edge of Hill Farms. We look forward to providing county updates and discussing local issues with you. See you then!
The County Board held its first in-person meeting last week, and we will be implementing permanent hybrid meetings going forward. Members of the public will have an opportunity to join meetings via phone, Zoom, or in person. This is an excellent step forward in increasing accessibility to public forums. Find all upcoming public meetings here: https://dane.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx.
The County Board also took action on several key issues in the last month. We passed a resolution to pursue an expansion of the Dane County landfill across from the current site. Details about the proposed project are here. Our recent vote is the “end of the beginning”, I’d say, as it allows the County to move forward with environmental impact analysis and other necessary DNR steps, but is by no means the final word on the project.
We also recently allocated funds for an independent investigation of the Henry Vilas Zoo. After media reports and staff turnover, I agree it is prudent for the County to support a third-party look at the climate and culture at the zoo, and hopefully reinforce public trust of a cherished local resource. WPR article here: https://www.wpr.org/dane-county-board-orders-outside-investigation-racism-animal-mistreatment-madison-zoo. We expect a report by October, in time to inform our annual fall budget process. I am also concerned about a recent article related to the Medical Examiner’s Office. The expose was just published in late May, and we have yet to take action on the issue, though I am trying to learn more at this time.
I am honored to support recent resolutions that were passed at the Board. Resolutions are important as, even though they have no direct impact on policy or operations, they allow us an opportunity to voice our perspective on important issues and stand up for our community. Recent resolutions I supported included:
Last week, I attended a joint meeting of the Lakes & Watershed Commission and the Environmental Committee at Babcock County Park. This is a wonderful spot for fishing, kayaking, and more. The Parks Division is planning a fully accessible walking path at the site.
Finally, the County will be considering the latest effort to allocate additional funds to the Jail Consolidation Project. Find a recap of the situation here. I also Chaired a joint meeting of the Public Works & Transportation Committee and the Public Protection & Judiciary Committee to provide updates on the project for Supervisors and the public in late May, that recording is available here. The latest proposal would cover the $9.8 million gap between the most recent budgeted and approved project and a shortfall due primarily to basic inflation.
I encourage any individual interested in the jail project to review this memo from the County Controller on fiscal considerations for the project. Without the additional funding, the project is likely to go to referendum this November, which at this point, I would find to be the likely outcome given a lack of consensus on a path forward among ¾ members of the County Board, which is what’s needed to allocate additional funds.
Sharing a few additional resources for you:
By spotlighting a more participatory path forward, all of us are called upon to be a part of the solution by adopting a new water ethic. Renew the Blue points to specific actions that, if collectively implemented, will unleash the untapped potential of our lakes in ways that have so far proved elusive.