“What will you two do if you are elected to the council....?” A great question that we've heard as we walked the town talking to residents.
Many of the issues we are hearing from residents are consistent across previous elections and are left undone. We think fresh ideas and new energy combined with a sense of urgency are needed on the Borough Council.
Bring Balance Back to the Council
First, we will establish a balanced and transparent council, and ensure a rigorous and thorough discussion in closed and open door council session so that Denis, Ron and other members of the council, as a team, make the best decision that affect all residents. The current council is five Democrats and one Republican and our mayor is Democrat, and the lack of balance is an issue.
Keep Madison Affordable
Second, we both are fiscal conservatives and believe in sustainable development. We will work to make choices to keep taxes and fees in check, and will work to ensure the decision made today are on the right path to keep Madison affordable for those who live here, those who choose to retire in Madison and our new residents that choose to make Madison their homes. We will work to ensure development is intentional and sustainable and maintains the character of Madison that we all enjoy. As you have already noted in a prior news release, too many seniors are worried about their ability to continue living here.
Our position has been that the borough should tax only what is necessary to provide residents with the excellent services they demand and to maintain and invest in our infrastructure. We recommend that the Borough Council keep borrowing to a minimum.
How Will We Do That?
To achieve this goal, we pledge to work on a variety of practical measures, 1) Continuing and expanding the borough's participation in shared services agreements with other municipalities, working with the county and directly with other municipalities 2) Building closer ties with the Board of Education to enhance shared services opportunities within the borough 3) Continuing strong oversight of our capital improvement projects, ensuring wise investments that can allow us to do more with less 4) Encouraging public-private partnerships, like our proposed Madison STEM Community Program, the Madison Athletic Foundation, and the Madison Education Foundation. These types of initiatives help keep the cost to taxpayers lower and may allow us to enhance programs that we otherwise would not have been able to afford.
Help Our Businesses Thrive
Thirdly, we will work to help all business thrive, and in particular, to revitalize the Historic Downtown so that we have a diverse and vibrant economy. There are simple things we would do to make sure this happens, such as providing sufficient funding the for Department of Public Works to keep up the weeding and cleaning of the pavers.
One important specific item to note, if we want to attract restaurants into existing downtown spaces then Madison needs to create a streamlined and simple way for a building owner or restaurant entrepreneur to modify a structure to comply with state health requirements. If someone wants to add a bathroom not accessible through the kitchen to comply with State Health Regulations, then we need to make the task simple, inexpensive, and cut the red tape!
Increase Visitor Traffic
We will also strive to increase visitor traffic through an innovative approach to bring the ever increasing number of office workers along the Park Avenue corridor into town. And we will tackle the parking issues.
STEM Community Initiative
Fourthly, We've described in other forums our STEM community initiative. This initiative is an inexpensive way the town can support our local schools and foster collaboration with the local universities, the public library and the students (young, old and in between) to learn about and participate in new and innovative technologies such as 3D printing, robotics, and artificial intelligence.
Biofuel Recycling Facility; Solar Power
We also will champion and work on the council to convince the other members of the governing body to support a biofuel recycling facility. The financial cost to the borough would be negligible and possibly zero if we applied for funding from the National Science Foundation for this innovative proposal. Specifically, Madison would provide a small amount of space at the Madison Department of Public Works facility, roughly the size of one or two parking spots. Initial calculations suggest that approximately 120 gallons per week of the Madison needs for diesel could come from recycled bio fuel at the small facility. Imagine a program that converts the waste product from just one or two restaurants into bio-fuel.
We also would champion architecturally attractive renewable solar power to provide renewable energy to our Library and Museum of Early Trades and Crafts.
We are also listening to the concerns of residents, many of whom are worried about the threat of overdevelopment. By being on the Council we will be able to have more influence in the "advise and consent" process to Planning and Zoning Board appointments. We can bring a more analytical and critical perspective to the process.
Those are just a few of the items Hendrickson and Schreiber would do when elected to the Borough Council.
We hope you vote on November 7. Please choose the candidates you think will build the best Madison. We ask for your vote for the team of Hendrickson and Schreiber.