With incumbent Jason C. Gonzalez not seeking re-election, Jay Allen and Aaron Richardson are vying for Seat 5 on the Fitchburg City Council on April 4.
Address: 3305 Leopold Way
Family: Son, 13; Daughter, 9
Job: Service Manager
Political experience: Fitchburg City Council 16+ years; mayor two years; served on nearly every city committee
Other public service: President, Fitchburg Days
Education: Milwaukee School of Engineering, UW-Madison
Address: 2676 McGaw Road
Family: Not married, no kids
Political experience: Nine years on Fitchburg Parks Recreation & Forestry Commission, including four as chairman
Education: Bachelor’s degree from UW-Green Bay; master’s in business administration from UW-Whitewater
Email or website: email@example.com
List three of your top priorities
Allen: 1.) Controlling property taxes. 2.) Improving public safety. 3.) Protecting the environment under increased development pressure.
Richardson: 1.) Smart growth and development throughout the city. 2.) Keeping taxes low and living in Fitchburg affordable. 3.) Maintaining and enhancing the recreational opportunities available in the community.
If you could reverse one city action, what would that be?
Allen: Speculative questions about changing the timeline are always a challenge, but if I had to pick one, I think I would choose to change how Orchard Ridge was built.
Richardson: I would revise the zoning codes in Fitchburg to ensure there is a diversity of development. I’m concerned the current zoning encourages only high-density development. I’m also concerned current zoning will create developments that will eventually look like parts of the city that are facing challenges. We aren’t learning anything from current issues like not enough park area in some neighborhoods and too many apartments concentrated in one area.
How would you change the way the city handles development?
Allen: Generally, the city is improving its approach to development, although there have been efforts in recent years to wander from our original commitments. We have a good comprehensive plan, and we should stick to it.
Richardson: The biggest change I’d like to see is how we work with developers to encourage more development throughout the city. We need to increase our tax base, bring more jobs to the city and continue to have neighborhoods that people want to move into. We need to do a better job working with companies to ensure a winning situation for residents, future residents and businesses.