Two people are running for mayor of Verona in the April 3 election in a race that features no incumbent. The term is for two years.
Address: 770 Aspen Ave.
Family: Spouse Lisa Pulver (deceased); son Robert Beres (deceased); and granddaughters Lucy and Eva
Job: Owner, Beres Financial Services
Prior elected office: Verona Area School District Board of Education, 15 years including 8 years as president
Other public service: Intergovernmental Development Advisory Committee, 15 years; St. James Congregational Council, two terms
Education: B.A., history, UW-Madison
Address: 410 Melody Lane
Family: Wife Cheryl and son Tristan
Job: Technical writer/documentation control
Prior elected office: Verona City Council member, District 3
Other public service: Senior Citizens Commission, Public Works, Fitchrona EMS
Education: B.A., political science and history, Valparaiso University, 2003
List three of your top priorities.
Beres: 1. Promote responsible development in Verona. That includes filling the existing developments with compatible and complementary businesses with good-paying jobs. Completing the approvals of proposed developments focusing on downtown and West Verona Avenue. Preparing for future long-term development. 2. Maintain and support our great public services including police, fire, library, parks and public works, which preserve the great quality of life in Verona. 3. Foster a positive relationship with the Verona Area School District.
Diaz: My three priorities are as follows: 1. Keeping Verona’s hometown feel even as we grow by supporting responsible development, including great development in our downtown. 2. Increasing transparency so that people know what is going on with city government. 3. Supporting our great city services like the Senior Center, the library, Community Paramedicine and 24-hour fire coverage.
If you could reverse one city action, what would that be?
Beres: The one thing that most people in Verona regret is the decision to raze the historic Sharpe House.
Diaz: The City Council should have conducted negotiations with the school district regarding the school road in open session from the beginning. I voted against going into closed session because the public has a right to know what’s going on. Open discussions would have avoided confusion between the school district and the city and made the process a lot smoother.
How would you change the way the city handles development?
Beres: The city needs to be more proactive in attracting the types of business that people want to see located in Verona. That includes the continuing attempt to bring good-paying jobs to our already active Liberty and Technology Parks. As mayor I will be a leader in the effort to attract biotech, health tech and other types of desirable businesses to the region. Our new position of economic development director can help in this effort.
Diaz: I’d make sure that people’s concerns are taken into account and that development serves Verona. I’d also continue to focus on improving our downtown, attracting development with family-dining options, and development that’s good for people who want to walk and bike. We should also provide a place for entrepreneurs to start new job-creating businesses, especially with Epic in town.