My day job is mayor of Fitchburg. I’ve lived in Fitchburg my entire life and after I bought a house here in 2004, I decided I wanted to be more involved. I was in student government during college and as someone who envisions being in Fitchburg for a long time, it only made sense to get involved.
I started on the parks and rec board, where I served for nine years, and later spent a couple years on the city council. Last year I decided to run for mayor.
It’s an especially rewarding time to be mayor as we’re currently in the middle of refining Fitchburg’s comprehensive plan, which is something that happens every 10 years. The last plan was very well done—they did an exceptional job forecasting what the future held for our community—so it’s mostly a matter of refining. We’re hoping to have this finished by March 2020 so it’s wrapped before the next election (which is in April 2020). Balanced growth is a critical goal.
I’ve enjoyed the many opportunities this job offers to connect with residents who care about Fitchburg as much as I do. I really enjoy my “coffee with the mayor” sessions. These are a great way to have one-on-one conversations in a setting that feels friendlier than a big meeting.
The job is a balancing act—both in terms of meeting the needs of my constituents and in terms of not letting it take over my life. It’s not a full-time job, but it’s easy to spend a lot of time on it because there are so many important things happening in Fitchburg every day.
My most memorable caffeine would be the memories associated with sleeping over at my maternal grandparent’s house. No matter what time I woke up in the morning, my grandma would already be up reading the paper and drinking her coffee.
My current caffeine of choice is none—I’m not a coffee drinker. I do enjoy strawberry smoothies!
My favorite place for caffeine is Oasis Café. It’s near the mayor’s office: I call it Conference Room O. They have great beverages and really good food.
The person I’d love to share a cup of caffeine with are my grandparents. They were a huge part of my life growing up and I have so many good memories of the times I spent with them.
World problem that could be solved with the right amount of caffeine: would be a hard choice as there are so many to choose from, even in a community as prosperous as Dane County. Homelessness, issues around kids and the environment are just a few. I’ve been trying to build relationships with the mayors throughout Dane County. We have similar concerns and issues and the more we can work together, the better off we’ll all be. We’ve had one session and are hoping to have another in the fall. I was really pleased to see that people appreciated the big picture and wanted to work together.