Isthmus sent email questionnaires to each candidate for Madison mayor. Here is what they had to say about themselves, why they're running and what they hope to achieve.
John R. Blotz
Current employment: Construction Management Supervisor, City of Madison - Engineering Division.
Relevant experience (in 75 words or less): I have no previous political experience.
Please answer the following questions in 100 words or less.
1. Why are you running?
I am a life-long resident of Madison. I love this city for what it is, not what it could be. I get tired of people moving to Madison and then trying to turn it into Portland, or Berkeley, or Amsterdam. Instead of touring Europe searching for new ways to spend our taxes, I'll stay right here and watch the shop. The mayor's most important job should be managing the business of the city and right now we have too many pet projects to do that effectively.
2. What do you think is the single most important issue facing the city of Madison?
We have had to keep collecting more taxes because we can't control the spending.
3. Name an official recently elected in Wisconsin whom you admire?
Why? I can't honestly say I admire any of them. If I were elected mayor, I would make a genuine effort to work with everyone in the best interest of the city.
4. Can you name two specific areas in which you think city spending could be cut?
There are plenty of opportunities to cut spending without massive lay-offs, wage cuts and eliminating employee benefits. Alienating the people that get the work done is not the answer. We shouldn't accept infrastructure dedications from real estate developments until the city can cover maintenance costs with the new tax revenue generated from the development. Currently, the city incurs the incremental costs to provide police and fire protection, maintain streets, parks, and utilities while the lots sit vacant and the new tax base can't support basic services. The city should stop buying property for more than it's worth. This is often done to benefit a small population and not the interests of the city as a whole.
5. Identify one or two areas in which the city could raise new revenue.
A government enterprise? The city should not be competing with private business. The functions and services provided by city government need to be funded with taxes. That mechanism is in place, the problem is that we continually spend more than we have.
6. Name an initiative or program that you would launch?
We've got too many already. How about a balanced budget with no tax increases?
7. If you were forced to drop out of the race unexpectedly, which of the remaining candidates would you vote for and why? I need to learn more about the lesser-known candidates before making that decision.