With only a week to go before the April 3 election, Mayor Dave Cieslewicz and challenger Ray Allen make a final plea for your vote.
Each promises a safer, brighter and -- in one case -- rain-free future.
This week, Isthmus asked both candidates to offer two potential future timelines.
If you win, what will the city be like in four years? If your opponent wins, what will the city be like in four years?
The question we have to ask ourselves is, "Are we better off now than we were four years ago?"
- Violent crime is skyrocketing (up 16.5% this year).
- Poverty is rapidly increasing (42% poverty rate in Madison schools, 15% poverty rate in Madison, which is more than 30,000 people).
- Our drinking water is brown in some parts of town, and delivery of basic services has slipped to unacceptable levels.
My opponent shows little interest in fighting poverty in any meaningful way, and he only listens to concerns during election years.
To fight the increase in violent crime, my Public Safety 10-10 plan will add a minimum of 10 additional police officers a year for the next 10 years, not just replace retirees as the current mayor has done.
My education plan helps families and individuals living in poverty improve their quality of life.
And as mayor I will make delivery of city services, including clean and safe drinking water, a priority for city hall.
Over the next four years, Madison will continue to grow and become more diverse.
We will continue finding innovations like automated recycling to help us serve the needs of our growing community, while keeping property taxes in check.
We will have made progress in addressing our transportation needs for the future.
We will have more police officers, and another fire station.
If fundraising goes well, we will have a second pool, and a new Central Library.
Regionalism will continue to take root, and ideas like a regional fire service will be getting a closer look.
Most importantly, we will continue to enjoy our high quality of life, despite continued growth and the challenges it brings.
But that's not all. If I win the sun will shine every day, it will only rain at night, the Badgers will win the NCAA tournament every year, your kids will get better grades, you will get better grades, reality TV will go out of fashion, Brett Favre will play another four years, you will win the lottery, you will lose weight and have thicker, more luxurious hair (naturally), and your life will generally be the best it has ever been.