District 4 alder Mike Verveer will be going for an eighth term on the council.
It's official: Downtown Ald. Mike Verveer plans to run for re-election next spring.
"I've just been really flattered and overwhelmed by the number of folks who've asked me to consider serving one more term," says Verveer, who has been on the council for 14 years. "It's been very heartwarming. It just got to me."
Verveer has struggled to balance his job as a Dane County assistant district attorney with his aldermanic duties, but in the end decided he couldn't yet leave the council.
"The downtown is still in a somewhat fragile state," he says. "We've done a lot of positive things over the years, but there's still a lot of work to be done."
Meanwhile, Ald. Robbie Webber is calling it quits. "There are other things I want to do," says Webber, mentioning her interest in starting a pedestrian/bicycle advocacy group. "There's been good bicycle advocacy, but pedestrians are the core of a good transportation system."
Three other council incumbents -- Eli Judge, Libby Monson and Tim Gruber -- are also not seeking reelection.
Meanwhile, Ald. Brenda Konkel, who has been unopposed in the last two elections, faces at least two challengers: Perennial candidate Dennis DeNure, who last ran for County Board, and Adam Walsh, a 26-year-old attorney originally from Milwaukee. Both have filed papers with the city clerk.
"One of the big roles of an alder is to make sure everything in the district is going well," says Walsh, who faults Konkel for ignoring businesses, including the shops along East Johnson Street. "You can't just look solely at your pet projects."
Walsh also criticizes Konkel for her recent proposal to stop Madison police from fining the homeless for urinating in public. "We need to look at the issue reasonably and not so sensationally," says Walsh.
Konkel says she has made sure to involve district businesses "whenever big things are happening. To me the businesses [on East Johnson] are pretty self sufficient."
And she says her proposed ordinance on public urination is part of a nationwide movement to decriminalize the homeless. "Those people have a hard enough time the way it is," she says. "We don't really need to be adding to their problems."