The city needs a shot of positive energy.
In a new Isthmus article by Joe Tarr, he quotes Ald. Scott Resnick on the city's politics: "We could have a conversation about Madison that doesn't involve Dave and Paul. We don't have to have the 'Paul position' or the 'Dave position.'"
He's referring there to current Mayor Paul Soglin and former mayor me.
I think Resnick is exaggerating a little bit. Paul Soglin is mayor. His positions on issues matter. I'm a blogger. On a good day my thoughts on issues might make for interesting reading.
Nonetheless, Resnick is absolutely right about his underlying point -- it's time to move beyond two guys who, by next April's mayoral election, will have been mayor for a combined 26 years.
Don't get me wrong. I loved being mayor. I'm deeply grateful to the people of Madison for giving me a chance to do that job for eight years. I badly wanted to keep going. But when that didn't happen, I adjusted and moved on to other things that I enjoy very much. I don't want to go back, and Madison shouldn't want to go back either.
We need new ideas, a fresh perspective, and a shot of positive energy. The city wouldn't benefit from Paul and I trading the mayor's office back and forth. It would benefit from opening up the door to a new generation of leadership.
And that's exactly what Scott Resnick represents. If that sounds like an endorsement, it's not. I also like Ald. Shiva Bidar-Sielaff very much, as well as former Ald. Bridget Maniaci, both of whom are considering a run. And I don't think Noble Wray, former Madison police chief and current interim director of the Urban League, has ruled out a race either. Wray, who is my age, proves that a new generation of leadership isn't necessarily just about how many years you’ve got behind you. It's about perspective.
In fact, I hope there's a crowded primary -- in which I will not endorse a candidate because I like all of the potential challengers -- so that we can have a good, spirited discussion about our future as a community. But however that turns out, I hope it's the future that we embrace.