Friends for Scott
What's shaping up is a race of the past versus the future.
Starting at six in the morning on Saturday, August 30, mayoral candidate Scott Resnick will ride his bicycle around the streets of Madison. His aim is to hit each of the city's 20 aldermanic districts over 20 hours that day, and raise campaign donations in $20 increments along the way. As part of this fundraiser, Resnick is inviting people to ride along with him or to meet him at one of stops along the route.
It's a brilliant way to kick off a campaign. Contrast that with Paul Soglin's first fundraiser for the 2015 election -- a few weeks ago, the mayor held a closed event exclusively for Madison real estate developers.
Then there's the cameras-on-cops idea. Last week, Resnick introduced a resolution requiring that Madison police officers wear body cameras while on duty in the community. The idea is to create more accountability in the wake of several recent police shootings and the ugly situation in Ferguson, Missouri.
Make no mistake, the Madison Police Department can in no way be confused with the cops in Ferguson, but Resnick’s proposal has a lot of merit just the same. The situation surrounding a fatal shooting of Paul Heenan by then MPD officer Stephen Heimsness on Madison's east side might have been clarified had he been wearing a camera.
Mayor Soglin's response? He sniffed that the resolution was "superfluous." And he claimed that the police department "does not wait on a candidate for mayor to make decisions about implementation of new programs or technology." That comes off as imperious even for Soglin.
It also turns out the mayor is wrong. The cops aren't anywhere near to presenting the city with a plan to outfit themselves with cameras. Apparently, maybe the MPD does need a candidate for mayor to prod them along toward it.
All this comes before former alder Bridget Maniaci has even started to actively campaign. She's at Carnegie Mellon finishing off a graduate degree in public management, and will be back in town for good in several weeks when she'll begin to campaign in earnest.
It's worth noting that the combined age of Resnick and Maniaci (he's 27 and she's 30) is more than a decade younger than Soglin, who would turn 70 shortly after beginning another term next April.
What's shaping up is a race of the past versus the future, of new ideas versus the same old same old, of youthful optimism versus a darker view of the world. A lot of folks, including me, had hoped that Ald. Shiva Bidar-Sielaff or former Madison Police Chief Noble Wray would have gotten into the race. But it appears increasingly unlikely that either of them will step forward.
That's okay. Madison has at least one candidate, and maybe two, who will offer a stark contrast to the city's current leadership.