One newcomer is challenging the incumbent in the race for the 1st District seat on the Fitchburg City Council in the April 5 election. The term is for two years.
Address: 2532 Valley Forge Drive
Family: Married with two children
Job: Area property manager, Eenhoorn, LLC
Prior elected office: None
Other public service: Board of Directors member, Make Music Madison 2016-18; and founder and president, #SmallWins Foundation, 2022
Education: Bachelor’s degree in music education from UW-Platteville
Joe Maldonado (I)
Address: 4610 New Freedom Lane
Family: Married with two children
Job: Community youth development program manager, UW-Madison Division of Extension
Prior elected office: Fitchburg City Council, two years
Other public service: Treasurer, Allied Dunn’s Marsh Neighborhood Association; Social media and community engagement director, Luna’s Groceries; more than 15 years career experience in youth development, college access, adult learning and philanthropy through the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County, Madison Area Technical College, Madison Metropolitan School District and UW-Madison
Education: Bachelor’s degree in sociology and Afro American studies, UW-Madison; master’s degree in Afro American studies, UW-Madison; graduate certificate in sustainability leadership, Edgewood College
What unique expertise or experience would you bring to this office?
Fairchild: I have over 12 years of multifamily property management experience which includes the operational and financial oversight of tens of millions of dollars in assets across Wisconsin. Annually, I am responsible for budgeting multimillion dollar funds while simultaneous overseeing small communities. This experience is much like managing a small city. I have also owned and operated a small music production company since 2005 which has instilled the importance of local business and community in me.
Maldonado: I have over a decade of experience working with youth, families, and community organizations to provide creative solutions to large scale challenges. In my first term I introduced policy to make voting more accessible, create community spaces for youth, and center equity in city decision making. I have sponsored or organized events and giveaways in our parks and neighborhoods and have collaborated with our businesses, nonprofits, local governments, and schools to provide resources.
What is the most important issue in this election and how would you address it?
Fairchild: My primary goal with the Fitchburg City Council is to keep the objective of city government in perspective. The most important thing to me will be to ensure basic public services are met while assuring a safe, affordable, middle-class family lifestyle is achievable in Fitchburg.
Maldonado: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increase in social isolation, financial insecurity and community violence in Fitchburg and beyond. We must take a public health approach to violence prevention, which includes supporting healthy and thriving neighborhoods, collecting and disseminating reliable data, and strengthening the capacity of people and organizations to coordinate violence prevention efforts.
What is a new idea you have for making local government more efficient?
Fairchild: All too frequently outside influence impacts the course of local government. There should be more time spent listening to the needs of the middle-class and working families in Fitchburg. I will listen to all members of our wonderfully diverse community. I will keep things grounded locally without compromising city services.
Maldonado: We must make local government as accessible as possible in as many ways as possible. This may not be efficient or easy but it is just and effective. I am committed to ensuring our policies are shaped by those impacted by our decisions. This includes but is not limited to: targeted outreach and input seeking in specific communities, increasing diversity on committees and commissions, increasing advertising in large apartment complexes, and including youth in decision making/community engagement.
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