Outgoing County Supervisors Honored for Service
April 08, 2016
County Board Chair Sharon Corrigan 608-333-2285
County Board Also Declines to Renew Airport Billboard Lease
Three outgoing County Board Supervisors -- Kyle Richmond, Cynda Solberg and Leland Pan -- were honored in a special order of business at the Board’s meeting Thursday.
Former Supervisor Dianne Hesselbein, now a member of the Wisconsin State Assembly, was on hand to present plaques to each of the departing supervisors, each of whom decided not to seek re-election.
“I’ve gotten a new appreciation and perspective for what goes on in county government,” said Solberg, who represented the Cottage Grove area for eight years.
“Local government has really given me quite an education,” said Richmond, who completed 14 years of service representing Madison’s near west and near south sides. “I learned that people want to be heard. I want to congratulate all the people here who show up at meetings and don’t get paid much and just try to make Dane County a better place. We do have power in this room. All of us have power. You especially on the County Board are able to affect people’s lives.”
“Now that I’m no longer really in politics I can be honest, and the honest truth is that I’ve learned from and appreciated my time with every single one of you,” said Pan, who represented the UW campus for four years.
In other business, the County Board approved the purchase of a multi-family housing unit on Raymond Road for $270,000 and the lease of that property to Nehemiah Center for Urban Leadership Development to provide re-entry housing. The funds come from the $2 million set aside in the County budget to increase access to affordable housing.
The Board also narrowly voted not to renew a lease for three Adams Outdoor Advertising billboards on Dane County Regional Airport property. The 18-16 vote, with two abstentions, came after the Eken Neighborhood Association and Sherman Neighborhood Association both urged the County Board not to renew the lease. The lease provided about $41,000 in revenue and about $65,000 worth of free advertising for the airport last year, but many supervisors and neighborhood residents cited recent neighborhood improvements and the negative visual and environmental impacts of the billboards.
“It comes down to listening to our constituents,” said Supervisor Paul Rusk, who represents the area. “The people who live there, who have to look at those billboards every day, spoke loudly and clearly: they don’t want them there anymore. Thanks to the excellent leadership and management of County staff, the airport is on firm financial footing and this relatively small loss of revenue will not affect the County as a whole. It was a healthy debate and I think the Board ultimately did the right thing.”