The Natural Step Monona compiled this voter guide. The Natural Step Monona is a non-partisan, non-profit organization. It is not responsible for the accuracy of any statements made by the candidates. Candidates’ responses are printed in the order received.

Responses from Candidates for Council:

1. How will you support sustainable initiatives in the city’s operations?

Jim Busse

Jim Busse: Sustainable initiatives for the City often are initiated at the staff or committee level. A cost/benefit analysis considering both economic and social impact on our community should be done. If the social/economic impact is greater than the costs involved it would make sense to move forward. If not alternatives should be considered. This past term a re-lamping of several city facilities with LED lighting produced a quality product, had a break-even term of three years and a life expectancy that far exceed the break-even time frame. Considerable savings in energy were achieved. It got my support.

Doug Wood: No response from candidate.

Chad Speight: No response from candidate.

2. With the recent audit showing that we have 110 storm water outlets carrying unfiltered pollution – leaves, clippings, gasoline, oil, etc. – from our streets directly into Lake Monona, what should the city do and why?

Jim Busse: The storm sewer needs of Monona are already on the City’s radar. Repairs to infrastructure, detention basins, rain gardens and public education are some of the solutions that will come out of committees and staff reviewing this concern. While storm sewer issues have an impact on the quality of our water systems, Monona must also maintain an active voice in the related associations and county/state agencies that impact the Yahara lakes waterway. Their proposals to reduce phosphorus upstream will impact Lake Monona and the City must stay involved to make sure decisions are equitable.

Doug Wood: No response from candidate.

Chad Speight: No response from candidate.

3. What plans would you support to make Monona buildings more energy efficient and sustainable, and less wasteful of water and other resources?

Jim Busse: Renew Monona is a zero interest loan program that assists homeowners with improvements and energy efficiency during remodeling. Retiring TIF districts are targeted to fund this program. We need to make sure that it happens. For commercial improvements current codes and ordinances require improvements to storm water retention and green space. Encouraging the use of LEED guidelines will improve energy efficiency and sustainability. I would not require LEED Certification as the process adds cost and may discourage use of the guidelines. I’d rather see developers put their funds in sticks and bricks vs. a framed certificate in the lobby.

Doug Wood: No response from candidate.

Chad Speight: No response from candidate.

4. (Optional Question) What do you think your neighbors would say about you as a neighbor?

Jim Busse: No response from candidate.

Doug Wood: No response from candidate.

Chad Speight: No response from candidate.

Responses from Candidates for Mayor:

1. How will you support sustainable initiatives in the city’s operations?

Bob MillerBob Miller: As mayor, I will continue to promote sustainability by working with city staff focusing on projects such as LED street lighting, storm water retention enhancements, consideration of compressed natural gas for city vehicles and capital improvements that reduce energy consumption. I will continue to support the purchase of fuel efficient vehicles by all city departments. I will help promote our wonderful farmer’s market where I hold informal mayor office hours each Sunday morning. I will also promote city wide sustainability efforts such as 2012’s Year of Water initiative.

2. With the recent audit showing that we have 110 storm water outlets carrying unfiltered pollution – leaves, clippings, gasoline, oil, etc. – from our streets directly into Lake Monona, what should the city do and why?

Bob Miller: I have always been active in efforts to protect and improve the quality of our lakes. I currently serve on the boards of the Clean Lakes Alliance and the Yahara Lakes Association.  I requested the audit of our storm water outlets as the city did not have an official record of these outflows. This serves as the first step in prioritizing our efforts and financial resources. We are using this information to pursue county, state and federal funding to improve our storm water outlets. I also worked with public works staff to increase our street cleaning and leaf pick-up efforts.

3. What plans would you support to make Monona buildings more energy efficient and sustainable, and less wasteful of water and other resources?

Bob Miller: I directly participated in successful energy facility enhancements as the remodeling of city hall with increased insulation and energy efficient windows. We upgraded HVAC systems at city hall, the community center and the library. We did this in part with state energy grants, reducing the expense to Monona taxpayers.  I will continue supporting both Monona’s “25X25 Plan,” a plan to generate 25 percent of its energy from renewable resources by 2025 and our membership in the Green Tier Legacy Communities program with its goal to achieve superior environmental performance and improve the quality of life and economic vitality of Monona.

4. (Optional Question) What do you think your neighbors would say about you as a neighbor?

Bob Miller: I try to be a good neighbor not only to those living directly next to me but to the entire neighborhood. I assist with the maintenance and cleanup of Frost Woods Beach. I help organize and volunteer for neighborhood events. I am fortunate to be surrounded by wonderful neighbors who are an important reason why I love living in Monona.

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Candidates were limited to 100 words per response.

Instructions for voting in Monona are available at the City of Monona Elections page: www.mymonona.com/pages/city_government/elections/.