Q. Why do you want to be mayor of Monona?
The main reason is I greatly appreciate the autonomy and overall quality of life in Monona and want to repay some of what I have benefited from as a 22 year Monona resident. I believe my business, governmental and volunteer experience can help me be an effective mayor.
Q. Who was the person that taught you most in life? And how?
Both of my parents served as strong role models. My mother, however, has been truly inspirational. She taught me about respect and helping others while growing up on an Indian reservation in northern Wisconsin. I learned much about public service from her. She served on the Lac du Flambeau board of education and after raising her five children, returned to school and was commissioned as a Presbyterian minister. She retired from serving her last church several months ago at age 78.
Q. What is your favorite restaurant in Monona?
I enjoy Monona Garden, Fraboni’s, Angelo’s, Pizza Oven and Cousins Subs, but the Green Forest restaurant on Broadway near Menards is a favorite. Nick and Nancy, along with their entire family are some of the friendliest and hardest working people you will ever meet. I recommend their steak and eggs special on Sunday morning. You can usually find me there around 9am.
Q. Why does Monona Drive have so many street lights?
I have served on the ad hoc Monona Drive committee for several years. The lighting choice was both an engineering and aesthetic decision. The committee along with the plan commission wanted a design that was visually pleasing and continued the look of the Broadway lighting corridor. This meant the choice of the shepard’s crook design. Technically, the design followed official lighting guidelines, using a light level of 1.0 foot-candles, which is appropriate for high traffic commercial areas. However, such lighting levels may not be needed for residential areas. The final design for the second and third phases, although not finalized, will probably be of similar design as phase one but with greater spacing between the lights. I would also add that phase one of Monona Drive recently was awarded its third major design award from the state and is in the running for two national design awards.
Q. What is the one thing you do really well that will help lead Monona if you are elected mayor?
I have the ability to bring people with divergent opinions and styles together to find consensus on issues in a timely manner.
Q. If you had a one-time use magic wand, what project would you implement?
I would wave it over the empty and under-utilized buildings along Monona Drive and fill them with thriving retail and office tenants.
Q. If you could start a brewpub in Monona, what would you name it?
As an investor in the Great Dane Pub and Brewing Company, I obviously am loyal to those brewpubs. But, as an Irish wanna-be, I would love to own a small Irish pub in Monona, perhaps called O’Millers.
Q. If zombies attacked Monona, where would you rally residents to make a final stand?
Nichols School. It sits on high ground with good views and is solidly built. Plus, it has plenty of parking to stage the Monona city militia.
Q. In your time serving as a city councilman, what is the thing you are most proud of accomplishing?
Monona Drive phase one construction. Although not completed during my term on the council, I was directly involved in property and right-away acquisition as a member of the personnel and finance committee. I continued working with the Monona Drive project on a volunteer basis to help market the businesses that were affected by construction. The Monona Moola currency pumped over $85,000 directly into Monona businesses. Construction started with 90 businesses operating in the construction zone and we ended up with 91 at the end of the 1 ½ year project. A fact we should be proud of.
Q. What was your first car?
A 1973 maroon Chevy Nova.
Q. What is the single most important issue facing our city over the next few years?
Maintaining our strong fiscal position without reducing important city services like police, fire, emergency, recycling, senior, park, recreation and public transportation services. With the proposed state budget and its substantial reductions, this will be an even more challenging process for the mayor and city council.
Q. What’s your favorite Monona community event?
I always enjoy and am impressed with the turnout for the Memorial Day Parade.
Thanks to Bob Miller for participating in our Q&A. You can learn more about him on his website.