"I'm tired of these aldermen and other people making a big joke out of Allied Drive." That's the message of Thomas McClure, one of four candidates running in the Madison city council's District 10 primary. McClure, 55, is a retired American Family Insurance employee. He says he's lived on Allied Drive since 1997 and in the 10th district his entire life. "It's time that we stand up and do something to clean up Allied," he says.
A brief interview with McClure follows below.
The Daily Page: District 10 includes some of the city's wealthiest residents in the Nakoma neighborhood and some of the city's poorest on Allied Drive. How will you balance each community's interests as their representative on the council?
McClure: I will treat them with fairness, dignity, and equality. Allied Drive needs better representation.
How will you improve on longtime Ald. Ken Golden's record for representing the breadth of the district?
What we really need is decent representation, for and by the people.
What would you do as alder to help the job and housing prospects of people living in the Allied Drive neighborhood?
Instead of tearing down the Hauk properties to build new developments, let's use those for low-income people. Then we need to create jobs, starting by pursuing grants for this purpose. We need to talk to companies in Madison. The city can hire people to work temporary jobs in the streets or engineering departments; use the city bus to bring them to where the jobs are. We can hire them to fix up the bicycle path along Allied to make it safer.
There are a lot of people on Allied who don't have jobs. Give them jobs and let them work.
Why did you decide to run your campaign for less than $1,000 in contributions and expenditures?
I am doing it because I don't believe in taking donations from people to run for office. Too many people give money, and then they ask for favors from all the politicians. I think it's time to stop that.
What is the ideal level of development and traffic along Monroe Street?
It's insane right now. For starters, I've always been in favor of installing a traffic light at Edgewood and Monroe. I used to live over there when I was a kid, and a lot of people still get hurt there. We need to find a way to ease the traffic up Monroe Street. The worst part is if they build those condos near where the Laurel Tavern and Michael's Frozen Custard are. Then it's really going to get bad.
You say you're "tired of people making Allied Drive look like the worst part of the city" as that hurts the job prospects of people living in the neighborhood. What can your experiences living there bring to the council?
They give me an open mind to what the people of Allied are going through. Instead of being called the worst neighborhood, we can turn this around into a really nice neighborhood.
Note: Thomas McClure is not currently operating a campaign website.