Experience: Air Force veteran and independent contractor for Vector Marketing Corporation. Previously ran for county supervisor, county executive, Stoughton alderman, McFarland Village Board and state Assembly, losing every race. Wrote The Epoch Point, a "historical conspiracy thriller that follows evil throughout the existence of mankind."
In the race for Dane County executive, Spencer Zimmerman is up against five experienced and qualified candidates, each with much larger financial reserves. He ignored numerous calls and emails from Isthmus and skipped the first candidate forum in Oregon on Jan. 16.
Zimmerman's platform consists of one radical and unlikely idea: abolish the office of county executive. In his one email correspondence with Isthmus, Zimmerman wrote: "Abolition of the county executive position would cut spending by eliminating a $116,000 annual salary and additional savings would be generated in the elections budget."
But in an annual $500 million budget, this amounts to a savings of .02%.
Wisconsin counties with populations under 500,000 do have other options besides having an elected executive. They can have a county administrator, who is hired by the board, or a coordinator, someone designated by the board to serve as the liaison between the state and county departments.
John Reinemann of the Wisconsin Counties Association says that of Wisconsin's 72 counties, 11 have county executives, 20 have administrators, and the remaining 41 have coordinators. But, he says, "No county in Wisconsin that has put in a county executive has ever repealed the position."
And even if this did happen, Dane County's population would soon require it to elect one. Dane's estimated 2009 population was 491,357.