Isthmus sent email questionnaires to each candidate for Madison mayor. Here is what they had to say about themselves, why they're running and what they hope to achieve.
Current employment: Community Relations Officer, Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority
Campaign website: soglinformayor.com
Relevant experience (in 75 words or less): My experience includes five years as a City Council member and 14 years as Mayor. I've worked in the private sector as an investment advisor and as a project manager for a major Dane County corporation. I've worked on area-wide economic development and housing issues for the State. I have remained active in a number of civic and community causes including efforts to combat poverty and infant mortality, and supporting local arts groups.
Please answer the following questions in 100 words or less.
1. Why are you running?
People from all across the city of Madison and the political spectrum urged me to run for Mayor. Madison's next mayor must have the know-how and vision to get Madison moving forward and working together, again. That is what I offer, that is what I've done and that is what I'll do as Mayor. There have been too many missed opportunities, mistakes and failures in leadership over the past eight years. Madison's budget is structurally unsound, neighborhood groups are ignored and their role devalued. There are good ideas that don't get any traction and bad ideas that won't go away.
2. What do you think is the single most important issue facing the city of Madison?
There isn't just one because the challenges we face are inter-related and all relate to the long-term health and success of Madison. The goal is make sure Madison remains a place where people are both able to, and want to, live, find a job, work, raise a family and retire. The issues we need to address to make that happen are economic development and job creation; land use and transportation planning; and addressing issues related to poverty.
3. Name an official recently elected in Wisconsin whom you admire? Why?
I admire Chief Justice Abrahamson for her remarkable work ethic and her intellect; U.S. Representative Tammy Baldwin for her legislative skills and her ability to engage and energize voters; and, County Executive Kathleen Falk for her strong management ability and her understanding of policy and politics. I also admire School Board, City Council and County Board members, in communities all around Wisconsin and across the political spectrum who do the very hard and often thankless work of making decisions on local issues that have a big impact on people's lives and our future.
4. Can you name two specific areas in which you think city spending could be cut?
Better management and coordination can result in reducing overtime. Cuts in staff in the mayor's office -- the mayor does not need a fiscal officer.
5. Identify one or two areas in which the city could raise new revenue.
Raising new revenue is unrealistic given the present political climate and conditions in state government. The realistic resolution to closing the spending and expenditure gap is to implement more efficient systems for providing services. We need to make Madison competitive again in terms of the quality of services the city provides to its residents. We need involvement and buy in from all stakeholders -- city managers, city staff, city employees, residents, the mayor, the council, neighborhood groups -- in order to deliver quality services at a cost we can afford.
6. Name an initiative or program that you would launch?
A coordinated effort with the County and the private sector to identify both the impediments and the solutions to providing employment and training programs for all residents in the areas of housing, transportation, health care, financial literacy, and quality child care. This would be coupled with a conference of local employers to see what they import from outside of our community and Wisconsin. The goal would be to find local suppliers to meet their needs.
7. If you were forced to drop out of the race unexpectedly, which of the remaining candidates would you vote for and why?
I am not dropping out of the race.