When I first ran for the Waunakee Village Board in 2018, I thought I had a good idea of what I was getting myself into. I was not totally wrong, but the shortcomings in my knowledge became overwhelmingly obvious, at least to me. Throughout my term as trustee, I encouraged others to run for office. It was not because I wanted to be replaced, and it certainly was not because I wanted to lose an election. It was because getting people involved in public service means inclusion of more diverse viewpoints, growing negotiation skills, and better understanding of the complexities of public office.
When you care deeply about a certain topic, it is easy to think, "If I were on the board, that would never pass!" You may wonder, "How could anyone vote against this?" When your vote is just one of seven, and your constituents are expecting you to stick to the ideas you presented as a candidate for office, those same ideas suddenly conflict in ways you never imagined. Determining how you'll vote is no longer so crystal clear, and this old adage is more appropriate than ever:
You can please some of the people all of the time,
you can please all of the people some of the time,
but you can’t please all of the people all of the time
According to the Becoming a Candidate page on the Waunakee Village web site, there are six candidates for three village board seats to be filled in April:
- Gary Herzberg (I)
- Sam Kaufmann
- Robert McPherson
- Angie Ramos
- Phillip Willems (I)
- Joe Zitzelsberger
This number of candidates means that the next three months will be far more interesting than if just three candidates were running for three seats. There will be more debates, more candidate forums, and more candidate profiles. The COVID-19 pandemic impacted several elections in the last year, and this election will feel that impact as well. We have remained strong, and I trust that our community will demand a positive, clean, issues-driven election.
With that, I welcome all of the candidates to the race. I look forward to sharing ideas, learning from each other, and most of all, knowing that we're all running to do something important for the Village of Waunakee.