Joe Clausius, who lived in Sun Prairie for 20 years, served for six years on the Sun Prairie city council. Now, he's one of three candidates running to replace retiring Dist. 17 Ald. Santiago Rosas on the Madison Common Council.
Clausius works as the office manager for an insurance agency run by his wife, Marti. They have four children and nine grandchildren, and have owned a home in the Clarendon Hills neighborhood near Reindahl Park since 1992, where he serves as vice-president of its homeowners' association.
Clausius serves on two city committees: as chair of the Affirmative Action Commission and as vice-chair of the Board of Public Works. He is also a member of the Dane County Youth Commission.
A brief interview follows.
The Daily Page: What steps would you take to ensure that the City of Madison provides safe water? Do you approve of the city's two-track process for Well 29?
Clausius: I will support strong communications between the Water Utility and the public with an emphasis on water quality and well operation information. I will also promote citizen use and access to the Madison Water Utility website and public informational meetings when necessary.
The city is proceeding in the right direction with the two-track process for Well 29, located in District 17. A study is underway to evaluate the feasibility of a new filtration system for the well. An additional study is exploring the possibility of redrilling Well 29 to acquire better water quality. Although each study will reportedly costs $50,000, the study results should enable the Water Utility to make an informed decision on how to proceed with bringing Well 29 back on line.
You say you 'oppose unnecessary regulations on local businesses." What current city regulations do you consider unnecessary? Are there any regulations you would support being
Any city regulation that fosters an uneven playing field between businesses in Madison and businesses in surrounding communities is self-defeating. Elected officials need to realize that any regulation that forces existing businesses to relocate elsewhere and discourages new businesses from locating in Madison will continue to erode the tax base and lead to a gradual decline of the quality of life in Madison. I would also point out that the present Exclusionary Zoning Ordinance has a sunset date of January 2009, which means it will need to be reviewed by the incoming city council.
What can the city do to support and enhance transit options for residents of District 17?
I will advocate listening to the bus riders themselves and to the Madison Area Bus Advocates group for their suggestions. I would also like to explore the concept of providing direct routes during peak times to heavy destination areas, bypassing the transfer points.
As the city grows into the Town of Burke, how should development of these spaces proceed?
The newly reorganized city planning department will develop plats for new areas, working with both the developers and city residents. Much of the former Burke area should be a competitive mixed-use project, since it will be competing with the one million square feet of retail development that has been proposed in Sun Prairie on Hoepker Road. Commuter rail is also a major issue in this area, as the existing rail corridor is located in District 17.
How would your experience as an alder with the Sun Prairie City Council inform your work within the Madison Common Council, particularly in terms of working with other alders?
My tenure on the Sun Prairie City Council was a positive experience. An elected council member quickly learns that the level of council accomplishments is in direct proportion to the degree of respect and cooperation between all council members.
How can the city better approach traffic enforcement within the district, both on East Washington Avenue and on adjacent streets?
Neighborhood associations will always play a key role in traffic enforcement. A good association will catalogue the concerns and issues of residents and work though their alder, city staff and the Madison Police Department to deliver a solution. This will almost always require more resources from the Madison Police Department. I will support the hiring of additional police officers and staff, not only for traffic enforcement, but also to provide education for district residents.
Note: Clausius is not currently operating a campaign Web site.