The Platteville Common Council at-large aldermanic race features two candidates familiar with city government, and one candidate recently familiar with running for office.
Darrel Browning, owner of Browning Motors, is making his second consecutive run for office. Browning finished second in the 2014 at-large aldermanic race won by Amy Seeboth-Wilson.
Real estate agent Tom Nall is a member of the city’s Plan Commission and has served on other city committees. Former city employee Angie Donovan, who now works at Manor Care, is on two city committees.
The three candidates appeared at a forum hosted by The Platteville Journal and the Main Street Program Thursday.
Browning is making his second run for the council in as many years because “Platteville is at a crossroads. The next city manager that comes in has to be a person that is more motivated to move Platteville forward than what we’ve had.”
Nall said “the community has given me an opportunity to grow, to fulfill my family needs, and provide me with an opportunity to run a business and succeed at that business. So I’m hoping to use those skills that I’ve obtained … to best meet the needs of the community as a whole.”
“I’m a different voice than what’s on the council, I’m younger than the majority of the candidates, so I bring a different perspective,” said Donovan. “I have four young children, so I am vested in the activities and the things that go on in this community that affect not only the adults but the children.”
One prominent subject was the upcoming hiring of a new city manager.
Donovan said the next city manager “is going to make an impact on this community, so it’s important for the council, I believe, to make the right decision to help Platteville move forward over the next few years, and the right city manager with the right fit with the right council will make that happen.”
“You want somebody that can sell Platteville, because this town needs jobs,” said Browning. “That industrial park is not growing at a real fast rate — it’s growing, but as far as industry coming in that employs 35 people and pays a living wage, we’re falling short of that.”
All three candidates called for looking at city spending to find extra funding for street reconstruction.
“The streets are deteriorating at a faster rate than we’re replacing them,” said Browning. “In order to get back on schedule, we need to really examine line-by-line items where we can save money and what things this town can actually do without in order to get the infrastructure of this town back up where it needs to be.”
Nall called the streets situation “an ongoing thing for a number of years. … We’re in a difficult situation with budget cuts, with limited funds available from the state. … The infrastructure costs have dramatically increased over the years, and with that we have a situation now where … the costs are very dramatic.”
Donovan said the new city manager, council and city employees need to “sit down and truly prioritize” projects “to set a plan for the next five years that is realistic, so a project that was supposed to be done in 2017 isn’t delayed until 2018 and 2019.”
The candidate forum can be viewed online at www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnPnIZr3mNw. It can also be viewed on Centurylink channel 36 before the primary election.