Dane County Supervisor Wyndham Manning, District 5, will not run for a second term.
In an exclusive interview with The Badger Herald Thursday, Manning explained his reasoning behind not pursuing another term on the Dane County Board of Supervisors, saying the job has afforded him the opportunity to develop and learn about the larger Dane County community, but now he has other goals in mind.
“There are too many things in my life left undone that I need to focus on, and it’s time to let someone else have their turn,” Manning wrote in an e-mail. “I want to travel and focus on some of my longer-term professional goals, spend some time with my friends and family and generally live a more normal 23-year-old life for a while.”
Dane County Board Chairman Scott McDonell praised certain areas of Wyndham’s performance on the board, saying he has been good with issues such as manure digesters, environmental affairs and his work on the Cultural Affairs Commission, adding it is amazing for someone’s first term on the board.
McDonell added he thinks Manning realized the massive amount of work involved with being on the board and Manning tried branching out, getting involved with other activities such as his involvement in the local music scene.
“From our point of view, Wyndham is a friend of the board and we’ll be sad to see him go,” McDonell said. “But it’s probably the right decision.”
McDonell said he could not point to a significant policy accomplishment of Manning’s, but admitted Manning faced challenges in his term.
Some of these challenges include a county that is “broke” and a district that has a high turnover rate, McDonell said, adding every two years the district is almost brand new.
“I get the sense from Wyndham that this wasn’t what (he thought) he was signing up for,” McDonell said.
Manning said his focus on the Environment, Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee is to find ways to increase urban agriculture and sustainable farming practices, ad-vocating for manure digester development.
Another focus, Manning said, relates to encouraging more art pieces associated with the area’s land and water infrastructure.
“With our extraordinary combination of natural resources, values, roots, creativity and innovation (and) environmental ethic, our community is ripe for environmental art,” Manning said.
McDonell said representing District 5 presents unique challenges given the turnover rate.
“As a campus, you have to figure out a way for student voices to be heard,” McDonell said.
– Jennie Johnson con-tributed to this article