Madison voters elected Mary Kolar, a retired navy captain, to represent the downtown area on the Dane County Board over C.J. Terrell, a leader in the 2011 protests at the Capitol.
Kolar said she will focus on increasing the resources and services Dane County provides to the community. She said she will work to make the lakes less polluted and advocate for the county’s homeless population.
“I want to find what can be done with the resources we do have and how can we do it more efficiently,” she said. “It is the county’s responsibility.”
Kolar said she also plans on advocating for the college students who live in her district. She said the biggest issue for students at the University of Wisconsin is understanding what services the county provides and how they can take advantage of those services.
Dane County has influence or control over many human services provided to people in the area, she said.
She highlighted transportation issues and said she would work to find more ways for people to be able to move around campus.
The biggest issue Dane County faces is the shortage of resources they have. She said the state has implemented many restrictions on what counties can do. Kolar said the county needs to focus on what can be done with the resources it has and how the county can use them more efficiently and responsibly.
Terrell, who finished second in the race, said the biggest issue facing the county is the austerity measures put in place by the state. He said these measures are taking away the safety net for many of the families in the county and will cause many people to lose their livelihoods.
His platform rested on creating a restorative justice program in the county. He said the current system wastes space, people and taxpayer dollars. Terrell criticized the current system for tearing apart families and having a disproportionate incarceration rate for black males.
Peter Anich, a UW senior majoring in political science, served as Kolar’s campaign manager. He said he chose to get involved with Kolar’s campaign after he finished working on the Obama campaign and was looking for another political opportunity.
“Mary’s just a solid voice for not only campus, but downtown Madison,” Anich said. “She’s got the best ideas.”
He said one of Kolar’s initiatives that he believes will benefit students the greatest is her plan to clean up the lakes. He said he remembers sitting on the Terrace over the summer and being able to smell the pollution from the lake. It was not always this way, he said.
He said Kolar’s agenda will be beneficial to everyone, especially downtown Madison and campus.
Kolar said the county provides many resources such as roads, public transportation and emergency services. She said although they are easy to take for granted, they are important to the county and its citizens.
“This is my way to continue to serve the community,” she said.