We see very little reason to be excited about the election of the District 5 country board representative.
For years the main student issue on the county board has been the student radio tower. Thanks to the efforts of many, including Scott McDonnell, District 1, and Echnaton Vedder, District 5, Wisconsin is no longer the only Big Ten school without a broadcast student radio station (WSUM 91.7 FM).
But now that the tower is built, there is little to concern students on the county board. The board has almost no jurisdiction over downtown Madison, and both candidates have made clear they will pursue increased county funding for services like the Rape Crisis Center and the Tenant Resource Center.
In the end, the distinctions between the candidates are pertinent only to students who plan to live in the area after they graduate.
The incumbent Vedder lists responsible development, fair-housing laws and light rail as priorities and promises to harness campus energy to accomplish things on the board.
His challenger, Ion Skillrud, favors a more market-based approach to housing issues and has based his campaign on his belief he can be a more effective voice on the board by reflecting what he sees as ordinary student concerns.
Vedder has proven himself to be accessible to students and is a visible leader on campus. Added to the fact the student radio tower — the only big student issue on the board — was built on Vedder’s watch, we are endorsing his candidacy for county board.
However, we have been very impressed by Skillrud’s knowledge of county issues and we encourage students concerned about the long-term future of Dane County to closely examine both candidates.
Scott McDonnell is running unopposed in District 1