Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


District 2 aldermanic candidates debate

Adam Walsh, Bridget Maniaci, Sherman Hackbarth and Brenda Konkel discuss bus fare, communication and safety at Thursday\’s debate.[/media-credit]

As the primary election for the District 2 alder nears, incumbent Ald. Brenda Konkel, District 2, debated plans to increase neighborhood communication with three challengers Thursday night at Lapham Elementary School.

“Commitment to the community is what makes the second district so strong,” Konkel said, who advocated open “transparent” meetings so all citizens could get involved.

Adam Walsh, a fellow competitor, said communication was a primary issue within the district. He said it is vital for an alder to communicate with people and listen to what the community has to say.


Candidates Sherman Hackbarth and Bridget Maniaci criticized Konkel for her failure to get amendments passed in the most recent budget proposal.

Hackbarth talked about the “40-plus” amendments Konkel recently proposed to the City Council, none of which were approved.

She added Konkel needed to focus her energy on a few specified goals instead of bringing too many general proposals to the table.

Challenger Adam Walsh criticized Konkel for failing to pass inclusionary zoning projects which would help create affordable housing in the community. He called her initiatives “all stick and no carrot.”

Konkel countered that many of her amendments were passed this year but failed to cite any specific examples.

However, all four candidates said they disagreed with the recent increase in bus fares.

“I am extremely concerned about the future of Madison Metro,” Konkel said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do.”

Walsh agreed with Konkel that increasing the number of Madison Metro riders is the most reliable way for the bus system to earn money and added that reliable city transportation is necessary for all patrons.

He added an increase in cost would pose conflict to some Metro riders.

Hackbarth said bus services should be expanded, not cut, and there should be “other ways” to solve the bus fare problem.

All candidates also agreed safety is a major issue in the upcoming election, but Konkel was the only debater to focus on Madison’s economic future.

“We need to make sure taxpayers aren’t getting overwhelmed by taxes,” Konkel said.

Additionally, Konkel said taxpayers in Madison should continue to contribute to the city’s parks and childcare because they factor into Madison’s overall quality of life.

Walsh was a big promoter of heavily “family-oriented” housing developments.

He said he wanted to increase the “walk-ability” of the city by adding lights to the streets to make them safer for citizens.

In accordance with Walsh, Maniaci mentioned the drug dealings that occur on city streets and how lack of lighting has a negative effect on speeding cars.

“A lack of street lighting and speed issues lead to cars being sideswiped,” Maniaci said.

The candidates also proposed different solutions to help local businesses stay afloat. Maniaci suggested business owners host gallery nights for the community to attend to become more involved.

Dennis DeNure, the fifth candidate for District 2 alder, was not in attendance but left a pile of his campaign pins in the debate room, which read “Don’t vote for me.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Badger Herald

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Wisconsin-Madison. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Badger Herald

Comments (0)

All The Badger Herald Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *