Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


New alders work toward goals

Bidar-Sielaff, Eagon and Maniaci are getting acclimated to their new jobs.[/media-credit]

Three new downtown alders are continuing to work hard on the Madison Common Council since their election victories in the spring.

Ald. Bridget Maniaci, District 2, Ald. Bryon Eagon, District 8, and Ald. Shiva Bidar-Sielaff, District 5, are now in full stride representing the campus and downtown community.

Mayor Dave Cieslewicz is proud of the new alders and says he thinks the campus community is well represented.


“I like [Maniaci and Eagon] both very much,” Cieslewicz said. “They’re hard-working, and they do their homework. They are well respected by their colleagues and when they speak, people listen to them. Campus is represented by some really excellent alders.”

The mayor’s glowing review also extended to Bidar-Sielaff, and he called her hardworking and added she knows the issues well. She has already worked with many different people to get things done, he said.

Eagon won the alder seat in District 8, an area predominantly populated by students, beating out competitor and fellow student Mark Woulf. Being a student himself, he said he wants to focus on raising the profile of his office and encouraging students to get more involved with campus and community issues.

“Overall, I want to be an accessible and visible student and city leader,” Eagon said.

Eagon said he will accomplish this by being responsive to phone calls, e-mails, Facebook messages and holding alder hours twice a week.

On the City Council level, Eagon said he plans on focusing on campus safety and tenant issues, pointing to the downtown lighting enhancement program as an example. This grant allows property owners to more easily install new lighting fixtures in alleyways, parking lots and porches to improve safety.Maniaci said she is excited to work in her neighborhood and be a part of the city she grew up in.

“Everyday is something new,” Maniaci said. “At the city level, you can really make a difference.”

The quality of properties and neighborhoods will be the main issue Maniaci will pursue. She said she wants to encourage solid property management and tenancy, adding small landlords can also be victimized.

She also said she plans to undertake a project that includes taking pictures of sub-standard parts of properties and sending a letter to the landlords, informing them of the needed repairs.

She added more people are gravitating toward new high-rise apartments and the focus has been shifted away from older buildings, something she hopes to correct.

New meters on the 800 and 900 block of Johnson Street are also on Maniaci’s to-do list. She said she wants to see the more efficient credit card system for the meters, as seen at Memorial Union.

In addition to property management and quality issues of residences, Maniaci has her hands full with a multimillion dollar proposal in her neighborhood — the Edgewater Hotel redevelopment plan — which had ignited public fervor on both sides of the issue.

Bidar-Sielaff said she too is excited “to be able to make decisions in the city of Madison,” planning to work diligently on pedestrian issues in her district, such as adding crosswalks.

However, she is also interested in the city’s alcohol policies and hopes to get more involved, specifically relating to the Alcohol License Review Committee. She said she has had discussions with Eagon and advocates for a “good, balanced policy of alcohol.”

“I’m hoping I get appointed to the ALRC,” Bidar-Sielaff said.

Currently, only two alders sit on the ALRC, but a new proposal would add another seat to the committee.

All three alders will represent their respective districts for their two-year term, with the next city council meeting occurring Sept 1.

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