Dane County Board Supervisor candidates for District 5 are running campaigns on different issues, but both agree students have a responsibility to stay informed and vote in the upcoming elections.
The Board of Supervisors is a group of 37 elected supervisors, each representing different districts in the county. District 5 includes the campus area and decisions made by the supervisor can impact UW students directly.
The Board of Supervisors acts as the legislative branch of the county government. Supervisors draft ordinances, pass laws on area law enforcement and help delegate funding to different services.

On April 1, students will be able to vote for either Leland Pan or Chris Hoffman, both University of Wisconsin seniors, to serve as District 5 supervisor in the Dane County Board elections.

Pan is currently finishing up his first two-year term as district supervisor, but continues to look ahead to unfinished work such as the issue of homelessness in the area.

Since taking office, Pan said he has worked to see funding allotted for daytime resource centers and services for homeless youth. He said the highlight of his efforts have been the development of a daytime resource center, which he hopes to have by summer.

“I think there is a shocking lack of services and affordable housing for homeless people,” Pan said. “So we’re really looking to push long-term housing and employment for those who are struggling.”

Pan’s political interests began at Middleton High School, where he said he became involved in topics such as the environment and drug prohibition.

After growing up in Dane County and keeping informed of different political affairs, Pan said he felt he had enough of a well-rounded experience of county issues to run for supervisor.

“I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, but I ran and was elected,” Pan said. “I’ve been trying to translate the progressive work being done in the community to legislative change in the county.”

Hoffman said he wants to see more students taking roles on county committees and taking an active role in county affairs.

“This is something that students should be more involved in, something they should be more informed about, and therefore more invested in their local community,” he said.

Hoffman said he wants to focus on issues of public safety and environmental matters, specifically in Madison’s lakes.

Additionally, Hoffman said he also wants to focus on the inadequacy of the Dane County 911 dispatch system. Currently, the dispatch response times are below the national standards, an issue which Hoffman wants to address especially for the safety of students.

“I really think that we need to make sure that we have an adequate and rapid response from our emergency services. That’s something I think is really important to campus,” Hoffman said.

Hoffman said he first became involved in county government through the College Democrats and after hearing from Dane County Executive Joe Parisi during a class.

Hoffman said his desire to get students more engaged in county issues prompted him to run for supervisor.

“I saw the underutilized potential in connecting UW with the county government,” he said.

Students can vote at various locations, and the City of Madison website allows residents of Dane County to enter their address to find their nearest voting location.