Darrell Henderson
Darrell Henderson
Thanks for the questionnaire, the first thing I would like to explain is the duties of a City Councilperson. I don’t think everyone understands. A single City Council member has no statutory powers. As a legislative body, however, the council exercises powers given Cities through passage of ordinances and appropriation of monies. They also set salaries of elected officials, , Fire and Police Departments. They have the authority to reduce but not increase any other Item in the budget as submitted by the Mayor.

Q: What do I think the biggest challenge the City is facing?

A: Obviously I think drugs are the most serious problem we have. In regards to how to fix or what would I do. Enforcement I would guess is an option and also rehabilitation is the best answer. Any council member would endorse any programs to reinforce these programs or help start new projects. We work within the budget and it’s a slow moving process because we set the budget in the middle of the year for the next year. So things move rather slowly. Council has always supported any programs to help with drug abuse.

Q: If there was any city policy that you could change on your own at this moment, which would it be and why?

A: A policy the City has I would change? Again, I remind you we are a seven member board. Most all policies are set by ordinance. I think the most controversial one is the Historic District and the Board that oversees the ordinance. Over the years the board has been composed of many members , some are more liberal and some very conservative. Our historic district is a great asset to our community and the reason we have the tourist industry that we have, which is a great thing. It is very hard to explain why one thing was approved, maybe, several years ago and is being denied by another board. I guess it’s a policy I don’t have a fix for but is one that I hear about most often. I know we are working on new guidelines and the Council has to approve them, I hope we can find some answers during this discussion. I do appreciate the volunteers that serve on these boards I have been on the Plan Commission for 24 years sometime you get beat up on (not literally) but it is a service to the Community we appreciate. The Historic Board is a tough job .

Q: If you are elected, in what order would you address the following issues? Order them by which needs to most immediate action to least immediate action: Substance abuse, crime, transportation/mobility, job creation, homelessness, suicide, small business assistance, hilltop enhancement, downtown parking.

A: Substance abuse, suicide, homelessness, crime, job creation, small business assistance, downtown parking, Hilltop enhancement, transportation /mobility.

Q: The students representing Madison during this year’s Student Government Day passed a resolution that calls for action by the city to create incentives for local graduates to come back to work, live, etc. Do you agree that this resolution was necessary? If so then, how would you propose the city go about meeting this call to action? What kinds of incentives would you propose? How would you market them to the wide array of interests and alumni that Madison produces? How would you measure your program’s success? If not, why?

A: I think it is a great idea the students had, by the way I have never missed a student government day and really love to hear their ideas. The incentives the City has done in the past and will continue to do with the help of JCIDC is support local industry in creating more jobs and incentives for employers to be able to attract these college graduates to come back to Madison. In the past few years we have been very lucky in the fact we have filled all of our vacant buildings that were left empty by business leaving over the years , so our employment rate is low and we are retaining more local people. We are probably short on high tech industry . We will be working with Matt Wurth at JCIDC in this area. A measure of the success is hard to document but I will be working with JCIDC to come up with a process to track this.

You didn’t ask but we do take complaints from our constituents and follow up on their issues. As Bob May said on Council years ago some of the most important things are pot holes and garbage pickup!