I want to express whole-hearted support for the incumbents of the Springdale Town Board in the upcoming election: Mike Fagan, John Rosenbaum, and Richard Schwenn.

In a recent interview, Mike Fagan’s challenger’s comments concerned me. He stated that local government needs to be “flipped” and that he wished to keep comments “short and sweet”, which creates questions of what he intends. I serve on the Plan Commission and have been present when this challenger stated that he wants to withdraw from Dane County zoning, that we would be better off without any zoning, and that he wanted to get rid of our Land Use Plan. These statements were made at Plan Commission meetings and a Public Hearing. Additionally, nothing has been offered to replace our Land Use Plan. This feels like giving away the car keys without any roadmap or idea of where we’re going.

We have a Land Use Plan that resulted from long, hard work by many landowners. It allows residents to divide land and profit from residential uses, but protects agricultural land, natural resources and the rural character of our township. Any resident can propose amendments to the Plan. It is a living document, not one set in stone. Stakeholders made it clear they do not want to see uncontrolled development; that the rural quality of our town is important to them.

I feel actions intended by the challengers would be rash. Withdrawing from our current zoning could be disastrous. It would open us up to becoming a dumping ground for the kinds of industrial development that aren’t allowed here or in surrounding townships. This would be detrimental to property values, our environment, the quality of our air and water, and our ability to enjoy our land and homes. The wise use of zoning districts and Conditional Use Permits offer all of us protection. We could also incur the high costs of the professional services that Dane County currently provides.

I feel the wisest path forward is to re-elect Town Board members who have worked hard to balance the rights of landowners with the impacts of desired development. From what I hear at Springdale meetings, I believe there are very few residents who want us to eliminate our zoning and our Land Use Plan. We all benefit from approachable, dedicated and thoughtful leadership. Please join me in supporting our current Town Board members on April 6.

Denise Sullivan

Town of Springdale

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