This week the conservative staffer to former Mayor Sue Bauman (1997-2003) announced his own candidacy for mayor of Madison. Munoz launched his bid with an interview with The Capital Times:
An aide to former Mayor Sue Bauman from 1997 until 2003, Munoz said he worked very hard to get Cieslewicz elected in 2003..."I had worked very hard on the annexation agreement with the town of Madison and the city of Fitchburg as part of the Bauman administration. Soglin said he would do anything in his power to undo that. Soglin also opposed the merger of the county and city public health departments. We needed that too," Munoz said today.
Munoz is clearly trying to prevent Cieslewicz from getting all of the credit for the health merger and the annexation venture, and claims pride of authorship. The problem is that, as predicted, both programs were a total failure:
- The city of Madison always used its Public Health Department as part of a team to combat environmental problems such as the remediation of landfills, normally seen as an engineering matter. When the city Water Utility failed to confront water quality issues for three years, the newly merged City-County Health department was unavailable.
- The city Department of Public Health was an indispensable part of the Neighborhood Resource Teams (NRT), which fought crime and poverty in various neighborhoods. The merger all but gutted the heatlh role in the NRTs and left the city ineffective in dealing with poverty.
- Madison's annexation agreement with Fitchburg and the Town of Madison resulted in continual administrative failures in planning and development, including the Mortensen project on the Beltline, but more importantly, resulted in the the City of Madison subsidizing the Town of Madison to the tune of over a million dollars a year.
- The city covers police and fire protection for the Town as well as feeling the fiscal and human toll of the town's inadequate response to crime and poverty. It must be great to have a 'foreign aid' policy when the resources are needed by Madison taxpayers.
Munoz's agenda comes with some benefit. He accurately accuses the Mayor of having a fixed agenda with no real belief in public participation:
"The trolley initiative comes from the mayor's vision. It is not based on any public outcry that we need that form of public transportation," Munoz said.
"The mayor has a clear vision of what he wants. But we live in a magnificent democracy, especially here in Madison where democracy really works."
Munoz said: "I take issue with the mayor's strong vision. I especially object to trying to ram it down people's throats. I don't want to build a pedestal for his vision."
Municipal budgets should be frugal, he added. "The Metro system is in great need of help and spending resources we don't have on streetcars seems, on face value, not a good choice." However, Munoz said, the final determination should be based on solid research.