District 9 League of Women Voters Questionnaire: Polly Dalton
For the Gazette
STEVENS POINT — The League of Women Voters recently had candidates from the District 9 and school board primary races on Feb. 19 answer three important questions regarding their candidacy. All answers are verbatim below.
I moved to Stevens Point four years ago to start a farm and hard cider business. I spend my days growing vegetables and fruits, pressing apple cider and managing our hard cider business. In the winter months, I substitute teach in the Stevens Point Area School District.
I graduated from Lawrence University with a degree in political science and environmental studies. During my senior year, I was appointed, and then, elected to serve on the Appleton City Council.
I own a duplex on Church Street where I live with my partner, Oren. We have been experiencing all the fun of renovating and restoring a house built in 1892. My first involvement in city operations was running my hometown’s tennis program in Hartford, WI. I taught lessons to folks ages 3 – 83, coached teams, led a cardio program, and organized leagues.
Why are you running for this office?
I am running for alderperson because it is how I feel called to take responsibility for my community. This means taking the time and energy to put forth new policy ideas, make alterations when necessary, and most importantly empower citizen voices to be an active part of the democratic process. This doesn’t happen on facebook or the internet, or even in my own limited social circle. It requires making a consistent effort to talk with all neighbors.
The responsibility of the role includes getting know your neighbors, understanding their situation, communicating the situation of the city, and being an active legislator. I am not intimidated by these responsibilities, nor the need to debate, justify, disagree, and adapt. I have experience with this role from my time on the Appleton City Council and through the policy-making process of the Wisconsin Farmers Union. I enjoy building relationships with neighbors based on this openness, honesty, and commitment to the democratic process.
What top three challenges do you see the City of Stevens Point facing during your term of office?
I don’t think the challenges facing our city can be reduced to a simple top 3 list. Narrowing down our priorities to a small number does not lead to the prudent administration we need. Focusing on a short list of priorities is a common political theme that only leads to unfulfilled responsibilities.
We need adequate leadership prepared to put in the time to understand all of the challenges and nuances of city administration.
While the summary of our city budget gives a broad overview of our existing priorities, the immediate and long term fiscal health of our city demands that alderpersons be able to critique and understand the implications of every budget line item.
Similarly, the legislative role requires continuous evaluation of our city ordinances. Our ordinances should respect the diverse perspectives of residents and allow for the greatest freedom while limiting restrictions to those that are absolutely necessary. Our ordinances should be based on our city’s needs, not just on the fashion of the day.
As a community representative, alders need to take a proactive role in relationship development and maintenance with our neighboring communities and institutions, large and small. It is no benefit to our region to be in a race-to-the-bottom competition for developments where the only real winners are outside investors.
Alders need to investigate and weigh the impact of proposed developments and policy on residents and as well as the city as an organization. A proposal that saves the city $100,000 but costs thousands of residents $2,000 cannot be justified by the cost savings to the city. The benefits of new developments need to be weighed against both the costs to the city and the impact on residents.
Review, oversight, and improvement of every aspect of our city government are what I expect of any alderperson and I think citizens should expect of me as well. If I had to distill the challenges our city faces into a single item, then I would say that we need leaders who are willing to put in the time and effort to fulfill all of these responsibilities. I am willing to do just that.
For more information how where and how to vote, visit https://stevenspoint.com/107/Elections-Voting