Saturday, January 21, 2012

Brian Holmquist City Council Campaign Statement

Brain Holmquist's campaign statement (unedited):

For Immediate Release

January 8th, 2012

Brian Holmquist has announced his candidacy for Monona City Council. Brian and his wife, Rebecca Holmquist, have two small children, Acacia and Porter.  Acacia is a 3rd grader at Winnequah Elementary School, and Porter is in the pre-school program at Immaculate Heart of Mary School. 

Brian and Rebecca relocated to the Madison area in 2001.  It was Monona’s Fourth of July Festival that initially drew their attention to this community. Monona’s parks, pool, library, schools, and established neighborhoods strengthened this attraction. The Holmquists were moved by what they saw as the legacy of Monona. They bought and moved into their home in 2006.

Brian works as an Occupational Therapist with the Madison Metropolitan School District serving students at Sennett Middle School and LaFollette High School.  He also is a small business owner working with children, adolescents, and their families who experience significant emotional and behavioral challenges, including autism.  Prior to his work with Madison Schools, he spent 10 years working in the inpatient child and adolescent psychiatric hospital at Meriter.  He serves as the Chair of the Occupational Therapy Credentialing Board for the state of Wisconsin.  He also serves on Monona’s Family Attraction, Retention, and City Promotion Committee.  Brian is actively involved in the Parks and Recreational programs including coaching baseball and soccer teams.  He is leading the effort to form a not-for-profit group, Friends of Monona Parks and Recreation, to support the Park and Rec’s efforts in facility projects and programming.

Brian believes in strong communities that are actively raising its youth, nurturing neighborhood relationships, and embracing and honoring its elders. He believes city council decisions should support the diversity of our residents.  Brian understands the wisdom in  creating and supporting opportunities and experiences to help people be healthy, caring and responsible throughout life.  Not only does a community need to support our seniors to “age in place,” but we must make our housing attractive to families just starting out.  Just like we have provided incentives for energy efficiencies, we should consider incentives for modifications to support our seniors to continue to live in their homes and transition into supported/assisted housing if needed. Additionally, we should be providing incentives for first-time home buyers to consider investing in a starter home that may need some renovations, rather than purchasing a newer home elsewhere.

Our transit system is vital for many of our seniors and disabled residents, and an asset for residents who work downtown.  We need to maintain these services and look for opportunities to meet the needs of additional residents.  Brian supports the recent expansion of routes and increased hours of operation.

Although Monona is a land-locked community, there continue to be options as we look at development and redevelopment.  We need to finish our commitment to the Monona Drive revitalization and Broadway developments.  These commercial projects will provide a financial base for our community in the future and in turn, keep our property taxes low.  In addition to the Monona Drive and Broadway developments, we need to consider developing a true “city center” at the heart of our city. This “city center” would add light commercial space, provide a down-town feel and support a communal space[3] . 

We have a wonderful asset in our lake access; however the current status of the lake is poor making it less accessible for recreation. We need to continue to look at ways we can improve the quality of our lakes through individual and community decisions.  Realistically, this is a larger issue beyond just Monona. Therefore, we need to engage in active problem-solving with other communities throughout our watershed to make substantial changes that will increase the quality of all the lakes and rivers in our area.

Brian Holmquist

508 Panther Trail

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