Today, I filed my nominating petitions and officially became a candidate for Madison City Commissioner. I want to thank all of the individuals that took time to have a discussion with me about Madison. Over the last 3 weeks, I have met with over 100 families and businesses. Our conversations ranged from 15 minutes to sometimes over an hour in length. Many of you invited me into your homes and asked me to sit at your kitchen table to discuss the issues most important to you. I appreciate your support and your signatures on my nominating petitions. I heard many recurring themes when visiting with Madison citizens.
1. Infrastructure: You want to know and trust that your public infrastructure (streets, water, electric) is being maintained and upgraded appropriately.
2. Economic Development: You want more options for shopping, including groceries and clothing, and a revitalized downtown district.
3. Entertainment: You want more options for entertainment, including an upgraded movie theater, live music venues, and more options for children.
4. Competitive Electric, Water and Sewer Rates: You want affordable utility rates, especially since the utilities are city owned and not for profit.
5. Housing Development: You want more housing options and you want to see housing growth in the NE and NW parts of town.
We have many great things happening in Madison, SD and we will see growth over the next few years. However, I believe we should look further out and develop a strategic plan for the future. I am proposing that the City of Madison expand its current “city plan” for city infrastructure to also include economic development, community affairs, education matters, etc. This will be called the “Madison 2025 City Plan” and would cover all topics that impact Madison residents. It will be a road map to move us forward over the next 11 years. Strategic planning is critical to all sectors and must be done in order to keep moving Madison forward.
I have heard the things that are most important to you, the voter. Over the next 5 weeks I hope to visit more with all of my fellow Madison residents and I hope to earn your vote on April 8th, 2014.
-Ashley Kenneth Allen