Sometimes, one candidate in an election is so head-and-shoulders above his opponent the endorsement is a no-brainer. That is the case in this year's race to represent District 8, where Scott Resnick has shown that he is the best person to serve on Madison's Common Council.
District 8 is composed almost entirely of students, a group that can often be dismissed in city politics. But as one of Madison's most vital communities, students need somebody on the Common Council who will speak to their interests. As his impressive platform portrays, Resnick is not only in touch with the interests of the District 8 community but is also more than capable of executing his goals.
Resnick's proposals are simple but solid. His idea to require landlords to regularly change building access codes is sensible and can improve safety downtown almost immediately. On a larger scale, Resnick's Madison city job fair proposal could help keep UW graduates in Madison, strengthening ties between the city and university while preventing local brain drain.
But just as importantly, Resnick is a seasoned city policy wonk. Currently serving as president of the State-Langdon Neighborhood Association, Resnick is a veteran of downtown advocacy. He understands how to work through the labyrinthine city committee system.
Also of note, Resnick will be well suited for whatever city government comes out of Tuesday's elections. Whether Paul Soglin or Dave Cieslewicz wins the mayoral election, Resnick's record shows he will be able to work cooperatively with either candidate while continuing to criticize the mayor when necessary.
As for Resnick's opponent, former Daily Cardinal writer Kyle Szarzynski, he is more defined by his weaknesses. In terms of ideas, Szarzynski does not have many. His proposal to establish neighborhood police officers is a call for something that already exists. In addition, he has made full funding of the Rape Crisis Center a major focus of his campaign. The importance of the Rape Crisis Center is something all sensible Madisonians can clearly agree on, but city alders have no control over the center's funding—a duty that belongs to a city social services committee.
We also have doubts about Szarzynski's abrasiveness. It is one thing to fight wholeheartedly for a subject you believe in, but doing so in a way which alienates all opponents and even potential allies, as Szarzysnki has often done in the past, negates any effectiveness gained through passion.
The candidates for District 8 are both very distinct from one another, which makes the decision easy. The best choice for District 8, students and Madison in general is Scott Resnick.