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Thursday, February 29, 2024
Dane Board Members Resign

Campus-area seat opens after three members resign from Dane County Board

Three supervisors of the Dane County Board resigned this week, leaving the board to fill the vacancies until the next election.

Dane County Board Chair Patrick Miles announced Friday that three members of the Dane County Board of Supervisors resigned this week, including a seat that represents much of the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus.

District 13 Supervisor Olivia Xistris-Songpanya, District 9 Supervisor Alex Joers and District 32 Supervisor Mike Bare officially stepped down from the board, opening three vacancies the board is looking to fill until the spring 2024 election. 

Xistris-Songpanya resigned Tuesday. Her district includes much of the UW-Madison campus and many off-campus student neighborhoods between University Avenue and Regent Street.

Xistris-Songpanya said in a statement Friday her proudest accomplishments on the board include assisting in the approval of plans for a new county jail and passing a resolution to make Dane County a sanctuary for transgender residents. 

Alex Joers and Mike Bare both resigned effective Friday.

Joers, whose district encompasses the far west side of Madison, said in a statement Friday he is forever grateful for the residents of Dane County who gave him the opportunity to serve in local government. 

"The past three and a half years have been both rewarding and challenging, but I was proud to have made a difference whether it was in public health, sustainability or community safety,” Joers said.

Joers said his top accomplishments included increasing relief funding for small businesses across the county, advocating for training and mental health resources for sheriff’s deputies and working to establish a gun buyback program following the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

Bare represented the Verona area, and his notable accomplishments include helping county workers access COVID-19 leave benefits and travel reimbursement for leaving Wisconsin to access reproductive care, he said in a statement Friday. He also successfully helped the Dane County Housing Authority secure $3 million for improving and expanding its housing units.

“I’m proud to have worked on so many things that have improved peoples’ lives in Dane County,” Bare said. “I will cherish having more evenings with my wife and two sons and I so appreciate their support during my time on the County Board."

Bare and Joers also serve as representatives in the Wisconsin State Assembly.

Filling each vacancy requires a temporary appointment by the County Board Chair and a confirmation by the board, according to Miles. The board will hold public hearings on the positions in early September, after which it must vote to confirm each chosen candidate to serve through the end of the term.

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The seats will then be on the ballot in the regular spring election scheduled for April 2, 2024.

Madison District 8 Ald. MGR Govindarajan told The Daily Cardinal he’d love to see someone appointed to District 13 who later considers running for re-election. 

“Through being alder these past few months, I’ve realized how much time you spend just learning the job and what you can and can’t do,” Govindarajan said. “I think it’s important any potential candidate thinks about serving the community long-term, since the appointment is only roughly seven months. I look forward to working together with whoever the appointee will be.”

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