Former Edgerton City Council member challenging incumbent
EDGERTON Matt McIntyre, who said he was ďgerrymanderedĒ out of his 2nd Ward seat on the city council last year, now is challenging incumbent Alderwoman Andrea Egerstaffer for a 1st Ward seat.
Egerstaffer is a semi-retired, 63-year-old dietician whoís been one the cityís two 1st Ward alderpersons since 2009.
McIntyre is a former mayor of 10 years and a city council member for parts of the last two decades. Heís been out of city politics since last year after he was drubbed by Mayor Chris Lund in the spring 2012 mayoral election.
The Gazette submitted questions to both McIntyre and Egerstaffer:
Q: The city is neck-deep in a downtown needs analysis. What do you think downtown Edgerton needs most?
Egerstaffer: The downtown needs something to get people to come downtown. Be it one-day events, street art or a Maxwell Street Days thing where Fulton Street merchants can selling their stuff out on the sidewalk.
I am working on trying to get an open flea market near downtown once or twice a week. It will be close to if not involve the downtown. You need to get people to clean up so they know what buildings are available.
McIntyre: Act 10 labor rules coming down from the state. That was a tough thing. It occupied a lot of time. Something like that can tend to take away from the focus of economic development. Not that you go away from it entirely, but with the turmoil downtown in the home front in Wisconsin, you get distracted.
Thereís been a little bit of economic development with (Dan Rinehartís) warehouse (apartment) rehabs. Man, that guy threw his heart and soul into that development, despite the fact that he and the city had some hard, complex code stuff, parking and sewer stuff, to deal with.
Q: What do you think about Edgerton area manufacturers such as Componex and Edgerton Gear striking partnerships with the school district to bolster the workforce and train high-school students?
Egerstaffer: There are so many people not working because they donít know how to be responsible enough to be at work. They need the training to be on task, on time, punch in and punch out, all the little components that go into keeping a job. That stuff is not taught in school.
I think itís excellent that these places are training the kids with needed skills. Not everyone wants to go to college four years, and then when you get done, there still are no jobs for you.
McIntyre: Itís a very, very nice thing that is happening in the city. I can remember back in the 70s when shop and mechanics students, high school kids, would get jobs at gas stations and different things like that. Thatís filtered away over the last two years. But this proactive plan, youíve got (Dave) Hataj with Edgerton Gear really working within the city. Thatís what itís about. Weíre all together in sync and harmony. This proves what can happen when we work together with economic development. Itís exciting.
Q: Do you think the library board or the city overreached or overreacted by suspending library Director Sherry Machones last month while the city investigated her for posting an ďinappropriateĒ comment on Facebook.
Egerstaffer: Iíve not been on that board or in those meetings. They take care of their own down there. All they do is ask for a certain amount of money every year. We donít tell them where to spend it. Iím not into all of it. I knew what happened.
In the long run, it proves that we do discipline in all areas of city government.
McIntyre: Iím hitting it raw right now because I really only heard about this a couple of days ago. I used to be on the library board when I was mayor. I volunteered. No one ever wanted to be on the library board. I guess the library board, when I was on it, we had to look at the intricate procedures if there was a flaw or a fault with anyone. They should have had her in the process so she could defend what she did and didnít do, instead of having a big, full process.
Q: Why do you want to be on the council, and what is it your opponent hasnít done that youíd do? What would you bring to the table that others on the council donít?
Egerstaffer: The last term was the first time in years that a mayor has had to break so many tie votes on so many important issues. A city council doesnít always have to have consensus and agree on everything. Iím one who doesnít always agree. Iím not a ďyesĒ person.
McIntyre: I want to keep on doing the best I possibly can to do positive, proactive things for the people. Public service gets in your blood. I want to serve people in local politics for the rest of my life. Thatís my goal.