Independent candidate for Dane County Executive Mary Ann Nicholson gathered signatures on Sunday, Dec. 27 at the Sun Prairie Park & Ride near the corner of O’Keeffe Avenue and Reiner Road, but also answered a few questions about her candidacy.
“I’m running because I think that Dane County has overreached their bounds as far as the school boards go. I’m trying to get the small businesses back up and running again — I think [the county has] overreached there.
“I’m also working on trying to bridge some social issues that are facing this county, including poverty in the outlying areas and race relations,” Nicholson said. “We need to sit down in a room. We need to get our police force back, give them the funding that they need to do their jobs and stand behind them 110%. We also need to look at property taxes — they are skyrocketing for taxes that are going all toward Madison projects.”
Nicholson contends incumbent executive Joe Parisi has not taken action to fix roads countywide.
“Our roads are in terrible shape. Our county roads need help,” Nicholson said. “He has the $28 registration fee and as of yet, I don’t think I’ve seen any road improvement out by me in the Town of Springdale, out on [Highway] PD, anywhere out in the outer areas of the county. In The Town of Blue Mounds, I talked to someone yesterday — same thing, road infrastructure is bad.”
As an accountant, Nicholson is familiar with budgets and numbers. “And I think that would help me with the budgets in the county,” Nicholson said. “I’ve looked at the budgets that I’ve seen and yeah, I need some help, but I think that I can actually get it. And, yeah, I’m excited to be a voice for the people of Dane County. That’s what I want to do.”
A resident of Dane County and Verona since 1969, Nicholson was born in Dodgeville, attended Ridgeway Elementary until February 1969 when her family moved to Verona and is a 1978 Verona High School graduate. Nicholson used an unusual experience bringing people together as an example of how she can work with others.
“Back in the day I was the first girl president of our FFA chapter, back in the ‘70s,” Nicholson said. “I had to learn how to bridge a gap between me and the boys that were in the club. And so from there on, I sort of broke a few bridges and then mended the bridges and built bridges.
“I have a lot of friends that are in different [political] spectrums,” Nicholson added. “And I think that I’m a voice of reason. I think that I can be that person. I can be the person that can put people in a room and make them come to find one similar thing that we can build on. I want to be the bridge builder.”
Nicholson has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Upper Iowa University. Besides her full-time job as a construction company controller, Nicholson also volunteers for Middleton Kids Triathlon, Ironman Wisconsin, St. Vincent de Paul and the Verona Food Pantry.
Learn more about Nicholson online at https://www.maryannfordanecounty.com