Joe Parisi For Dane County Executive, A Nice Person For Troubled Times

UPDATED

I am very proud to endorse Joe Parisi for Dane County Executive.  He is perfectly suited to provide leadership based on his skills, intellect, and temperament.

Joe Parisi tips the scale due to experience and the tone he has brought to politics in general, and to this race for county executive.

There is no doubt that even in Dane County, where our economic health is better than other areas of the state, we still feel the turmoil and angst of too many folks out of work.    It is not just enough to lure jobs to this region, but to make sure they are good paying jobs that provide benefits for all that live and work here.  We are not a bunch of faceless strangers but a series of  neighbors and communities that care about each other.  As such, we want and need to have economic gains for everyone.

Joe Parisi has stated often how he wants to use the county executive’s office as a place for businesses to get in touch with the resources they require to create and retain jobs.   But there is more to the task of creating jobs than just putting a paycheck in someone’s hand.

Whether we want to face it or not we are in a transformative age when it comes to job creation.  The question is do we look forward and create the jobs of tomorrow, or do we retreat and try to reclaim what was lost.

Future jobs in the green economy need to be pursued with all the speed and gusto Dane County can muster.  When Joe Parisi talks about making this county a leader in clean energy jobs I am hearing someone talk about a future with economic benefits for everyone.  When Parisi talks about these jobs I know he wants Dane County to be ahead of the curve in order to be more competitive with other regions of the country.

When Parisi speaks about the need for smart job growth in Dane County I am hearing a leader, not just a candidate.  Be it wind turbines, or solar panels on homes, Parisi has a vision for the future that blends our long-term interests with solid paying jobs.  The second largest county in Wisconsin would be well advised to heed his words.

With the green economy, and the needs of future businesses that will develop in Dane County, comes the vital questions surrounding our transportation policies.  For too long these issues have been mired in anger and confusion.  It need not be that way.

There is no doubt that commuter rail needs to become a reality if we are to be more competitive with other regions of the nation.  There is no way to deny that rail must be an integral part of real economic developement in the county.

Joe Parisi has the ability to communicate effectively without being antagonistic.  In this era  of mean-spirited political rhetoric Parisi will provide straight talk on a whole range of issues, up to and including trains, without resorting to the ugly side of politics. 

Kathleen Falk demonstrated how people with differing perspectives could work for the better good, and I know Parisi will do the same.  Parisi is known as a genuinely nice person, and that will go a long way in helping to shape policy goals with those who work with him.

While working to create a better economic climate in Dane County we can not neglect those who need social services.    While listening to responses of the candidates at the public forums there is no doubt  that Parisi is committed to making sure those who need help will not be forgotten.  All of us who share a set of values about the kind of  communities we want to live in understand the need to remain firm in protecting social programs. 

I truly think that Joe Parisi understands the old saying that we are only as strong as our weakest link.   That also seems to be the general view of the citizens of Dane County.

There will be many hard spots ahead for the new county executive, but I know Joe Parisi is well-suited to meet them.

We only need to look to the heart of the Madison isthmus to find political statehouse antagonists who snicker at what we have in Dane County.  The question then is how to deal with Republicans who have an ax to grind?

While there has been much talk of Governor Walker in this campaign the fact is we need to maintain civility in order to construct a working relationship for the next four years with the political opposition.

I know the maturity and decency that Joe Parisi has demonstrated over the years in the State Legislature, and in this campaign will enable him to best work with Republicans while always firmly grounded with his values.

Dane County is facing a future that demands solid leadership based on an open-eyed approach.  The best person to lead the way forward is someone many of us have long-known and deeply respect.

Joe Parisi is the best choice for Dane County Executive.