PLATTEVILLE, Wisconsin – Four candidates seeking a seat on the Platteville Common Council answered questions from sitting members on Tuesday, arguing for their appointment.
The elected post has been vacant since May when Robin Cline announced his resignation, citing health and family responsibilities as factors. The term expires in April.
Below are highlights from each of the four, presented in the order they spoke on Tuesday.
Parrott, 55, hopes to serve on the board to improve board representation from an increasingly diverse community.
Minister, communications consultant and trainer, Parrott ran for a council seat in the spring election for District 4, but incumbent Ken Kilian retained his seat.
Parrott said she hopes to help the city tackle lingering racial inequalities.
“It’s not a slingshot, but it’s really something that we’re trying to tackle right now,” she said.
Parrott said the city has strength in the bonds between residents. To capitalize on this, she hopes to help the council improve its communication with residents and empower them.
A retired US Navy veteran and mechanical technology specialist from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, Holverson, 69, said he was running for the board with an “open mind.”
“I don’t have an agenda or an ax to settle,” he said.
Holverson wants to help improve pedestrian access and parking in town, as well as attract more manufacturing companies that would provide “value-added” jobs with lifelong employment opportunities.
He has served on several boards and committees in the community and at UW-P and has volunteered with Scouting, the Big Buddy program and as a poll worker.
Cooley, 56, director of leadership at Southwest Wisconsin Technical College in Fennimore, said the city is ready to make positive changes that will inspire people to move or stay in Platteville.
“We have a population, especially the Latinxs, that is growing,” he said. “How welcoming do we think we are? “
Cooley said the city needs to develop new sources of income and create attractive housing for young families.
He chairs the Platteville Municipal Airport Commission and recently completed a term on the Planning Commission.
Cooley said that as a council member he would aim to hire younger residents to fill vacancies on city committees and commissions.
Sukhwal, 24, hopes to bring the voice of a young person and that of a person of color to the city government.
He is a community health worker with the Neighborhood Health Partners of the Southwestern Wisconsin Community Action Program.
He believes the city has attracted businesses and created jobs, but needs to better engage residents to develop its workforce and fill vacant positions.
Improving the city’s inclusiveness could do just that, Sukhwal said.
“Our demographics are changing and we can be proactive rather than reactive,” he said.
City council members are to select a candidate at their July 27 meeting. The members of the Council will nominate the finalists and the candidate who obtains the simple majority will be nominated.