Name: Ron Burlingame
Office: Running for 1st Ward Alderman in Harvard
Occupation: Financial Planner with Ameriprise Financial
Education: B.S. Degree from University of Wisconsin- Whitewater
Offices held: 2015- present, Alderman 1st Ward Harvard
1999-2002 Harvard School Board
1997-1999 Harvard Zoning Board Member
1. What is your largest priority for Harvard if elected?
I have 2 priorities for Harvard over the next few years. First is the upgrade of the waste water treatment plant that Harvard began planning for about 5 years ago. It is now anticipated that construction will begin in early 2020 and be completed the following year. The existing plant is over 50 years old and has outlived its useful life. This is a major financial commitment for the city, but with careful planning will be completed with only small increases to residence water bills.
The second priority is the planning for the new police station, that will be attached to City Hall. This project has also been in the planning stages for several years. This will replace the existing station that was originally constructed as the Harvard Moose Hall more than 50 years ago.
2. What changes should Harvard make in the future?
Harvard needs to come up with a long-range plan to resurface many of the city streets. Currently The city has been resurfacing about 1 1/2 miles of streets each year, and this is not nearly enough.
The city also needs to plan a new weather alert system. The city sirens have recently been plagued with false activations, probably caused by outsiders hacking into the system and setting them off. This not only causes great irritation, but also the dangers created when actual emergencies due arise.
3. What can Harvard do to stimulate business growth?
Harvard has just adopted its Strategic Vision and Goals, and a list of priorities to pursue over the next 3 years. Much of this focuses on economic development. The city council has made a commitment to seeing these priorities are adopted and changed as needed. This Strategic Vision and goals are prominently displayed on the City of Harvard website.
4. What makes you stand out compared to the other candidates?
My 30-year career as a financial planner, along with my past involvement with the city gives me vast experience that is needed by the city of Harvard at this time. The city will see a great deal of change over the next several years, and my experience will be needed as we go forward.
5. What else should voters know about you?
My wife, Micki, and I have lived here for more than 30 years. We raised our 2 children here, and they both went through Harvard Schools. I do not plan to leave anytime soon, so I have a vested interest in making this town the very best that it can be.