Burlington, News, Uncategorized

Experience Burlington to sponsor Mayoral debate

Free event will be held March 4 at Veterans Terrace

By Jason Arndt

Corina Kretschmer

City of Burlington residents will have a chance to meet two candidates seeking the mayoral post during a debate next week.

The debate, which is being sponsored by Experience Burlington, will be 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Monday, March 4 at Veterans Terrace, 589 Milwaukee Ave., Burlington.

Jon E. Schultz, of District 3, and Corina Kretschmer from District 1, will be on the April 4 Spring Election ballot and look to succeed long-time Mayor Jeannie Hefty.

Hefty, who decided not to seek a fifth consecutive term, has served as the city’s top elected official in two separate stints accounting for a total 16 years.

M.T. Boyle, executive director of Experience Burlington, said the group’s goal in sponsoring the debate is to allow each candidate an opportunity to present their platform.

“The mission of Experience Burlington is to support, nurture, and advocate for our thriving businesses and the Burlington community,” Boyle said.

“After eight years with a popular mayor, we have two candidates who are asking the public to trust them to lead our city for the next (two) years. Our goal with the Mayoral debate is to give Jon and Corina a forum to present their case of why the public should vote for them.”

Jon E. Schultz II

Boyle said Stephen Quist, past president of Experience Burlington, will serve as moderator for the debate.

Quist, along with other Experience Burlington members, have collected questions from local business leaders and will present them to the candidates during the debate.

“We are excited to be able to have this debate as we know how important our leadership is to the growth and direction of our great Burlington community,” Boyle said.

Hefty initially planned to step down in 2022. However, she opted for another term for the purpose of guiding the city through the Echo Lake Dam issue, which has been resolved with the Common Council endorsing a resolution to retain the structure based on results from an advisory referendum presented to voters in November 2022.

“I was going to step down in 2022, but saving Echo Lake was in my heart,” Hefty said in a statement last December. “After I step down in April 2024, my goal is to improve my health, focus on my family and friends.”

The mayoral debate, which is free and open to the public, will also include a meet and greet with local, county and state candidates from 7:30 until 8:30 p.m.

The mayoral post isn’t the only contested local race on the ballot for the Common Council.

Thomas Preusker, of District 4, faces former alderman Todd Bauman, who decided to step away in 2020.

Outside of contests for the mayor and District 4, all other seats are uncontested, including districts 1, 2, and 3 as well as Municipal Court judge.

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