In Middleton’s April election, two Middleton town board incumbents, Bill Kolar and Tim Roehl, lost their seats to write-in candidates. The results made headlines across the state, but now the two are saying they were the victims of character assassination and negative campaign tactics.
Each claimed that winner Cynthia Richson blatantly lied to voters. Ms. Richson denies the accusations.
Much of the battle surrounded legislation that allows towns within Dane County to opt out of county zoning laws.
Opt out proponents say townships should be allowed to control their own lands for development. They blame the Dane County board for ignoring the wishes of rural communities.
Opponents say towns will lose a regional perspective and potentially see a drop in quality-of-service from the county.
Last night, the towns of Berry, Middleton, Springfield, and Westport held public votes to decide whether to opt out of Dane County’s zoning laws. Middleton was the only town which voted to remain under the existing zoning laws with a 352 to 29 vote. Berry opted out with a 69 to 19 vote. Westport saw no supporters for the zoning laws and 34 votes to opt out. The vote in Springfield came down to five votes, but they opted out with a final count of 53 to 48.
It is the first time townships in Dane County have been able to opt-out in over 50 years. It’s all thanks to a state law that allows this option only in Dane County, one of 72 total counties in the state.
Producer Alejandro Alonso Galva reached out to the two former Middleton town board members who lost re-election bids for their seats over the zoning law debate.