Candidate Maureen Byrne Supports Fiscal Prudence; Calls for Planning for Capital Projects
Friday, September 20, 2013 • 12:00am
MADISON - Madison Borough Council candidate, Maureen Byrne applauds the current Borough council’s fiscal prudence and calls for a permanent return to cooperative borough government.
Byrne stated that “In order for Madison government to remain fiscally prudent, a strategic long range planning guide for capital and infrastructure projects must be completed. Madison faces a backlog of projects that need to be addressed in a timely fashion, balancing the costs of the projects while maintaining a healthy surplus. Making last minute raids on surplus accounts to avoid needed bonding is the opposite of ‘fiscal prudence.’
Byrne commented that over the years, she has observed a continuing tradition of cooperative government in town. “Council members, recognizing that the needs of Madison transcends party affiliation, have worked together to create a community that supports all of its constituencies, regardless of where they live or work. When council members worked together to create a sustaining community, Madison has prospered,” she explained,
“Although the recession of 2007 presented an enormous challenge to the council, it has continued to pursue a prudent economic course. The recent budget, which resulted in a modest 1.48% tax increase, was the most cost effective budget in recent history. Balancing the capital, social and infrastructure needs of the borough, while striving to produce a historically low increase in the tax bill, the current budget is a second installment on a prudent financial course for the borough. As a consequence, S&P recently informed the borough that it had upgraded the outlook for Madison’s AAA debt rating from ‘negative’ to ‘stable.’”
The Madison Public Library was recently challenged by the Borough Council to develop a strategic plan. As Chairman of the Friends of the Madison Public Library and a member of the planning committee, Byrne found the process exciting and illuminating. “Madison residents shared with us what they liked about the library and what they wanted from the library in the future,” she said. “Armed with this information, the library is now making changes to better serve the Madison population.”
Byrne added that “I believe that the downtown and other commercial districts are critical to Madison’s prosperity. Anchoring the town, they bring in business and potential home owners. We are at a critical juncture, with vacancies rates at levels not seen since 2009. Although business investment is cyclical to some extent, we need to be reaching out to potential investors to locate in Madison, and continue to provide a retail experience that brings people from neighboring towns to our commercial districts.“
Byrne has been a member of the Madison Downtown Development Commission (DDC) for four years, where she supervised the establishment of the Madison Farmers Market on Waverly Place and Green Village Road and for the past two years has co-chaired the DDC ‘Taste of Madison’ event. She is an eight-year member of the Thursday Morning Club, where she served on the committee that raised $2.3 million for the renovation of the Madison Community House.
Byrne received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Economics from Goucher College, where she was valedictorian of her class. Prior to moving to Madison, she was an Assistant Vice President, Finance for Paine Webber, where she structured real estate and leasing deals for corporate and individual customers. She also served two years as Development Director and Director of Education for the Blue Ridge region of the American Cancer Society.
“Madison has always been a place to put down roots – fix up the garden, join the PTO, become a member of a community group, and I am certainly richer for it. I’ve had the opportunity to hear from people – whether they be my neighbor or a business owner on Main Street – what is important to them about Madison. It is what keeps them here. I’d like to continue these conversations, and help make their suggestions a reality,” she said.
Byrne has lived in Madison for nearly twenty years. “Having raised a family here and volunteered on exceptional committees, I’ve met people who have challenged me, and made my life richer for the experience. I hope to continue that experience as a member of the Borough Council,” she concluded.