Candidate Q&A: Sun Prairie City Council, District 1

March 12, 2018

Two candidates are vying for a seat on the Sun Prairie City Council in District 1 in the April 3 election. Terms are for two years. (I) indicates incumbent.

Chris M. Astrella

Age: 37

Address: 744 Bluestem Court

Family: Married to Dr. Julie Astrella

Job: Implementation and Matterport media specialist for ABODO; 12½ years of experience in municipal government as a deputy clerk/treasurer and clerk/treasurer

Prior elected office: Elected president of the Wisconsin Municipal Clerks Association

Other public service: Volunteer captain for the Ironman of Wisconsin; five years on the WMCA board of directors

Education: B.S. in political science, UW Oshkosh, 2003; currently attending graduate school at UW-Oshkosh for master’s of public administration

Website and email address: www.facebook.com/AstrellaforSPCC; caforsp18@gmail.com

Steve Stocker (I)

Age: 65

Address: 760 Pilgrim Trail

Family: Daughter Suzanne Shea and son-in-law Gordon Shea; grandson Aidan; granddaughter Maddie; daughter Michelle Stocker; daughter Nicole Stocker; son Jonathan Stocker; daughter-in-law Kim; and granddaughter Brooke

Job: Retired Oscar Mayer/Kraft Foods and Hewlett-Packard executive

Prior elected office: Sun Prairie City Council member; trustee of Sacred Hearts Parish Council

Other public service: More than 45 years of community service including founder and coordinator of the annual Sun Prairie City-Wide Garage Sales; member of the Sun Prairie Planning Commission, Public Works Commission and Finance Commission; Colonial Club City of Sun Prairie liaison; Sun Prairie Historical Museum board member; Sunshine Supper committee member and weekly volunteer; Oscar Mayer/United Way READI Volunteer Organization board member; chairman of Sun Prairie’s Sesquicentennial; campaign manager for Paul Esser’s successful run for mayor of Sun Prairie in 2015; former instructor, Sacred Hearts Religious Education; Colonial Club Strawberry Festival volunteer; Sun Prairie Sweet Corn Festival volunteer; former Sun Prairie Park and Recreation ice skating instructor; Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Light the Night board member; American Diabetes Association Tour de Cure board member; and Literacy Network volunteer

Education: B.B.A. with honors, UW-Whitewater, 1973

Website and email address: www.facebook.com/StockerForSP; StockerforSP@gmail.com


List three of your top priorities.

Astrella: Keeping property taxes stable, increased transportation infrastructure (bus and bike), weekly recycling throughout the city. Our businesses need more workers, and expanding our infrastructure will help get them here. Spending just to spend is not appropriate.

Stocker: Transportation: Expand private/public/bicycle options, which will connect us to the Madison network. Housing: Balanced single-family and multi-family (with 1,300 units approved, I support no additional apartments until these are built and open to determine if we still have a gap). Update our outdated 2009 Comprehensive Plan, which represents Sun Prairie’s future vision where housing/transportation/parks/land preservation/development will take place.

If you could reverse one city action, what would that be?

Astrella: The Sidewalk Policy. It needs to be re-examined and is confusing to residents. The council needs to listen to their constituents instead of having an end-all, be-all policy.

Stocker: Prior to me joining the City Council, they made the decision to begin cutting ash trees before informing the citizens and listening to their input. Once some outraged citizens demanded a meeting, the council learned that there may be a way to save, or at least prolong, their life, and cutting ceased. Lessons learned: Communicate and listen to our citizens.

How would you change the way the city handles development?

Astrella: I would slow down. Sun Prairie is the fastest-growing city in Wisconsin, but we shouldn’t grow too fast for ourselves. My education, employment background and graduate school have taught me how to properly govern in a city our size and administer our services. I look forward to representing my fellow citizens in a positive and professional manner.

Stocker: We have an excellent economic development staff who actively pursues businesses wanting to come to Sun Prairie, partially due to our close proximity to the Interstate/airport and attractive utility rates. The change I support is the updated Comprehensive Plan, which will tell developers where space is available for them, rather than they telling us where they would like to go.