I'm Teresa Radermacher and I'm proud to be serving Monona as a new City Council member. Now the work begins. In the past several months, and currently, I've been meeting with city leaders to learn more about the work they do, priorities, concerns, and how council members can work together to support them.
Though the election is over, I'll leave this site up as a way for you to learn more about me, my background, and my work in Monona. It's also a way for you to contact me with any questions you have. Please don't hesitate to do that through the Contact form below. Whether it be about an idea or concern you have, or a question about some of the projects listed here, I look forward to meeting and working with you.
MOM, NEIGHBOR, CITIZEN
Since 2007 my daughter and I have made Monona our home. Our modest 1950s ranch is more than what we need, with beautiful trees, caring neighbors, kids of all ages, and the best block party in town. It’s been a great place for her to grow up; from biking to driving, from Winnequah Elementary to MG High School. She’s in her junior year and is a remarkable young person with drive, depth, and insight, and she continues to be one of my greatest teachers. She's also a fantastic babysitter, so feel free to reach out :)
Over the years, I’ve learned about my community and how it operates by getting involved and helping out where I can. Through a number of projects, I’ve gotten to know some of our city leaders, have cultivated positive relationships, and a foundation of trust. I'd like to learn and do more, and with my daughter being a little older and more independent, the time is right, and I'm ready to pitch in at a higher level.
WHY I'M RUNNING
Two reasons. First, I want to help ensure we keep a strong focus on our current commitments to equity and sustainability. Second, I want to help find creative, low/no-cost ways to increase citizen engagement and participation. When our eyes are on these horizon points, I know in my heart that it creates more resilient communities. And with every decision and challenge ahead, these will be my guiding principles.
I know from experience that I’m not alone in this thinking. We all want a community that is strong and works for everyone. And I know how hard our city employees work, within a limited budget, for a community with a land-locked tax base. In addition to ongoing, operational matters, there will be new issues and decisions, from the repair and/or replacement of aging public facilities to the need for more affordable and accessible housing; the replacement of roughly 700 trees lost to natural attrition and disease; the future of San Damiano; new approaches to public safety; and the health of our land and water, to name a few. I have no “ax to grind” as they say. Instead, I see some fantastic opportunities ahead and I know I can work together with other decision-makers, to build consensus and find outcomes that work for everyone.
CURRENT COMMUNITY WORK
MG SCHOOL DISTRICT SUSTAINABILITY COMMITTEE
In 2019 I was among a group of citizens who approached the MG School Board to form a workgroup of local experts who could look for opportunities in our district to reduce our environmental footprint and energy costs. Two years later, in March 2022, construction will begin at the High School on what will be the largest rooftop solar array on any K-12 facility in the state. To put this into perspective, there are over 2000 school facilities in Wisconsin in over 400 districts.
The array will generate approximately 50% of the building’s electrical needs, cutting our utility bills enough to put the project into a cash-flow-positive status the very first year. And over its 30-year lifetime, the array will save or district an estimated $1.5 million, or more, if the cost of electricity rises, which it likely will. From an environmental perspective, our clean, solar-generated electricity will reduce our use of traditional coal-fired electricity enough to prevent the burning of over 16,000 tons of coal and its associated, harmful air emissions and pollutants.
Our school district and its leaders are doing impressive things. Being a part of this committee, working together with a diverse group from various backgrounds and areas of expertise, through project selection, data analysis, grant-writing, public outreach and now construction has been a tremendous growth opportunity. There is much our city leaders can learn from this project, and I'm looking forward to sharing my experiences and resources, so we too can reap similar benefits.
Learn more about the MGHS Solar Project at: https://www.mononagrove.org/welcome/mghs-solar-project.cfm
I'm humbled to be included among the small group of organizing members of Monona ARC, and for the opportunity to co-facilitate some of the earliest ARC conversations in our community.
By meeting with our neighbors, having difficult conversations in a safe space, developing and deepening our Awareness about systemic racism, building Relationships around this meaningful and critical topic, and making Commitments to do our part, we can start to build a better, more inclusive, and equitable Monona where everyone is welcome and thrives.
Sustainability is often thought of in an ecological, natural resources sense. That is certainly part of it. However, the most truly sustainable communities, organizations, families, are those where all members are valued, safe, healthy, and where access to opportunities, resources, and services is equitable.
One of the goals of Monona ARC is to empower non-elected community members, and so I'm stepping away from this work that has been a privilege. I invite you to learn more about Monona ARC at: https://sites.google.com/view/monona-arc/home. And if you’re so inspired to join an upcoming circle, please do. You’ll be happy you did.
CITY OF MONONA SUSTAINABILITY COMMITTEE
Since 2014 I've worked together with a number of other committed citizen volunteers and city alders to help increase awareness of sustainable practices, and influence the city's movement toward a greener future. With no standing operating budget nor authority to dictate procedure, we affect change through relationship building, collaboration, outreach, education, and leading by example.
One thing I’m particularly proud of is our work to research, author, build support for, and ultimately help pass through City Council our community's first-ever resolution to achieve 100% clean energy. Our targets are 2040 for municipal operations and 2050 for residential. Through a combination of reducing our energy consumption (diet) and transitioning to clean, renewable energy from solar, geothermal, wind, etc. instead of harmful fossil fuels (exercise) we can become a healthy and sustainable community - and save money while we do it.
As alder, I'm 100% committed to helping keep us on track to meet our clean energy goals.
Learn more about (and get involved with!) the City’s Sustainability Committee at: http://www.mymonona.com/1244/Sustainability-Committee.
PAST COMMUNITY WORK
DARK STORE AWARENESS CAMPAIGN
Former Organizer, Team Member
WINNEQUAH / MONONA TERRACYCLE
Founder, Former Program Coordinator
MONONA SWIM AND DIVE
Former Sustainability Projects Coordinator
By day, I’m an analyst with the Wisconsin District Attorney IT Program, within the Department of Administration. Our team of 20 (ish) provides network infrastructure, hardware, software, consulting, and support services to all DA offices in the state, to help them get the right information at the right time, to make the right decisions, for all of us.
Over the years, we’ve taken our state’s criminal prosecutor offices from typewriters and paper case files to fully digital paperless offices, with electronic referrals from law enforcement to a DA case management system our team built and supports, and electronic filing with all of Wisconsin’s circuit courts. Our work saves these under-staffed offices in every county countless hours and dollars, year after year. For some case types, like Domestic Abuse, we’ve also established automated reporting to other justice partners, that help track and inform decision-makers about trends in crime, arrests, and outcomes.
Government work is not glamorous - nor should it be. We have no marketing or advertising budgets, no expense accounts, no annual bonuses. Our work happens in the background, quietly, steadfastly, and we make do with simple tools and our own creativity. We are driven to save, not make, money, and a deep sense of pride in service.
Learn more about your state’s District Attorney IT Program here. https://dait.wi.gov/Pages/Home.aspx
"I trust Teresa completely to accomplish any project she is involved with (i.e. Terracycle, Monona's 100% Renewable Energy Resolution, Monona Grove School District's Sustainability Committee, and the High School solar array). We all benefit from her talents and passion for Monona. Teresa's leadership and commitment to get the job done has already improved our community in countless ways. I can't wait to see her impact on Monona as an Alder."
RENEW Wisconsin Board of Directors, citizen volunteer
Please don't hesitate to reach out with any questions or comments that are important to you.
LET'S GET TO WORK. TOGETHER.
On a final note, it takes community support, not just elected leaders, to achieve our goals. Volunteers are the heart of a healthy, engaged, and thriving community and our city committees are almost always in need of citizens to step up and offer their expertise, experiences, and ideas. You are qualified.
Maybe you’ve got time to volunteer on a standing committee or help with a short-term project. Whatever your interests and availability, I urge you to find your fit and help build an even better Monona for all who are drawn here. Apply for an appointment to a city committee here: http://www.mymonona.com/FormCenter/Committee-Application-11/Citizen-Application-for-Appointment-to-a-53
To stay up to speed on what’s happing in Monona, sign up for the My Monona Newsletter. https://lp.constantcontactpages.com/su/LiAxWwM
Additionally, you can sign up for email and text alerts about news flashes, upcoming events, various city services, and the agendas of the city council and various boards and commissions on the Notify Me page of the city’s website, at: http://www.mymonona.com/list.aspx#agendaCenter.