Three candidates are vying for two Fort Atkinson City Council seats in the spring election.

On the Tuesday, April 7, ballot are incumbent Bruce Johnson and newcomers Jean Brooks and Brandon Housley.

The at-large seats carry two-year terms.

Announcing he would not be seeking re-election, incumbent Jude Hartwick, filed noncandidacy papers in December.

“I chose not to run because I do believe in term limits and three terms is enough,” said Hartwick, who has been on the council since 2014.

The Daily Union asked the candidates what their main issues of concern are as they relate to serving Fort Atkinson residents. Their responses follow alphabetically, but with the incumbent first:

Bruce Johnson

Bruce Johnson, 61, of 21 Talcott Court, is seeking his second term on the city council.

He is doing so, he said, “because I love the City of Fort Atkinson and I want to do my part in preserving the small-town ambience and make it better any way I can.”

To do that, Johnson said, he wants to make sure Fort Atkinson is user-friendly for all age brackets, including the elderly.

He also said he believes it is important for residents to have a pipeline to municipal government.

“Sometimes the people feel that they don’t have a voice, and that the city will do what it wants regardless of what they say,” he added. “I want them, through me, to have a voice.”

Johnson also pointed to development in the city.

““I want to help Fort develop smart growth and offer quality business opportunities,” he said.

Johnson may be contacted through email at bjohnson@fortatkinsonwi.net.

Jean Brooks

Jean Brooks, 71, of 1113 Elsie St., said that a desire for Fort Atkinson to be more environmentally aware is part of the reason she is running for city council.

“I see a need for more attention given to concerns related to climate change,” Brooks said. “Also, as a retired nurse, I have an understanding and interest in supporting the needs of our great health-care system.”

Brooks said her top three issues of concern starts with “to be sure the natural environment is a top priority in all decisions” and then “to bring awareness and preparation to the community for the impact of climate change.”

In addition, the candidate noted that the current coronavirus shows the importance of a top-notch health-care system.

“I want to focus an awareness that the city is on the front lines of meeting the safety and health-care needs of its citizens,” she said.

Brooks may be contacted through email at jeanbrooks1@mac.com.

Brandon Housley

Brandon Housley, 36, of 342 Jackson St., has resided in Fort Atkinson for nearly four decades.

“Having been raised in Fort Atkinson and being a part of the community for the better part of 36 years, I’ve come to love this city and want to see it grow and continue to thrive,” he said.

Housley said he has been very involved in the community within the last decade or so, between coaching Fort Atkinson High School swimming (boys and girls), volunteering at the Fort Atkinson Farmers Market, and being a Fort Atkinson Area Chamber of Commerce ambassador, Fort Atkinson Club Board of Directors member and president of the Fort Knocks Investment Club.

He is the previous co-owner of CrossFit Fort Atkinson and Paddy Coughlin’s Irish Pub.

“I have come to find that the best way for me to learn and be an integral part of things I’m interested in, such as local government, is to jump in ‘head first,.” Housley said. “I plan to do so with an open mind while listening, absorbing, researching and reviewing the issues at hand and asking questions or expressing my concerns when I feel they are necessary.”

His cited “improving and expanding infrastructure within Fort Atkinson” as an important concern.

In addition, Housley said he wants “affordable/sustainable housing and rent in Fort Atkinson” and “economic Development throughout Fort Atkinson.”

Housley may be reached by email at bmhousley@gmail.com.

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