Share Joins Middleton Common Council

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MTT News Desk's picture
Matt Geiger
Miriam Share took the oath of office after a prolix Middleton City Council meeting on Monday night.

Miriam Share used to spend her Tuesday evenings singing in the Madison Symphony Chorus. As the newest member of the Middleton Common Council, she’ll now occupy those nights using her alto/soprano to vote “yay” or “nay” on policy decisions that shape the city’s future.

Share ran unopposed for the council’s District 1 seat after incumbent Paul Kinne chose not to seek another term in the Spring Election. She was sworn in by assistant city administrator John Lehman on Tuesday night.

She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and has lived in the Good Neighbor City since 2007. She works as an account executive for Clear Channel, Madison

While she’s a freshman councilor, Share is no stranger to the inner workings of city hall. She served as a citizen member on Middleton’s sustainability and arts committees, as well as running an unsuccessful campaign for the District 4 common council seat back in 2010.

“I’ll say now what I said when I first decided to run for this seat,” she said three days before taking the oath of office. “I see this as a natural extension – as the next step in the work I’ve been involved in here in Middleton for a number of years.”

Share’s ascent means the eight-person council – which was all male until Susan West (Dist. 6) first won her seat in 2008 - now has three female members. The trajectory toward gender equity is “a good thing,” Share observed.

In fact, she sees much of what’s happening in the city right now in a positive light.

“Middleton is growing, and from a sustainability standpoint, in terms of stewardship of natural resources, balancing beauty and resources when making decisions, its leadership has been terrific,” she said. “In terms of public safety, I think we have some of the finest police, emergency medical services and firefighters anywhere.”

Share said the common council has an “open door” policy when it comes to ideas. “On most issues, public input is requested and honored,” she said. “I think that policy is really important and it’s something that should continue.”

Share is a 2013 graduate of Emerge Wisconsin, a training program committed to getting more Democratic women into elected office in the state. She is also former marketing and public relations chair for Wisconsin Women Entrepreneurs.

Share said her governing style will be “fluid” rather than “written in stone,” allowing her to learn as she works. “I’ve had the privilege of helping form public policy at the committee level, and now I’m ready to listen, learn and take part in a group effort,” she said. “I’m ready to consensus build.”

In fact, Share said her unsuccessful bid to unseat alderman Jim Wexler (Dist. 4) three years ago, before she moved to the First District, actually exposed how much she has in common with those already guiding the city.

“Running against Jim was a terrific experience for me,” Share said, “in part because I learned how to – and more importantly how not to – run a campaign. Against Jim, I was really opposing someone with very similar views on many issues. I realized when it was over that there wasn’t enough differentiation between us to convince voters to make a change.”

Share said she ran a second time in an attempt “to give back.” “I’ve lived in other cities, but this is the only one that’s ever truly felt like home to me,” she said. “Mayor Sonnentag talked at the [city’s] 50th birthday celebration [last week] about the fact that there is a reason Middleton is consistently recognized as a great place to live. My goal is to help keep it that way.”

Share’s involvement in community initiatives and politics is not limited to the local level. She’s a member of the Greater Madison Convention and Visitors Bureau’s Community Resources Committee. She’s a member of the Democratic Party of Dane County, serving on the Executive Board and Campaign Committee. She’s volunteered for the campaigns of State Representative Dianne Hesselbein, U.S. Congressman Mark Pocan and U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin.

Share is also a dog lover (she owns two rescued Boston terriers, Reggie and Becky), a gardener, and an avid reader of historical non-fiction.

She was sworn in alongside incumbents JoAnna Richard (District 3), Howard Teal (District 5) and Hans Hilbert (District 7), all of whom were unopposed in the Spring Election.



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