Atterbury Announces Write-in Campaign for Middleton Town Chair

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By: 
Michelle Phillips

MIDDLETON–Luke Atterbury has come forward as a write-in candidate for the Town of Middleton, planning a run against incumbent, Town Chair Cynthia Richson. The 28-year-old consultant for Nordic said he will seriously begin campaigning at the beginning of March for the spring election.

“I have worked for the town off and on for the last 15 years, starting as an intern election inspector,” he said of his relationship with the town. 

He said that the resignations and dismissals and lack of transparency are his main reasons for running for public office. 

“I think there is an illusion of transparency. There are more committees and processes,” he said, but doesn’t feel that more people and time spent equals transparency.

He also questioned the timing of the resignations of David Shaw and Patti Keichinger. “Getting rid of two people two weeks before the biggest election we have ever seen is irresponsible,” he said in what he called the “forced resignations” of Shaw and Keichinger. “The hush-hush, under the table business and sudden resignations is not the way acompany, let alone a town, should be run.”

Atterbury said he felt that information should be readily available to the press and the public. “There needs to be some accountability, and people need to know what’s going on.”

He said he would like to move to a more public process with staffing decision, and said he feels the board often “rubber stamps” appointments and employment decisions. “People need to have conversations with each other and be straight up,” he said.

One of the ways he would try to increase communication is through a more frequent and consistant newsletters to inform townspeople of what is going on in their local government. “I want to help make people more aware of what’s going on in the community.”

The staffing issues that have plagued the town (14 resignations or dismissals in 18 months) need to be stopped he said. “The town is experiencing growing pains, and needs to be fully staffed,” Atterbury stated. 

Atterbury said he knows it is hard to beat an incumbent, let alone through a write-in campaign, but said he felt he could no longer sit by idly and watch the town he lives in struggle. “It’s your duty as a citizen in a democracy to speak up, get out and vote, or run as a candidate,” Atterbury said.

He said he knows he has a lot to learn about serving on a town board but is willing to put in the time and work necessary to serve as town chair. 

“I hope it’s a wake-up call to the board and citizens in town and for them to have an opportunity to make improvements in the town they live in,” he said of his write-in campaign. 

Atterbury said he plans to be in the public eye and available to his constituents. “When you are working a public job, you’re a public servant, and I hope to have a good line of communication with residents,” he concluded.

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