Seal of Dane County County of Dane
County Executive's Office

Mayors, County Executive make Appointments to Dane County RTA

December 04, 2009
Rachel Strauch-Nelson, (608) 266-4611 Joshua Wescott, (608) 267-8823
County Executive

Mayors Dave Cieslewicz, Joe Chase, Jay Allen and Kurt Sonnentag and County Executive Kathleen Falk announced their appointments to the Dane County Regional Transit Authority (RTA) today.

 “I’m pleased to be taking this important step forward,” Mayor Dave Cieslewicz said. “An RTA will allow us to improve and expand our bus service, as well as explore options for a regional transit system. I’m confident that we are bringing together qualified appointees that will move us toward the goal of truly regional transit.”

“My appointees to the RTA will vote to have a referendum before there’s any sales tax for transportation improvements and they will honor the decision of the voters,” County Executive Kathleen Falk said.

“Mr. Opitz’s extensive background in transportation planning will be a perfect fit for the RTA Board,” Mayor Sonnentag said. “He has been the City’s point person for working with Madison Metro to develop Middleton bus routes and has been instrumental in developing the city’s Bike and Pedestrian Plan.  I am confident that he will be a strong voice for a practical transportation strategy that will meet the needs of our region.”

 “As all have agreed, my appointee, Kimberly Warkentin strongly supports a referendum on the sales tax when the time is right.  I am particularly proud that Fitchburg's representative will be Kim, who will bring her energy, knowledge, and experience at this critical time to Dane County,” Mayor Allen said. “In a great effort of collaboration, we have brought a lot of leaders in Dane County together to achieve a common goal.  I appreciate the work that County Executive Falk, and Mayors Cieslewicz, Chase, and Sonnentag have contributed to getting us to this point.  I look forward to continued work with them and others in Dane County to have an RTA that meets our needs for the future.”

"My thanks to the people who have stepped up to work on a governmental body that can offer alternate transit opportunities for all of Dane County's residents,” said Sun Prairie Mayor Joe Chase. “I am confident that the new members of RTA board will be challenged, but as they educate themselves they will share their facts and vision with the public throughout the coming year."

Appointments are expected to be confirmed in the New Year.

Appointments to the RTA Board are as follows:    

County Executive:            

Kristine Euclide, Vice President and General Counsel of MG&E

Dick Wagner, Former Chairperson, Dane County Board of Supervisors


Mayor Cieslewicz:

Steve Hiniker, Executive Director of 1000 Friends of Wisconsin

Susan Schmitz, President of Downtown Madison Incorporated


Mayor Sonnentag:          

Mark Opitz, City of Middleton Assistant Planning Director and Dane County Board Supervisor for District 26


Mayor Chase:                     

Donald A. Esposito, Vice President of Land Acquisition & Development/ Executive Vice President for Veridian Homes, LLC.


Mayor Allen:                       

Kimberly Warkentin, State Director of America Votes