Parisi makes commitment to clean energy projects as county exec

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

From an article by in The Capital Times

Most people assumed Rep. Joe Parisi would win the race to be the next Dane County executive.

The real question was by how much.

Parisi ended up defeating Dane County supervisor Eileen Bruskewitz by some 70,000 votes, earning 120,255 (70 percent) compared to her 51,143 votes.

Parisi now faces the daunting task of maintaining county services and pro-environment policies at a time when the Republican-led Legislature and governor's office are pushing to privatize programs in an attempt to scale back a $3.6 billion structural deficit for the fiscal year that begins July 1. . . .

His campaign promise to promote economic and environmental sustainability will include a commitment to extend several environmentally friendly projects started by outgoing Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk.

This includes a project that captures methane gas from landfills and turns it into electricity. The electricity is then sold back to power companies, generating $3 million a year for the county. Parisi also cites Falk's support of the solar hot water heater at the county jail. The heater will save the county roughly $640,000 in expenses over its lifetime.

"That is real money and real savings," Parisi said. "But those are the types of evidence-based programs and innovative projects we need to continue to find. The work ahead of us is tough. It is going to be challenging."