Meet Our Commissioners

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Providing governance and oversight for the District

The District is governed by nine Commissioners serving staggered terms. Five Commissioners are appointed by the mayor of the City of Madison. Three Commissioners who reside outside the City of Madison are appointed by the Dane County Cities’ and Villages’ Association, an executive council representing elected officials from District cities and villages. One Commissioner is appointed by the Dane County Towns Association, an executive council comprised of town-elected officials. Meet our Commissioners and read their biographies below.

Our Commission meets twice a month most months of the year; meetings are currently held via Zoom and livestreamed on the District’s YouTube channel. Special meetings are held as needed. View our Commission meetings page for materials and upcoming dates.

Our Commissioners

President Tom Hovel

President Tom Hovel

Appointed: 1992
Term Ending: Fall 2023

Appointing authority: Dane County Cities’ and Villages’ Association

Commission President Tom Hovel, McFarland, is a retired city planner. Planning is a field that requires system-thinking and to anticipate, and help mitigate, impacts of human interaction with the environment. Educationally, he is trained as a geographer, which involves the examination of human interaction with the environment.

President Hovel has served on the District’s Commission for nearly three decades.

Vice President Ezra Meyer

Vice President Ezra Meyer

Appointed: 2010
Term Ending: Fall 2023

Appointing authority: City of Madison Mayor

As a water resources specialist, Commissioner Ezra Meyer, Madison, has assisted in the design and implementation of Clean Wisconsin’s statewide water policy program since 2008. Prior to Clean Wisconsin, he served as an educational specialist and on the board of directors for a nonprofit watershed advocacy organization that he helped to found.

Commission Meyer received a bachelor’s of science degree in economics and a certificate in environmental studies from UW-Madison. He later returned to UW-Madison to complete a master’s degree in water resources management and urban and regional planning.

Commission Secretary Brad Murphy

Commission Secretary Brad Murphy

Appointed: 2015
Term Ending: Fall 2024

Appointing Authority: City of Madison Mayor

Prior to his retirement in 2012, Commissioner Brad Murphy, Madison, was the planning division director for the City of Madison. He started his career in urban planning in 1980 with the City of Janesville and became Janesville’s Planning Director in 1987 prior to leaving for the City of Madison in 1989.

During his 23-year career with the City of Madison, he was responsible for the management of the City’s Planning Division and led a 27 person staff that prepared the City’s long-range Comprehensive Plan, the Downtown Plan, many sub-area plans for existing and new neighborhoods, the new Zoning Code, and intergovernmental agreements with eight of the City’s neighboring cities, villages, and townships. The Planning Division provided staff support to the Plan Commission, Landmarks Commission, Urban Design Commission, Long Range Transportation Planning Commission, Downtown Coordinating Committee, and the Mayor and Common Council on planning and development decisions.

Commissioner Murphy earned a bachelor’s degree in geography from the UW-Eau Claire and a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Tennessee.

Headshot of Commissioner Beth Bookland.

Beth Bookland

Appointed: 2020
Term Ending: Fall 2023

Appointing Authority: City of Madison Mayor

Commissioner Beth Bookland, Madison, has served as the director of global clinical operations for global consumer product companies and has led global environmental fate and effect studies for consumer product ingredients. As such, she has managed multi-million dollar budgets, keeping human health, environmental safety, and environmental fate and effects as top priorities while maintaining return on investment for company shareholders.

Over the years, Commissioner Bookland has worked as a scientist, small business owner, and she has been a technical leader in global corporations. She received her Ph.D. in environmental toxicology at UW-Madison in 1991. She currently serves as chairperson for the Committee on the Environment and as a member of the Solid Waste Advisory Committee.

2022 Comm KenClark

Ken Clark

Appointed: 2015
Term Ending: Fall 2025

Appointing Authority: Dane County Cities’ and Villages’ Association

Commissioner Ken Clark, DeForest, is president and chief operating officer of Total Water Treatment Systems Inc., an employee-owned business based in Madison. His responsibilities include business operations, annual budgeting, strategic planning, acquisitions and financial reporting.

Commissioner Clark served as a trustee for the Village of DeForest for seven years. He was a member of the DeForest Redevelopment Authority, DeForest Area Library Committee, Planning and Zoning Committee, and the Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Committee.

Meet Our Commissioners Sara Eskrich

Sara Eskrich

Appointed: 2015
Term Ending: Fall 2023

Appointing Authority: Dane County Cities’ and Villages’ Association

Commissioner Sara Eskrich, Madison, is the executive director of Democracy Found, a Wisconsin-based nonpartisan initiative committed to revitalizing democracy. She also serves as senior advisor to the Institute for Political Innovation.

Commissioner Eskrich previously served on the Madison Common Council as District 13 Alder. She is a member of the Madison Downtown Rotary and the Hoan Group. Her career includes roles in the public and private sectors, including at Deloitte Consulting, the UW Population Health Institute, Kids Forward, the Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health, and City Council President Michael P. Ross’ Campaign, and Office at the City of Boston.

Commissioner Eskrich is a graduate of the UW-Madison and holds a master’s of public affairs from the Robert M. La Follette School and a master’s of public health from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

Meet Our Commissioners Grant Foster

Grant Foster

Appointed: 2019
Term Ending: Fall 2023

Appointing Authority: City of Madison Mayor

Commissioner Grant Foster, Madison, represents the 15th District on the Madison Common Council. Prior to his service on the council, he worked in the education and health care fields as a teacher, medical interpreter, and most recently as a director of health information.

In addition to his service on the Commission, he also serves on the Transportation Policy & Planning Board, Board of Public Works, Sustainable Madison Committee, Madison Area MPO, and the Capital Area Regional Planning Commission.

Commissioner Greg Fries

Gregory Fries

Appointed: 2023
Term Ending: Winter 2026

Appointing Authority: City of Madison

Commissioner Greg Fries, Madison, oversees Storm and Sanitary utilities for the City of Madison. During his over 30 years of employment with the City, he has worked on projects in stormwater quality, flood control, erosion control, utility reconstruction and bioretention, as well as the City’s WPDES Stormwater Discharge Permit. He enjoys the challenges that come with designing, operating and managing effective, efficient and functional sewer systems for the City.

Commissioner Fries received both his bachelor’s of science degree in civil and environmental engineering and his master’s degree in business from UW-Madison. He has been a registered Professional Engineer in Wisconsin for more than 25 years.

Tom Wilson Headshot

Tom Wilson

Appointed: 2016
Term Ending: Fall 2024

Appointing Authority: Dane County Towns Association

Commissioner Tom Wilson, Westport, served as the Attorney/Administrator/Clerk-Treasurer for the Town of Westport in Dane County along the north shore of Lake Mendota from 1999 to 2022. Previously, he was a partner in the Wisconsin law firm Stafford Rosenbaum with a practice focus on local government and administrative law.

Commissioner Wilson has served and continues to serve on several local, regional and state government boards, commissions and committees, including the Executive Committee of the District’s Yahara WINS since its creation.

He received both his bachelor’s of arts degree in political science and his law degree from UW-Madison.