Madison's 52nd Mayor 1979 - 1983
Joel Skornicka served as Madison mayor from 1979 to 1983, succeeding Paul Soglin, who decided
to step down after six years in office the first time he held the job.
His first term got off to an auspicious start when he was smacked in the face with a creme
pie during inauguration ceremonies at city hall.
The first big problem to face Skornicka was a strike by Madison Metro bus drivers, who were
represented by the powerful Teamsters Union Local 695. The strike ended with Skornicka signing
what was considered a generous contract for the drivers in an effort to get the buses moving
The city, however, got the drivers converted to city employees, something they had technically
not been since the city's purchase of the once private bus company. After they became city
employees, the drivers could not legally strike.
Skornicka elected not to run again in 1983, like Soglin, entering private practice. He was
succeeded in the office by Joe Sensenbrenner.