The Future of Your City | Part 3 of 9
Thank you for tuning in today.
The past few weeks my opponent has been arguing that experience is necessary to adequately serve as your mayor.
I couldn’t agree with him more.
The question you as the voter should be asking yourself, however, is what experience is relevant to accomplish that.
Don’t get me wrong; I will be the first person to thank Mr. Nelson for his military background. He is correct when he says that is an experience he and I don’t share. In fact, I personally attended his retirement ceremony at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum when he moved to Manitowoc a few years ago. I didn’t know who he was, but I was invited to attend a military retirement ceremony and I was honored to attend on behalf of the citizens of Manitowoc to thank him for his service.
However, he argues that working with the federal government and at the pentagon, along with being a former downtown retail business owner qualifies him to be the CEO of a 50 million dollar budget, with 350 employees, and $50 million dollars in debt, while arguing that I don’t have the experience he has that is necessary to be mayor.
I know I sometimes tout the fact that I was a fresh-faced kid in high school when I was first elected to the Common Council, but I say that because serving on the Common Council is an excellent qualifier to running for Mayor. I understand and appreciate the role and responsibilities the Common Council has – because I was one of them for 4 years.
I’ve prepared, presented and publicly argued for 8 city budgets as Mayor. I’ve operated this organization for 8 years and brought us out of near bankruptcy, implemented a LEAN approach to departments, brought increased transparency to city hall, made very difficult decisions sometimes on a 5-5 vote of the Common Council, casting the tie breaking vote for the MPU loan, donor-distressed TIF districts, and much more – sometimes that weren’t popular decisions amongst the citizens or council, but necessary ones and ones that have proven to bring our city out of debt and more responsible with your tax dollar. And I understand I didn’t do this alone. We have a great staff and a cooperative Common Council.
We have set a very responsible course for this city and now, more than ever, we need someone qualified to serve as the CEO of the City of Manitowoc. It’s taken this long to get us to a position of some exciting developments and opportunities. This is what I have been working on for eight years, for twelve years, actually and I am asking that you let me continue this work. I promise you that one day 1 of the new mayor’s term, you will have a qualified individual to lead us over the next 4 years if I am fortunate enough to earn your vote on April 4th.
I also reject the notion that we are a dying little city, as my opponent stated in his last radio program.
Tell that to Kaysun, Federal Mogul, Jagemann Stamping and Plating, Americollect, Forefront Dermatology, Skana Aluminum, Tramontina, Briess Malting, Orion, R2H, Northern Labs, Burger Boat, Dowco, or even Downtown, Jenn’s Java, Modern by Megean, The Hearty Olive, Aspire, the Wild Iris, Beernstens, Stockpile games, and many, many more.
They all believe their investment will pay off for years to come. All of those businesses have done something the past few years to improve their business, add on, or create more jobs.
We aren’t a dying little city and we should reject that notion from whoever says it.
Do we have our challenges, absolutely. But this city has never given up in tough times. North, south, east and west…even polish hill, we’ve always faced our challenges with strong leadership, business leaders who come together, and citizens who demand strong leadership from their Mayor and Common Council.
Now is the time to shape our future. I talk a lot about revitalizing downtown because I believe we have a very strong and successful future there. I talk a lot about our river and lakefront because our future is vested in them. I talk a lot about cleaning up our neighborhoods and parks because that is what makes us unique and positions us for a robust future.
This city is not dying. But we need to make sure we elect people who have a vision for our future, who have proven records and leadership, and who will fight for you every day they serve you.
I have worked hard for you and we have grown together. We have accomplished much and the future looks even brighter. Good things are happening. Sure, bad things still happen, too, but we have learned to take these in stride and not lose our vision or passion for our home. You have elected me four times, twice as your mayor and I have invested my entire life in this community. I ask that we continue our journey together. This is your home. This is my home. I am honored to lead our city forward and I hope I have earned your trust, your support, and your commitment to a better future by voting for me for 4 more years on April 4th.
Please don’t forget to vote in Tuesday’s primary election!
Until next week, Thank you.