The Future of Your City
Part 4 of 9
Thank you for tuning in today.
The past few weeks I’ve talked about my past experiences and what we have accomplished the last 8 years in office.
Today I would like to focus on the future because that’s really what this election is about.
As of right now, less than 6 weeks from Election Day, I am the only candidate that has put forward a detailed plan for the next 4 years in office.
The plan focuses on 22 areas throughout the city that I believe we need to focus on, and invest in, between now and 2022. The plan breaks down those 22 points into 3 categories. Economic Development, Infrastructure and Parks, and Education and Culture.
Those areas include; Downtown Manitowoc, the Mid-City Mall and former Elks Club Property, a long-term development plan for the expo grounds now that Meijer is building there, the peninsula off of N. 10th Street, which is currently owned by Canadian National Rail, the Farmer’s Market and its parking lot, the entrance to our port on both sides, the coal pile and the Baymont Hotel properties for increased value and use, the vacant piece of land next to Burger Boat Company along our commercial river, the Industrial Park, the Waldo Boulevard corridor from I-43 to Rapids Road for development, the calumet avenue corridor, neighborhood redevelopment programs, $22 million on infrastructure and roads, Red Arrow Park, Lincoln Park and the Zoo, the Manitowoc Marina, Lower Henry Schuette Park trails and the ice age national scenic trails along it, the Wisconsin Maritime Museum and the National Marine Sanctuary, Silver Lake College, UW-Manitowoc, the Rahr-West Art Museum, and our Manitowoc Public School District.
I believe if we focus on these areas; to improve them, expand them, or invest in them, will have huge dividends that will pay off for our community as a whole.
As we look to the future and what we want our community to become, I believe we are well poised for excellent opportunities today. We’ve spent the past 8 years bringing our budget in line, working ourselves out of some of the most difficult economic times we’ve seen in decades, and we’ve set ourselves up to be able to invest in our community responsibly. We’ve also spent the past 100 years focused on Mirro and the Manitowoc Company. We now have a plethora of opportunities to focus on the hundreds of small to large businesses that are thriving in our community and want to continue their growth here.
Economic Development is by far the most important area right now. However, we can’t just chase manufacture jobs like we are used to. We must expand our capabilities as a community and also focus on growing industries, like health care. This is why education is a key component to my plan. We need to train our kids for the jobs we want to attract to our community, not just the jobs we have here today. Our school district, UW-Manitowoc, Silver Lake College, Lakeshore Technical College, and our excellent Library are all excited for these new opportunities and have already began working together to accomplish many of these goals.
Downtown is also important to me. I believe that a robust downtown is a major component to attracting younger generations. Our two areas of focus will be on increasing the amount of people that live and work downtown. If we increase those areas, we will start to see more events downtown, businesses opening downtown, the clipper city co-op investing in downtown, bicycle and pedestrian safety measures added downtown, and we will have a more vibrant city because of it.
Infrastructure is also important for economic development, which is why I am calling for $22 million dollars in investments in infrastructure and roads over the next 4 years. This may sound like a staggering amount, but even with that investment we will still lower our city debt by $10 million over that same time period in my plan.
Parks, recreation, the arts, culture, and a sense of community are all also important to attract businesses and people to live here. We are fortunate to have the Wisconsin Maritime Museum, the Rahr-West Art Musuem, the Capitol Civic Centre, our Zoo, beaches, our Marina, and our trails. We need to continue investing in public art, public education, and culture.
The budgets I’ve presented in the past began building upon these values I am sharing with you today; from getting our budget balanced, reducing our debt, investing in public murals like the one at Red Arrow Park, cleaning up our beaches, investing in the Lincoln Park Zoo, putting $250,000 into a neighborhood blight program, demolishing the mid-city mall and now Mirro, and putting money forward on smaller investments downtown like the bike racks, ice skating rink, and pedestrian safety signs and soon-to-be bike sharrows for safe bicycling downtown.
If I am fortunate enough to earn your vote on April 4th, I will continue to prioritize the areas in our community that will help us grow economically, help clean up our neighborhoods, focus on our children, and make us a clean, safe, and welcoming community for our residents, visitors, and businesses that want to move here.
Until next week, Thank you.