Spring Elections – April 7th
Wausau’s future will be greatly impacted by the outcome of the referendum on a City Administrator. My views are clear. Our current model has left us with too little strategic planning for our community’s future and too much politics in the daily running of city hall. The need for a change is clear. If you are in need of an ABSENTEE BALLOT, go to gab.wi.gov and request one ( English, Hmong, Spanish ).
The Case to be made (Articles from the Wausau Daily Herald and other outlets)
Here are just a few of the articles that have come out over the last two years addressing the concept of a City Administrator for Wausau:
- Wausau Chamber: City administrator is good for business (WDH online 3/28/15) This is the statement by the Wausau Region CoC in favor of the referendum. We posted the statement when they released it (see below)
- Vote yes on Wausau city administrator (WDH online 3/28/15) After weighing all the information that has come out, the Daily Herald Media Editorial Board believes the voters of Wausau should vote YES on the non-binding referendum.
- To fix City Hall, choose administrator (WDH online 3/21/15) This letter, from Gerald Whitburn, retired CEO and chairman of Church Insurance Company, makes the case that Wausau needs a professional to manage the complicated rules and laws that in recent years it has been guilty of violating.
- City manager idea goes back to Progressive Era: column (WDH online 3/18/15) A historical perspective on how the progressive movement gave us the idea of a city administrator to bring more professionalism to government.
- Spring Street example shows value of city administrator (WDH online 3/14/15) This opinion piece lays out just one of the many examples in our recent past where the expertise and guidance of a professional city administrator would’ve improved the implementation of a city project.
- Low attendance at Wausau informational meeting about city administrator (WSAU online 2/27/15) One of the first of many forums that discussed the issues and was designed to educate and get responses from the public.
- Modernize Wausau government with administrator (from WDH 2/26/15) This letter from Mr. Kenneth Day points to the need for a professional who specializes in running a municipality, which he points out has already happened in most of Wisconsin’s cities.
- City Administrator discussion will need many voices (from WDH 9/21/14) The Herald’s own view of the issue has called for a broad-based approach with people weighing in fully. We agree with their position and have worked to bring voices out.
- Administrator would help Wausau shine (from WDH 6/27/14) In this letter to the editor, Mr. James D. Seehafer expresses the thoughts that many in Wausau are thinking. His conclusion is also that the city needs professional leadership.
- City Hall is leaderless; we need an administrator (from WDH 6/20/14) This was an editorial I wrote. In it I enumerate my own thoughts regarding the issue. My conclusion is that Wausau is in need of a city administrator.
- Mort McBain: Administrator could fix Wausau City Hall (from WDH 5/21/14) An editorial from Mort McBain, a former county administrator on why a city administrator is not only a positive step, but why it helps the mayor to focus on what is important
- Why we need a city administrator (from WDH 3/22/14) An editorial by Duane Maatz, where he lays out a case for Wausau. He focuses on the challenges we are facing as well as the opportunities a city administrator would afford us.
- Time to consider a city administrator (from WDH 7/1/13) This gives us the historical perspective. Even in the 1920s, there were benefits to this style. While it mentions the city of Indianapolis, we know that more and more cities of our size are moving to it (not moving away from it)
The best decisions don’t come from conjecture, but are based in facts. I will post interesting and informative information that has been instructive to me in forming my view on this issue.
- Growth of Wisconsin’s 30 largest municipalities (excluding Milwaukee and Madison). Growth is key to the future of our community. looking at the growth in Wisconsin, the majority are in areas where there is an administrator .
- A presentation I gave on the idea of a City Administrator for the future of Wausau. It is a concise version of the issues facing us and how it should be addressed, in part, by bringing a City Administrator in.
- City at the Crossroads: City Administrator or Mayor (3/24/15). This press release by the Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce states that they strongly support the idea of a City Administrator and why. This is a more emphatic statement than their stated position a week earlier.
- Chamber endorses administrator for Wausau (WDH Online 3/18/15) After the study and discussions, the CoC reached a decision to support the proposition of bringing in a City Administrator. Here is a copy of the CoC’s press release regarding their decision.
- With the importance of the issues involved, the Chamber of Commerce commissioned a study of the issue. The CoC’s press release with links to their executive summary (direct link to the executive summary)
While the City Council will make the final decision, the referendum on April 7th is important. Look at the issues, look at the information, look at the evidence – then help Wausau to change for a better future. Here is what you can do
- Yard Signs (see link to the right). Help us get out the word about the referendum so that everyone’s voice can be heard. Information on how to obtain yours can be found by following the link in the right sidebar.
- Talk to Friends and Neighbors. One of the best ways to make sure people know about the referendum is to let them know yourself. If they have questions, you can point them here or our facebook page (link in the right sidebard).
- Social Media. Share what you see with the people you know, then ask them to share. It is a great way to spread the word in a place where many people are already grappling with the issues.
- Vote. There is a momentum growing on this issue, but it means more with a decisive referendum. Make your voice heard.
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authorized and paid for by Friends of Keene Winters Greg Strasser, Treasurer