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City Council Candidate Q & A

We are very proud to be able to offer you this series of Q & As concerning the next round of Manitowoc City Council elections.   There are 10 council seats, and each Council person represents a single geographic district. The Council term is two years, meaning that every year five of the ten districts are up for reelection.  This year, three of the five districts are contested. In District 1, incumbent Mike Howe is running unopposed, and in District 7, incumbent Todd Lotz is running as a write-in candidate after initially indicating that he would not seek to reclaim his seat.

However, there are three districts that do have contested elections.  The Periscope very much wanted to get to know these candidates and more importantly, transfer our findings on to our exceptionally appreciated readers.

Our methodology was simple.  The Periscope has three partners, and there are three contested races, so each of us was assigned a single district, and we were left to our own judgment how best to contact and communicate with each candidate.  We did put together a slate of questions in advance, with the intent of treating each candidate as fairly as possible. We want readers to get a general sense of these candidates and hope that readers will follow up directly if they so choose.  Our intent was not to trap or to trick anyone. That said, there are some slightly uncomfortable issues facing Manitowoc that we did ask about, in true Periscope fashion. Our readers should also be advised that each candidate had the right to answer or not answer all of the questions.  Our results follow. Thanks to all of these candidates for taking the time to meet with us and/or answer our questions!

District 2

Answers collected by Dave Soeldner

Incumbent:  Scott McMeans

Ald. McMeans has been in office since 2009.  He elected to submit his answers in written format.  What follows is a verbatim version of his responses.

Why are you interested in running for re-election?

My motivation is the same now as it was in 2009; giving back to the community. Everyone can contribute to their community in different ways. My way of contributing is using my skills to help guide City policies and direction that will provide the best value for all taxpayers and residents. Through much support and encouragement in my district, I feel continuing for another term will allow me to deliver on the expectations of district 2 constituents.

What skills and talents do you have that will contribute to being on Council and will allow you to represent the district well?

I have solid soft and hard skills that contribute to my ability to serve on Council. Listening and communication are the soft skills that I have been trained on and allowed me to fully understand community and constituent needs. These skills also ensure I fully communicate so everyone is clear and on the same page. I also bring over 27 years of business acumen through leadership and business strategy. My overall abilities bring a unique skill-set that can compliment the other variety of backgrounds on Council.

What are the biggest issues facing Manitowoc and how do you hope to address them?

The issues we face in Manitowoc are not unique to our community; Opioid use, a declining population, and worker shortages are all on the top of the list. To help address these, I first support that the City keeps resources focused on being a safe community through policies and dollars that support public safety. We must keep our neighborhoods clean through blight elimination and support private redevelopment in these areas. Existing business retention and attracting new businesses through our EDC investment is a must. We have to keep competitive in the infrastructure support to be the preferred location to do business. Lastly, I support enhancing our community through new capabilities (policies and investments) of fixing and building our overall infrastructure such as roads and public amenities. Taxpayer dollars are limited so we must balance the use and think differently on how to problem solve our issues and be unique to turn the trends around. Attracting the next generation of workers, protecting our current tax base from unnecessary rising costs, and being relevant to the business environment are the outcomes I seek and philosophy I support.

What do you consider your biggest accomplishments since you have been on Council? Do you have some new ideas or changes you propose to bring forward?

I believe my biggest accomplishment on Council is successfully serving my community in the way that respects their money and needs. This is not without difficult decisions and sometimes learning a better direction could have been taken, but overall my contribution has help the City climb from bankruptcy to a financially solid position. The work that I have done to help the City deploy and sustain Lean strategy and thinking as help operations adjust to working with a more efficient workforce, communicate amongst different departments, and most importantly consider all stakeholders (citizens and businesses) in the decisions. This rolled over into a private/public collaboration policy that was written into Governor Walker’s budget a few years back.

As the incumbent, why should voters stick with you instead of making a change?

As I mentioned in other answers, I receive positive feedback from constituents and community members regarding my role and work on Council. I have been living in my district for 14 years and understand the current challenges and opportunities that will benefit everyone. I have helped bring the City from a poor financial position to a favorable one, so we can move forward effectively. I bring a skill-set to council that is unique and, will provide the best value to the community.

What are your viewpoints of the Downtown Master Plan?

The plan is only one piece of a much larger puzzle to move our community forward and it will not implement itself. The community will need all stakeholders to participate in making it become reality; this includes private and public stakeholders. The plan that outlines several details of enhanced community amenities and opportunities must be managed wisely and adjusted accordingly to be effective. Focusing dollars on the wrong project or delays will put this on the shelf as in the past. We have lots of positive momentum with private investors in our downtown and with smart choices, this will provide value to our community.

Do you feel the Council properly handled the Ald Gabriel issue?

I think what this question is really asking “Does the Council have the right to censure one of its members?” Censure is a legal action that is commonly used in city, state, and federal governments as a way to self-monitor membership conduct. It is handled through a formal resolution of the membership that is supported, or not, by majority vote as a way to reprimand a member for a violation or specific conduct. It is an expression of displeasure in one of its members. This action cannot carry any financial implications or suspension of the rights of the member as a voting member of the body. It also cannot prohibit the member from participating in any discussion at committee or full meetings. While censure is not pursued for unintentional occurrences, it is done when a serious offense is being addressed such as a member taking unilateral actions against employees of the government. In a situation like this, the member can lose legislative immunity and risks action by their membership. There are examples in government where members have been removed from their committee appointments, such as King being removed after making inappropriate comments in the public. This action, however, does not remove the Iowa representative from voting or participating on issues; thus still representing his state. Lastly, it is extremely important for those concerned on a matter to make sure they are fully aware of all the information and even then there is sometimes information that is not public as closed session discussions between the member and censuring membership cannot be released.

Challenger:  Rick Zunker

Mr. Zunker met with Dave Soeldner and an edited transcript from the meeting follows.

Why are you interested in running for Council?

I want to give back to the community, and I believe that we need some fresh ideas on the Council.

What skills and talents do you have that will contribute to being on the Council and that will allow you to represent your district well?

I have been serving on my church council (First Presbyterian) and that has given me a good background on serving on a committee.  I work for Schmidt Amusements and I regularly interact with customers. I think that I have good people and customer service skills.  I’ve also learned a lot knocking on doors as I’ve been campaigning.

What are the biggest issues facing Manitowoc and how would you hope to address them?

A lot of people seem to feel that we need change, not just in District 2 but in the city in general.  In District 2, I am concerned about the two mall properties. I’d like to see sort of mixed development on the Mid Cities Mall property—maybe some retail and some residential.  Smaller scale.

You are challenging an incumbent.  What new ideas, changes, and proposals will you propose?

There are maybe a few issues that probably need to be taken a closer look at.  Mainly, though, I just think that we need some fresh faces.

Have you ever run for elected office before?  What are your reasons for running for Alderman and were you recruited to do so?

I was not recruited.  I kind of stepped up on my own thinking that there needs to be a change, and I have heard from voters in District 2 that there’s a need for a change.

What are your views on the new downtown master plan?

I think it’s a good plan.  My vision is, move forward, keep growing, keep building on what we already have.  I think that the purchase of the CN Peninsula was a good move. Other cities don’t have an asset like that.

I am sure that you are aware of actions taken by the Council against Alderwoman Gabriel.  Do you feel that she was treated fairly and do you think their actions prevented her from representing her district?

Oh I totally agree with that.  I think she was bullied. Taking her committee voting power away was huge.  Now voters in District 10 have no voice. I don’t think it should have been brought up by the Council in the first place.  I didn’t get it way back from last year. Maybe I’m missing something, but it’s not a Council matter.

We understand that Council is a nonpartisan office, but do you identify more as a conservative or a liberal?

I tend to be more conservative, but I consider myself to be a common sense pragmatist.  A lot of issues that come before Council are not partisan. My three beliefs are “listen, communicate, execute”.  Listening is your best tool. Communicate back, and try to execute.

District 3

Answers collected by Jeremy Seidl

Incumbent:  Jeremiah Novak

Ald. Novak has been in office since 2017.  He met with Jeremy Seidl, and a transcript of their meeting follows.

Why are you interested in running for re-election?

So my goal is to see the city move forward and not backwards. I think right now we’re at a really crucial point in the city where we’re at that breaking point. We have a lot of really cool things happening, businesses coming in, expanding, and the city is starting to actually purchase some land and starting to make some strategic moves, I would say, and I want to make sure that that actually goes forward in the right direction where it doesn’t hurt the taxpayer by overextending the city, so that’s my goal for 2019, 2020, and 2021.

What skills and talents do you have that will contribute to being on the council and that will allow you to represent your district well? So what are some of your skill sets?

I would say as far as skill sets go, being a small business owner and running a business in kind of technically the downtown, it kind of falls, really gives me the advantage of understanding marketing, business trends, making sure that we’re growing in the right direction. Another skill set is the fact that I’m very involved with the community as far as donating money, time, and resources to nonprofits and other organizations, which I think is what we need to start doing with the city, breaking down the silos, so those are some of the skill sets to trying to bring all these groups together.

What are the biggest issues facing Manitowoc, and how do you hope to address them?

One of the biggest issues I think Manitowoc has and I think all the communities around us have is employees. I don’t think I can go from any conversation that I have with any developer or small or big business owner who doesn’t struggle finding employees to work.  Whether it’s the drug issue or not enough money or benefits. So I think that’s our biggest issue with the city. We can bring all these businesses and companies in, but if we can’t have employees to fill their stores, their factories, whatever it may be, we’re going to hurt ourselves.

The other issue is we need to figure out the drug epidemic that’s going on in Manitowoc to where Manitowoc is a safe environment and getting the community to have pride again. I think that’s missing, at least in the last 10 to 15 years that I’ve been back since 2008, 2009 in the community. We’re starting to get there. It takes more growth and we need to keep going with it, but getting pride back.

What do you consider are your biggest accomplishments since you’ve been on the council and do you have some new ideas or changes you will bring forth or propose going forward if you are re-elected?

So, to answer the first part of your question, one thing, it’s kind of controversial, but I think is a good thing we did is the wheel tax. Nobody wants to see an extra tax come in because everybody knows that a tax, once it’s there, it’s never going to go away, but I had so many conversations with homeowners, even businesses, when they get hit with the special assessment when the road gets redone. It’s a huge burden on people and I feel bad for everybody who’s had to pay the amount of money that they had to fix roads that were already existing in the community that everybody drives on, but they’re the ones who have to pay for it, so I’m glad about the wheel tax.

To answer the second part of your question, I really think with hiring our new parks planner position and hiring a new person for the downtown, I really want to see the two of them within their departments really start hitting the grant program. I really don’t think the city, we’re doing enough of trying to get the grants going because it’s “free” money, and everybody’s applying for it, but I really think that for us to get all these projects that we have started going on, we need to start applying for these grants, and we have a lot of talent in Manitowoc that we could outsource to write for these grants, so that would be one of my goals.

State money, state, federal money, whatever we can get to help us with these projects because obviously we can’t put it all onto the taxpayer.

You understand this is supposed to be a nonpartisan position, but do you identify more as a conservative or liberal?

That’s a tough question, but I definitely do not go either way. As a small business owner, you’re more conservative as it is. You’re looking for tax breaks and that kind of stuff obviously, but I’m in this position to represent 3,400 people in the community and what their views are. When I start putting my views into this position, I no longer should be alderman.

As the incumbent, why should voters stick with you instead of making a change?

So as the incumbent, Manitowoc usually always just goes with the incumbent. Being the incumbent now for the first time, year one was a real big learning curve, trying to figure out how this all works, learning about the rules of how you’re supposed to, you know, even talking in a meeting, as far as those go, which I didn’t have much experience with. Most boards that I’ve been on have been very lax, so year one was just a real big learning curve. Year two, I kind of started building some confidence. Three and four, I really think I can start getting some changes done, and I feel more confident as an alderman in putting in the visions of the constituents.

What are you views on the new downtown master plan?

So I’m excited about the downtown master plan. I was a little hesitant when (former Economic Development Director) Nic Sparacio decided he wanted to do another plan. I was nervous about that sitting on a shelf like the majority of the other plans we did. That’s another reason I got involved in the city. I want to see more action done than just talking about and paying for all these plans that we’ve done. I’m excited about the master plan because what they did is they actually gave us a punch list, things that we need to hit year one, year three, year five. Obviously that can change. If we get one and three done right away, let’s keep going. There’s definitely other things we can do.

The other thing that was kind of nice is sometimes when we get plans done, they’re very 36,000 feet. These ones are better. This is more smaller goals that we can actually hit with the city to make bigger impacts without having to redesign the wheel, so I’m excited about the new master plan. We’ve already started to kind of implement some of these things. We’re going to get the Way Finder signage coming up, which it sounds medial because signs should be no big deal, but we don’t have them. We don’t have anywhere for people to know where to go in Manitowoc. So I’m pretty excited about the master plan, and I’m hoping that with April and Nick that we just hired, I think they’re going to do a great job.

And then last question, the Gabriel issue. How do you feel, do you feel that has been appropriately handled and the council has been within their scope and reach of how they currently handled the situation?

So I voted, almost a year ago now, not to censor Alder Gabriel for her actions. I don’t necessarily agree or disagree with what she was accused of, what she did. I think there was better ways to handle the situation. I don’t think that was necessarily a council involvement. If there was a police issue, that should have been handled by the police department, but I do think that it ultimately comes up to the voters. If District 10 had as issue as much as the council did, then I don’t know the exact way of how they would have went about doing it, but they could have removed her from council if there was a petition from District 10. If District 10 didn’t have an issue with it, then I don’t see us censoring her from voting. Like I said, I don’t agree or disagree with what she did, but it is what it is at this point, but I don’t want to see any more taxpayer time and money wasted on the subject.

Challenger:  Chris Able

Mr. Able met with Jeremy Seidl, and a transcript of their meeting follows.

What skills and talents do you have that will contribute to being on the council and that will allow you to represent your district well?

Well, I think I’m effective at communication, both written and verbally. I think that the work that I put in to understand the issue, to understand the law or the rules that may constrain what we can do are something that I’ve always put a great deal of effort on because I just feel it’s important if you’re representing everybody, you should have a full understanding of, first of all, legally what you can and can’t do before you look at what you want to do, you know? Then I do try very hard to represent the interests of the people that are of the district. I have for the last several years attended the clerks and treasurers institute. Just this year I finished the full treasurers training, so I “certifiable” as a municipal treasurer, but normally to be certified you need so many hours of actual working as a treasurer, which obviously I couldn’t have if I was one, but I have all the background knowledge there was I think helps me better understand the budgeting process, and the law, and how budgets and everything I put together. This year I’ll finish the coursework over the summer for clerks, I’ll have a complete background of all the state and federal law for how the rules that confine and prescribed what clerks can do. I think  that’s useful knowledge as far as for when you’re making decisions for how it affects other parts of the city, those people that have to actually put into action what laws that you make. I would say those are the main things.

What are the biggest issues facing Manitowoc and how would you hope to address them?

Well, I think the ones that that really rise to the top for me, I think a huge one right now is infrastructure, our roads. I think that, as I said several times, in the last couple of budgets that I voted on, I was very concerned that we were kicking the can down the road. Now I’m concerned that when we kick that can, it’s going to fall in a hole and nobody’s ever going to see it again. I think that’s a big issue and I think it’s an issue that doesn’t have to exist, because we know how many miles of road we have and I think it would be very possible for the city leaders to sit down and create a plan that would say, “Okay, if it’s 351 miles of road, it’s 300 and some, I don’t know the exact amount, but if it was that many miles of road, don’t we want to make sure, if we’re planning a 20 year cycle, we’re addressing 1/20th of that amount every year?”

Or if we want a 15 year cycle or if we want a 25 year cycle, but that’s a discussion that needs to be held because right now enough of the roads are getting in a rough enough shape that soon we’re going to be looking at, well, to patch over because we can’t slurry seal everything. Are we now suddenly going to be switching over to blacktop, which has a much shorter lifespan or do we want to stay with what we’ve always done? Which are the concrete roads that we as a city always get much more life out of then, or planned if we maintain them well. I think infrastructure is an important need and I think to attract businesses and families to the area, you don’t want them driving over roads that make them say, “Well, what’s going on here?”

Now related to all that and so I touched on too, attracting and fostering manufacturing and other, what I would call, living wage jobs to come here is something that I think we need to do a good job of selling. We have a lot of really skilled workers. Many of them have lost their jobs, many of them are doing jobs that are lower than their skill level, and an ability to attract people here who could use them. You know, we have some real successes that are just great and we have some great manufacturing going on, but the modern manufacturing reality has more robotics in it than the past did, so you either need more manufacturing or very specialized manufacturing in order to have more employees. I think those are things that we can attract if we sell the city the right way and if we aggressively sell the city.

You are challenging an incumbent. What new ideas, changes or proposals might you bring to the table?

Well, as I just touched on previously, I would really like to see, and I tried to do it near the end of my last term and met with a fair amount of push back, I would really like to see the council get together as a body a couple Saturdays, and sit down and as a group say, “Here’s the direction we would like to see the city headed for the next five years, for the next 10 years, for the next 15.” We have plans for parts, but we need a plan for the whole. There’s a better way so that all of those parts can come together and work together is kind of what I think we can do.

I also think that my background in budgeting would help me be more effective at looking at the budgets now. I always worked very hard on them before, but I think that I could do even a better job now on that. I really think that there were just a lot of possibilities from the city that I think we should move forward on.

You understand this is supposed to be a nonpartisan position, but do you identify more as a conservative or identify as a liberal?

I am and I don’t hesitate to say it at all, I am absolutely socially, and some may say liberal or progressive, I’m okay with either tag. I would say and I am also a fiscal conservative. I think that government should be staying as far out other people’s private lives as possible, let them make their own decisions, let them live in their own lives, and I think that as far as what they (government) do and don’t spend money on, they should spend it carefully. It should benefit everyone when they do it and they shouldn’t make broad changes. They should move slow or conservatively to make sure that the decisions they are making are working. One of the things that I would like to see certainly at the city, well anywhere in government, is after we say this is what we’re going to do, do we go back and check what we said we’re going to do and see how is it working.

Why should voters select you over the incumbent?

I first want to say I have a lot of respect for Jeremiah. I think he does a lot of good in the community and I think that he’s an active and involved person and a nice guy. But you know, I worry a lot about the portrayal of things as oppositional. Rather than run against him, I think I’m running just for the office. Obviously I have more time and experience on council, which I think is beneficial. I had 10 years on council. I think that I work very hard, as I mentioned with the clerks and treasurers institute. I worked very hard to educate myself so that I can do the best job possible. I see this as a continuation of my public service just as much as teaching is part of my public service, so I see that as part of it. I enjoy the work on council. I enjoy the challenge of it, and I enjoy the give and take and the debate for the consideration of ideas just as much as I enjoy the other boards and commissions that lets you learn so much more about what’s going in the city.

What are your views on the new downtown master plan?

Well sort of like I was saying before, the downtown master plan has some interesting ideas in it. It has some great potential to it. I think there are things in it that will affect how the rest of it works and that’s why I think it’s so critical that it’s one of these things that, okay, if this was the plan and after a year, this is where we are, how are we going to recalibrate the rest of the plan? As I’m sure you heard in the last mayoral election, one of the problems with the city is there are all these plans and whenever anybody wants something, they go out and find a plan that says that’s what we’re supposed to do and they shake it in front of your face and say, “Now we have to do that.”

I think the biggest challenge for the downtown plan is it’s expensive and there’s nowhere in there where they explain where that money’s going to come from. Since council a few years ago made plans for all of their borrowing for the next four to five years, you say, “Well, how are you going to enact a five year plan with money that you can’t possibly create since you’ve already obligated the next half decades worth of money?”

Now in the plan, there is the consideration of a BID district to create an entity like Mainly Manitowoc was, a downtown association with a paid leader. I think having a full-time entity, having a full-time downtown group with either one full-time and one part-time or however they want to set that up isn’t a bad idea. We tried that with Mainly Manitowoc, which I was very involved with.

That was done without creating a BID district because people were very dead set against the BID. I’ve always said if the taxpayers along the downtown corridors want to create one and they’re okay with using a BID district, then that’s the way you do it. But taxpayers may say, “We don’t want a BID district,” Close to about 10 years ago now they were really against the whole creating it through tax dollars, so it was created with a 2/3rds fundraising, 1/3rd city match. Often in these things, the devil is in the details. You know? I think some of the ideas are good. I think you need to be careful about using tax dollars to buy property and then turn the property over to private business. I am very much in favor of using tax dollars as loans to private industry. I’m not in favor of using tax dollars as grants because you unavoidably start picking winners and losers when you do that, because not everybody’s going to get a grant. If you do loans when the money comes back, then the next guy could get it too.

I am sure you’re aware of the actions taken by the mayor and the council against Alderwoman Gabriel. Do you feel she was treated fairly and do you think their actions prevented her from representing her district?

It’s a thorny question. You know, and it’s a complicated question. I want to qualify my answer by pointing out I don’t have all the details, because I know what I read in the paper, and the Seehafer News app, and your site. I based what I know on that, I don’t have a secret source at the city hall telling me anything, so I just want that, you know, so it’s qualified in that. I do believe that she was chosen to represent her district. I also think that on the issue of removing her from standing committees, I think it’s hard to justify removing her from standing committees a month or two after the new appointments of standing committees were made. This isn’t so, I can’t believe the situation was so new at that point that went from her second, because those appointments are made annually at the reorganization meetings. I believe it was in May, it was in May or June when they pulled her from all of that and the appointments would have been made just the month prior.

To me, that’s pretty inconsistent with well, you know, if you have concerns, you understand that there’s an election cycle and she was chosen for it, and I do believe that when you’re elected, people anticipate not only that you will serve on council, but that you’ll serve on standing committees. On council, I would not have supported removing her from those after putting her on those had been supported only a month to a month and a half previously. So I would put that that way.

I just think right now, there are more important things I think for council to be focused on and certainly to be publicly debating than the behavior of one other alder. I think there are bigger and more important policy issues that I wish would get the attention this is getting.

District 10

Answers collected by Jack Sadowski

Incumbent:  Rhienna Gabriel

Ald. Gabriel has been in office since 2017.  She met with Jack Sadowski, and also submitted written responses.

Why are you interested in running for reelection?

This question was not answered.

What skills and talents do you have that will contribute to being on the Council and that will allow you to represent your district well?

My constituents asked me to learn when I went around asking for votes for my first term.  I care about our community, reside in District 10 and have a hearty sense of humor and humility.

What are the biggest issues facing Manitowoc and how would you hope to address them?

Manitowoc is not immune to challenges surrounding heath and aging in place.  Health must be built into the environment to create equitable access to opportunity and improve quality of life for all.

What do you consider your biggest accomplishments since you have been on the Council?  Do you have some new or improved ideas or changes you plan to bring forth or propose?

This question was not answered.

As an incumbent, why should voters stick with you instead of making a change?  

This question was not answered.  

What are your views on the new Downtown Master Plan?

I have been very supportive of the Downtown Master Plan process and feel like other plans, it identifies an outline on what our community wishes to have.  It’s up to us to transform the plan into reality.

Concerning the disciplinary actions that the Council took against you, do you feel that you were treated fairly, and do you feel that the actions prevented you from adequately representing your district?  

This question was not answered.  

Challenger:  Bruce Jacobs

Mr. Jacobs submitted his responses in writing.

What skills and talents do you have that will contribute to being on the Council and that will allow you to represent your district well?

Throughout my life I have developed a unique set of skills; 30 years as a Police Officer/Sergeant, 18 years as an SRO (School Resource Officer), 25 years in education as a DARE Officer, and being a long time downtown business owner. I will bring strong leadership and level headed decision making.  Along with an indepth knowledge of real life and strong communication skills.

What are the biggest issues facing Manitowoc and how would you hope to address them?

I think the infrastructure and the downtown. Becoming a friendlier community by starting more community based programs like the Community Built Gardens, Community Built Play Ground or the Mariners Trail.

I’m certified in CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) and these are perfect examples of bringing the community together where everyone feels safe. Its all about designing things to be safe, designing the crime out of places before it becomes a problem. Also making a criminal feel they can’t commit crimes because its not safe for them.  People aren’t going to go to places if they don’t feel safe. I would also like to see more marketing/branding of our community. I would request to be on the committees that handle these topics.

You are challenging an incumbent.  What new ideas, changes, proposals will you propose?

That would be unfair to the council for me to comment on that at this point.  Maybe different ideas have already came up and for logical reasons they have been dismissed.  I have already addressed some of the new ideas above, but I certainly wouldn’t be limited to just that.  If I win, I don’t plan on coming on the council and trying to turn things upside down. I’ve learned a long time ago to ease into things, but I’m not saying status quo. I have learned from others mistakes when people try to change things too quickly.   

Have you ever run for elected office before?  What are your reasons for running for Alderman and were you recruited to do so?

I have never ran for public office, although I was going to run for Sheriff and received positive support, including from the current Sheriff. I decided not to run based on a stat that the Wisconsin Retirement System has about life span vs. age of retirement.  

I decided to run because I have served this community for 30 years. I have always had a willingness to serve and make our community better. I currently serve on the Manitowoc County Crime Stoppers Board, The Healthiest Manitowoc County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition the Safety Patrol Picnic Board and a past board member, current member of Masquers.

I have been recruited for years, not only for Council, but also to be the Mayor, School Board member and Sheriff.

Why should voters select you over the incumbent?

I think I bring a well rounded view to situations. In Law Enforcement you have to make decisions quickly, based on the totality of the circumstances. With that experience, working with kids and with over 50 administrators from the schools, plus owning a business, I was able to develop a unique set of skills.  There is also much to be said about the Golden Rule and empathy.

What are your views on the new Downtown Master Plan?

I don’t know too much about them, I have seen the drawings and I’m excited to possibly be a part of it.  I’m also happy about the city getting the peninsula from the railroad. If you look at the map of the city, that property not only is mostly river front, but is in the heart of our city. I remember telling Stacy Grolle, the Mayors secretary several years ago that the property would be a great property to get for the city.  

I am sure you are aware of actions taken by the Mayor and Council against Alderwoman Gabriel. Do you feel she was treated fairly and do you think their actions prevented her from representing her district?  

This is a topic that I will not comment on for several reasons.  First of all I don’t know enough about the incidents. Also because I don’t like second guessing other people’s decisions without knowing all the facts.  For years I have been approached by dozens of people who feel a Police Officer didn’t handle things correctly. The first thing I tell them is I will not second guess a Police Officers actions if I wasn’t there and don’t know the totality of the circumstances.   

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