Letter: There is one clear choice for mayor

To the Editor-

Mike Wiza is a common-sense mayor who has facilitated above-average growth every year in office; setting a record in 2021. He has helped create record levels of tourism that promote our city.

He has worked to get state and federal grants that bring money back to our city and lessen the burden on taxpayers. He has initiated sharing of duties between departments and offered incentives for money-saving ideas. He has reduced costs by creating efficiencies like GPS tracking of snow plow trucks to eliminate duplication.

He has increased citizen access to government by adding a radio station, social media content, virtual, options and notification sign up to stay informed on what our city is doing.

His opponent, Alderperson Meleesa Johnson, has been chairperson of the finance committee since 2020 and during that time has approved several projects that were significantly over budget, including Stanley Street restriping, TAP grant bike lanes and others.

The TAP grant for 13 miles of bike lanes was initially going to cost the city $80,000. When the bids came in, it jumped to over $327,000. As chairperson, she should have halted or rebid the project. Instead, she approved it costing the taxpayers an additional $247,000. For seldom used bike lanes at best.

While serving on the Portage County Board she was chair of the Portage County Health Care Center Committee. She oversaw the submission of a referendum asking Portage County residents if they wanted to increase property taxes to keep the health care center. They voted in favor. Unfortunately, the cost of the project was grossly underestimated and now the Health Care Center remains in jeopardy because of it.

She has been less-than-honest about the Business 51 project. The city of Stevens Point took a survey from September 29 to October 16, 2020 and in that survey 79 percent disagreed with bike lanes being added to Business 51 and 87 percent agreed that lane reductions would have negative traffic impacts.

The bike lanes do no serve an already existing need. It’s an attempt to socially engineer how we commute to work and travel within the city and “de-carbonize’ to reduce greenhouse gases. If you doubt this you can refer to her own website.

On April 4, keep Mike Wiza in office.

Mark Hemmrich
Stevens Point

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