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Mayors: Speech helps us connect with residents

12:15 AM, Apr. 14, 2013  |  Comments
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Editor's note: Daily Herald Media contacted mayors around Wisconsin for perspectives on what the "State of the City" does for their communities:

"It's been very successful. We try to make it more than a speech. The city manager does the 'State of the City' address. I act as emcee. We also give awards for citizens on our committees, and we also have a city expo where all the departments put up a booth. The citizens get to meet (city staff and leaders) and talk in a casual atmosphere.

"It's a neat event for the city because people get to see what's going on and they get to interact with (city leaders)."

- Mayor Burk Tower, Oshkosh

"It's one of the highlights of the year. We get more than 400 people who attend. We put a lot of effort into it, and it's been very well-received. People look forward to it because they want to see what's coming.

"It's your report card. That is your commitment to the public as to what you're going to accomplish. My goal in the 'State of the City' is to have people feel as good about Green Bay as I do. It's a great opportunity for the mayor to connect with the community and share the city's successes.

- Mayor Jim Schmitt, Green Bay

"I campaigned on the idea of doing a 'State of the City,' but doing it very differently than had been done in the past. I took it upon myself to use it as a platform to inform and engage our residents about what our priorities are for the year.

"It was an opportunity for all our residents to hear firsthand what my priorities were, but I also offered the opportunity to others to participate."

- Mayor Zach Vruwink, Wisconsin Rapids

Readers on 'State of the City' address

I think Mayor Jim Tipple is doing a nightmarish job communicating with the citizens of Wausau. As a result, the perception of Mayor Tipple is that he does not care, even though this is not true.

The city of Wausau, through Mayor Jim Tipple, can choose to have a positive relationship with the public and media, and it would cost them nothing, and in fact gain them tremendous support.

This lack of communication, and resulting negative perception is why I support a "State of the City." This sort of event can only enhance confidence in the city, and its leaders.

- Dino Corvino

There are already many outlets for getting this information to include the quarterly Wausau City newsletter. I'd like to see periodic updates from the mayor in the Daily Herald. The problem with a "State of the City" would be the likelihood of it devolving into a game of political one-upsmanship and campaigning on both sides.

- Doug Diny

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