Who Will Run?
Now that Halverson’s intentions to not seek a 3rd term as mayor of Stevens Point have been confirmed, those toying with the idea of running for office have time to make up their minds.
By Brandi Makuski
The field is wide open for potential candidates who believe they have a shot a becoming Stevens Point’s mayor.
While candidates can’t file candidacy papers until December, and no one has announced a formal intention to campaign, three Members of the Stevens Point Common Council have confirmed they are considering a run for the office.
District 4 Alderman Mike Wiza confirmed on Thursday he was considering another run for mayor, saying he would make a decision “soon”.
Wiza led a campaign against Halverson in 2011, loosing by about 800 votes. Despite the spirited campaign, only about 6,600 of the city’s 22,000 eligible voters cast a ballot. Wiza, who is employed at Skyward, also currently serves on the Portage County Board of Supervisors, along with several county committees and boards.
Jerry Moore, 11th District Alderman, said he’s considered running for mayor for some time, but has not made a decision yet, saying he would need to speak with his family before making any announcement. Moore has served on the Council since 2000, making him the city’s longest- serving Member. He also previously served as Council President and chairman of the Finance Committee. Moore is co-owner of Heritage Pub in downtown Stevens Point.
Both Wiza and Moore are well- versed in local government history, and both have been critical of many of Halverson’s proposals and communication style. Their opposition to some of the mayor’s ideas, in part, sparked several debates between the entire Council and Halverson over several issues, including Halverson’s proposal to change some elected positions in city government to appointed ones; the expenditure of $25K for a facilities study to determine if city offices could relocate to the former Mid-State Technical College building on Michigan Avenue; and the city’s new pay plan- something city leaders still can’t agree upon.
Alderman Tony Patton from the city’s 8th District confirmed on Friday he was “seriously considering” a run for mayor, saying he thought he could do a good job.
Patton, who is also A Portage County Board Supervisor, is the manager of Grazies Italian Grill in Stevens Point. Patton historically has voted in favor of Halverson’s proposals, and says he doesn’t understand why there was so much objection from other Council Members regarding the Bus. 51 project- something he says no constituent in his district opposed.
Patton also serves on the Police & Fire Commission and is current chair of the city’s Personnel Committee.