Wescott Could Serve Out Halverson’s Term
By Brandi Makuski
The City of Stevens Point could see a familiar face replacing Mayor Andrew Halverson on December 1.
Former Mayor Gary Wescott was the sole applicant for interim mayor to return candidacy paperwork by Friday’s deadline. The city’s chief executive spot was up for grabs after current Mayor Andrew Halverson announced he was leaving office early for a job at Ellis Stone.
Halverson’s premature vacancy came several weeks after he announced he would not seek a third term in office. That left the field wide open for any qualified city resident to apply for the temporary position, but Wescott alone put his name forward.
“I was approached by a couple of alderpersons who asked me if I’d be willing to step forward and serve the community after Mayor Halverson announced he would be leaving on December the 1st,” Wescott said on Friday. “I told them I’d be honored to return to serve the people of this community.”
Wescott said when he first moved to the community in 1973, he and his wife only planned to stay “a couple of years”, but never left because his family fell in love with the area, going on to raise all four of their children in Stevens Point. Wescott spent many years in news radio and in 1995 was elected to his first of three consecutive terms as Mayor of Stevens Point.
Wescott currently serves on the city’s Police and Fire Commission, a position he says he will give up if required to under state statute, provided he is elected by the Common Council this week.
“I don’t want to be presumptive about this, but you follow the law; whatever the law dictates regarding my involvement on the Police and Fire Commission is what will happen,” he said. “You have to follow the law.”
Wescott said his previous experience is just one piece of what makes him a good fit for the interim role.
“I think people appreciate hard work; they appreciate honesty and sincerity,” he said. “I’ve really come to care about the people in this community; that may sound corny, but I truly do care.”
If Wescott receives a majority vote of the council later this month, he will serve out the remainder of Halverson’s term, which expires April 20. Wescott said he “doesn’t think” he’d be interested in running for election at that time.