Letter: Move Beyond ‘Old Boy Network’ on Council
To the Editor-
On April 7, Stevens Point voters have the opportunity to transform the elected decision-making bodies of our community.
In addition to a new mayor, residents will choose three and possibly six new City Council members. Running against the incumbent in District 3 is Garrett Ryan, a graphic design business owner who has been actively engaged in making Stevens Point a better and safer place for all to live work, play, and retire in.
Over the past year I have had the opportunity to observe and work with Garrett Ryan on a variety of community efforts. Whether volunteering his time and professional skills to help UWSP students with service-learning projects, serving on the board of Old Main Neighborhood Association, attending and speaking at city meetings, or sitting down to talk about the future of our community with city officials, business owners, and residents, Garrett has demonstrated himself to be an open-minded, solution oriented, inquisitive, patient and cooperative individual. His nature is to get the job done and not complain about the work involved. These are characteristics we want in our council members.
If Stevens Point intends to succeed in a twenty-first century economy, we need decision-makers who fully grasp the lifestyle choices driving where people want to live, and who are willing to take a hard look at why people leave our community or choose not to come here in the first place. Young people, the future of Stevens Point, want walkable, bikeable, more densely built, and sustainably designed communities—not suburban sprawl and car-only roadways. It is for this future that our city must now plan.
It’s time for us to have a diversity of voices and forward thinking individuals on our City Council, which is why I support Garrett Ryan, District 3; Mary McComb, District 9; and Mary Kneebone, District 7. While the mayoral campaign garners the most media and public attention, the principal decision-making body of our local political system remains with the City Council.
Who our council members are as people, and how willing they are to conduct research to understand policy, planning and design, ordinances, and zoning will determine the prosperity of Stevens Point in the short and long term.
Whether our community will seize this opportunity to move beyond the ‘old-boy network’ which has been part of Stevens Point politics for as long as anyone can remember depends on one thing—you. Please vote on April 7.