Candidates Emerge for City Council
By Brandi Makuski
Fresh on the heels of a contentious presidential election — and despite an ongoing recount in several states — Stevens Point is already gearing up for the election of several City Council members.
Six of the city’s 11 seats, all odd-numbered districts, comprising the Stevens Point Common Council are up for re-election in April. Candidates for the spots began pulling election papers on Dec. 1.
Tori Jennings has returned candidacy paperwork for her run in the city’s first district. Jennings has made news in recent months as the face of a controversial campaign to re-stripe Stanley St., and currently chairs the city’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee. She was also instrumental in obtaining a $400,000 grant to paint almost 14 miles of new bicycle lanes throughout the city.
The seat is currently held by Ald. George Doxtator, who was elected in 2013. It was not immediately known if he would run again.
In District 3, Briggs St. resident Cindy Nebel has taken out paperwork for a possible council run. Nebel has been a figurehead in the Old Main Neighborhood Association (OMNA) for several years, and has been a vocal proponent of improving relations between student renters and home owners in the off-campus neighborhoods surrounding UWSP. Nebel previously had endorsed Garrett Ryan when he first ran for the seat in 2015.
No word on whether Ryan plans to run for re-election.
Ald. Meleesa Johnson has returned paperwork kicking off her candidacy for a second term in the city’s fifth district. Johnson also works as a department head for Marathon County, and recently proposed a resolution condemning hostility in the city.
As of Dec. 5, no challengers have announced plans to run against Johnson.
First-term councilwomen Mary Kneebone, of District 7, and District 9’s Mary McComb, have also announced they will seek re-election. Kneebone currently serves as the Council’s liaison to the Police & Fire Commission, and has successfully pushed forward a measure decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana within city limits. McComb is a downtown business owner who proposed a new wheel tax in the city. She also publicly supported a proposal to re-stripe Stanley St., saying the roadway as is — one that is designed only for motor vehicles — was “broken”.
No challengers have yet come forward in either district.
Shaun Morrow currently represents the city’s 11th District. No candidates have filed paperwork in that district as of Dec. 5.
According to the City Clerk’s Office, anyone interested in running for City Council must return campaign paperwork by Jan. 3, 2017. Paperwork can be picked up from the Clerk’s Office, 1515 Strongs Avenue.
For more information call (715) 346-1569.