Highlights from LVW Candidates Forum: District 9
By Taylor J. Hale
STEVENS POINT — The League of Women Voters (LWV) held their General Election Candidate Forum at the Portage County Annex Building on Thursday night, giving candidates from Districts 1, 5 and 9 a chance to answer community questions concerning their stances on local issues.
Forum organizers gave attendees an opportunity to ask questions to the entire panel of candidates via ballot cards. Officials also asked specific LWV questions.
The LWV is a nonpartisan political organization concentrated on educating both men and women on the importance of democracy and the voting process through informational advocacy work. This open forum allowed individuals from the area to connect with their possible future alderperson before the coming general election on April 2.
Below are highlighted excerpts from each candidates’ opening and closing statements and responses from the LWV question: Which type of developments currently underway increase the quality of life in our city, and do you have an innovative idea you would like to help complete?
The forum will air on Charter Channel 984, as well as on the city’s website. Stay tuned for exact air times.
Mary McComb, incumbent:
Opening statement: “Long before I decided to run for alder, I was involved in civic activities. I was on the library board for several years. I was a leader in planning and implementing the family dog park … Unlike my opponents, I do have a record of local activism.”
Response to highlighted question: “It has been an exciting time to be on council. I am very excited about Northside Yard and particularly thrilled about the affordable housing possibilities on Water Street … I’m particularly interested in co-op housing. I am also interested in cottage developments.”
Closing: “My platform has been the same the entire four years I have been on the city council. I am proud of maintaining what I promised to do in 2015 as your dedicated, principled and proven candidate for District 9 alder.”
Opening statement: “I hope for the opportunity to provide a voice for more people to participate in our local democratic forum … In the winter time, I spend time substituting in the Stevens Point Area School District, and that has really provided me with a broad spectrum of how policies on local, national, state levels really impact families and our kids today.”
Response to highlighted question: “I am excited to see there is a mixed-use and mixed-income development coming right up on Water Street. In addition to that, I know there is a lot of old buildings that are deteriorating around our community, I’m excited to hear about a group of local producers that are coming together to form a cooperative in cooperation with Altenburg Dairy to work to sponsor and rework that building.”
Closing: “I am running for this position because I think that our city’s leadership needs to be held to a high standard, and this involves talking to all of our neighbors, not just in an election year, and not just on Facebook, but all the ones that I disagree with … Residents that I have talked with really want to know what’s going on and want to participate, so I think we should provide them the platform and information to do so.”
Note: Brian Beaulieu will not be listed on the ballot as a candidate, but has filed to be a write-in.
Opening statement: “I decided to enter the race for District 9 based off some of my neighbors asking me to step up to do it … If elected, I can be a representative for not only District 9, but for every citizen in Stevens Point fairly, and help bring the community together.”
Response to highlighted question: “The Wanta property is very exciting. Having a development like that, that kind of resounds back to the old days of downtown where business owners lived in ‘the same building they did business in is pretty cool. I also like the new senior building that was proposed.”
Closing: “My primary goal if elected would be to fairly represent everybody that lives within District 9 and the city of Stevens Point. There’s a lot of voices that haven’t been heard. We can’t forget about the people. Without the people, we have no city.”
Check the Portage County Gazette for more info on candidates.