Oberstadt calls for kindness and civility in parting remarks
By Joe Bachman
STEVENS POINT — District 4 Alderperson Heidi Oberstadt left her parting words for the city on Monday, April 15.
Oberstadt is resigning from her position effective April 30 due to personal reasons.
Oberstadt spoke at length in her final remarks, including comments on misconceptions seen online, as well as advocating for pay raises for alders. She especially pointed out the sometimes divisive nature of local government in a place where lines of partisanship should not exist.
“Many of our issues just aren’t liberal or conservative.” said Oberstadt to council members.
Oberstadt reflected on a time where after the death of her mother, she was called a harsh expletive by a constituent for not attending a meeting. Oberstadt also commented on an angry resident who purposely made her newborn cry during a city meeting.
“It’s rarely black and white, and it’s our job to look for creative solutions and find an outcome that will best suit our community as a whole,” said Oberstadt. “It’s not an easy job, but the simple act of doing it doesn’t mean that we deserve such negativity.”
Oberstadt claimed that it changed the way she looks at the community, and as a result, possibly how residents see those within local government.
“I completely understand questioning your elected officials and holding us accountable for our positions. It’s a key component for our government. However, I’m here to tell you, if you continue to be cruel to our elected officials, you will end up with cruel people in return.”
“Please treat my replacement with kindness. Please treat my colleagues with kindness. And above all, please treat each other with kindness,” said Oberstadt. “We all want the same thing — a happy, healthy, thriving, safe community that serves people of all ages.”
“We are all in this together.”
Council members will appoint a new District 4 Alder by the end of the month.