Tuesdays with the Mayor: A weekly update with Stevens Point Mayor Mike Wiza
By Taylor J. Hale
STEVENS POINT – Mayor Mike Wiza sat down with Gazette staff to provide an update on city functions as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to gain momentum in the state.
“We are in uncharted territory here, we are doing all we can to keep people informed and safe throughout this,” Wiza said. “But people need to do their part, too.”
Wiza said that in-person polling is still available for the coming elections on April 7, though three polling locations have been moved or removed.
Location changes: District 1- moved from Briggs Street High Rise, 1300 Briggs Court to Mid-State Technical College, 1001 Centerpoint Drive. District 3 – moved from Dreyfus University Center, 1015 Reserve Street to the Stevens Point Parks & Recreation Center, 2442 Sims Avenue. District 10 – moved from Portage County Health Care Center, 825 Whiting Avenue to Ruth Gilfry Center, 817 Whiting Avenue.
Absentee votes can be requested by April 2. State leaders are discussing vote by mail options, but no official statements have been made.
City leaders said that all meetings that could be postponed would be rescheduled. All essential meetings that must be held due to deadlines or other reasons will be hosted via telemeeting conferences, available to the public via computer or mobile devices. Residents will call a number that will be listed on city agendas or visit a Zoom.us online link to participate.
The next city plan commission will be held online.
“Generally, you can join the meeting from any computer, and many devices,” Wiza said.
Local leaders will release more information on online meetings.
Enforcement of non-essential business
The city will be taking a firm stance against businesses that have stayed open after being deemed non-essential by state guidelines. Wiza said under Wisconsin statutes 252.25, those obstructing health-related laws or health service orders can be imprisoned for not more than 30 days or be issued a fine of not more than $500 or both.
“Please, consider shutting down your business if you are not an essential function, we are going to ask the police department to enforce this,” Wiza said.
To learn more about what is considered an essential business or service, visit https://evers.wi.gov/Documents/COVID19/EMO12-SaferAtHome.pdf.