by Joe Bachman
This will be an ongoing series of election briefs leading up to the 2016 common council elections in April, where we interview candidates on important issues that face the community. This interview is with Terry Dolan, who is running for Ward 8 alderperson.
WRCT: Why are you running for common council?
TD: I initially ran for the council at several persons request. I had been talking about it for some time and with the opening in my district decided to pursue it. I am running for Common Council again because I gained added experience these past 2 years and really like what it involves. I feel I can make a contribution to the city and help us move forward on several key initiatives. I am really excited about some of the things happening and want to see them through to completion. I really want to give something back to a place I’ve called home for 54 plus years. This is a great city to live and grow up in! I truly feel one person, working with others, can make a difference.
WRCT: Are there any issues that you, or the council will plan its’ focus on specifically in 2016 that we may not know of?
TD: I would like to continue with the downtown development plan, recognizing we cannot do it all, as I’ve stated several times before. We also need to continue looking at ways to keep our annual budget costs down. It should be a budget that we stick to once it’s presented and approved. I feel me made a good step forward on that with this year’s budget discussions. If I’m reelected this will be a focus item for me.
WRCT: What current city projects are you most looking forward to?
TD: I want to continue to work on the Aquatics plan and help us get something put together that works for the whole community. I also would like to continue with the downtown development plan and at least start the process of getting some things in place. I would like to see if we can partner with the other municipalities to work on initiatives for all of Wood County as well.
WRCT: Another big project the city is developing is the upgrades to the riverfront. What are your thoughts on the scope of this project and its current progress?
TD: As I said above, I think there are aspects we can do and some we cannot, in my mind. Progress has been picking up speed lately but it has been a challenge. We need infrastructure improvements to attract businesses and other entities to our city. Some of the things going on will help with this but they do not come cheaply. We want city residents to voice their concerns and opinions. Please call your Alderpersons, city staff, or stop by city hall to see what is happening. We welcome any and all input.
WRCT: A common theme over the past decade is Wisconsin Rapids is the younger demographic leaving the city for other career opportunities and ventures. How would you propose keeping the city’s younger residents where they are?
TD: Funny you should ask this question because I’ve had this same type of conversation with my 2 grown sons, both who still call Rapids their home. Part of the issue is of course well paying jobs. But another big concern is reasonable housing rates. Not every young person wants to own a home right away, nor can they always afford it. What we are trying to do with the Riverfront project could be a help if we can get affordable apartments/housing closer to the downtown area included. We have nice parks, plenty of water, plus walking and biking trails already. We just need to expand on some of the amenities and improve some. In all this we cannot forget our younger adults either. That is all part of the plan of improving the city infrastructure to attract other entities.