By Joe Bachman
WISCONSIN RAPIDS — The League of Women Voters hosted a candidate’s forum on Wednesday night for District 2 Alderperson.
Incumbent Toddy Ferkey stood alongside challenger Lee Graf, as the two were asked various questions regarding community issues. A brief summary of their responses, with notable quotes, are below.
Position on Aquatics Project?
Graf characterizes the project as “tough” as he cites that the city is borrowing a lot of money for the project. However, while he concurs that area youth need a summer pool, and would like to see the project completed, he’s uncertain of the level of cost required. Graf also mentioned a partnership with Mid-State Technical College in the process.
Ferkey was one of eight alders to vote for the aquatics center, and sees it as a benefit for the city. Ferkey claims that the project will be geared towards all ages – not just kids, and hence bring others into the area. Ferkey agrees that the cost is high, but progress is being made by funding solicitations from businesses and foundations.
Positive Things Happening Now in Wisconsin Rapids?
Ferkey: Aquatics Center, Riverfront Project, Triangle Development, Expansion of Aspirus, Wheeler’s Chevrolet Facility, YMCA/Boys & Girls Club Facility.
Graf: Centrally Located in the State, Natural Resources, Wheeler’s Chevrolet, Triangle Development, YMCA/Boys & Girls Club Facility, Mead Splash Pad, Mill Employment Retention.
How Can the City Tackle the Opiate Epidemic?
“We pay people in the city very good money to do that job, and my positions would be supportive — let’s get an action plan moving forward — and I am here to help you with resources to do whatever I can to help out with what the master plan is.” – Lee Graf
“When I started four years ago, we had one narcotics officer — now we have three, thanks to restructuring of the police department. …Judge Wolf is part of our drug court and also helps people that have convictions of narcotics, and helping them get back to the workforce and staying out of jails.” – Todd Ferkey
Graf : “I really want to hone in on what our city is doing financially — we need to really focus in on some projects; let’s pick one and get one done. I think we have the ability to do it, and we have a lot of smart people in this community. I think we can break down some of these barriers that have maybe always been there, and it’s something that we need to do – and I look forward to helping.”
Ferkey: “I am thankful, honored, and humbled by the District Two citizenry that have elected me for the last four years. Mr. Graf is a very honorable person — and whatever District Two decides, they will be happy with. I am thankful for others that have served our community. Again, I’ve done my best and put in a lot of hours for the city — if that is good enough, I’d appreciate your support.”
To view the forum in full, please visit http://www.wisconsinrapidscommunitymedia.com/ and click on their ‘On Demand’ section.