By Joe Bachman
Lee Graf was born and raised in Wisconsin Rapids and has been a resident for all 32 years of his life. He currently works in the Nekoosa area. Graf is running for Ward 2.
WRCT: Why are you running for this common council position?
LG: The main reason I’m running for council is that I think I can make a difference in this community, being born and raised here. I believe everyone has different ideas about how things should be run, and I think I have a different point of view and can bring some new and fresh ideas to the city to make this a lasting community.
WRCT: How do you feel or how would you address the ongoing heroin issue facing Wisconsin Rapids?
LG: It truly is unfortunate that this is brought to our community and that it has become an issue. Without being an expert in this field I think there are people we can turn to in this community that can take care of this issue. One of the big things that I’m a firm believer in is empowering our police department to really come up with a solution and a game plan and really move forward with it.
WRCT: Thoughts on the Riverfront project?
LG: Obviously there are a lot of concerns with the flooding of the Wisconsin Rapids area, and developing in an area that could bring potential high expenses carries maintenance costs along with it. Not knowing the condition of the riverbank is another concern that I have heard and people bring it to my attention. I personally feel that it’s a lot of money, and anything we can do to improve the community is a positive, but once again there might be different alternatives in forms of quicker and less expensive solutions to improve the community. I don’t believe making changes to the community is a bad idea in any form, but I just feel that there might be some smaller and less expensive projects out there that we can take care of. It was discussed in a recent common council meeting regarding the Mead Pool, and that it would be too expensive — and I think it’s a hard position, but I don’t think the idea of improving the community is bad, but there’s other smaller options at hand.
WRCT: Do you appreciate the trend of younger candidates becoming involved in Wisconsin Rapids government?
LG: It’s not for me to look at age, and personally, the more people we have that can step up to make a positive impact to the community, regardless of age, is a great thing. I believe that when people can get involved in any part of their life in the community, the more valuable our community becomes.