By Joe Bachman
Chris Marceau is a graduate of Fox Valley Technical College, and has had several courses that included training through the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He has also had further education from courses offered by the Ho-Chunk Nation, and once held the position of head of security for De Jope in Madison. He is a small business owner, and once ran a successful business in Maine. He is running for mayor.
WRCT: Why are you running for Mayor?
CM: Zach Vruwink is using his position as a stepping stone as far as politics. I don’t think he’s brought anything to the table since he’s been in office, nor do I think there’s any city offices that are being ran properly. – I don’t think he’s spending enough time or has the knowledge to straighten out the departments. For example, he hired an outside firm to do something that the city already does in regards to researching for the Riverfront project. I would put the money where it belongs. The main reason is that the City of Wisconsin Rapids has Unified Services, which handles drug illness and dependency. I will make the city and county work together, which is something that I don’t believe Vruwink is doing.
WRCT: You mentioned that you want to scrap the Riverfront project. Why?
CM: I spoke to Supermass Studios, who the mayor consulted in regards to the project, and I asked them what the difference was between urban development and residential development and they did not have an answer. I think our mayor is not letting the public know enough. Recreational urban development has requirements, and we have committees and local consultants that can do the same job Supermass did, only better. I think we don’t have to spend 9.5 million dollars on this project when we could pay less for it.
WRCT: What would you do to address the local heroin problem in Wisconsin Rapids?
CM: The heroin epidemic as it is today is bad; however, what’s going on is that you don’t realize you have an epidemic until you start overdosing. I have worked with the FBI and several drug agencies for the past 25 years; I know how they operate – it’s time for a change. When you pull over somebody with small amount of heroin, this person needs to go to jail with no plea deals. The police know who these heavy drug dealers are. The drug users know who these people are. Most of all, I know who they are, and most of all them know who I am, and the power that I have to take over control of what they’re doing to our beautiful City of Wisconsin Rapids. It’s time to take Wisconsin Rapids back. We don’t need more officers that we can contract from Wood County. This is part of the reason why the city and county need to work together, as well as the judges who need to hand out harsher penalties for drug offenders.
WRCT: What would you do to bring jobs to Wisconsin Rapids?
CM: I’ve worked with the public my whole life. I ran a multi-million dollar business in Maine, I’m a former sub-contractor, and I have great knowledge of talking with people. I don’t plan on flying somewhere to bring jobs in because I have local cities that are willing to bring businesses here if there are grants or tax exemptions involved. I know a few businesses who want to come to Wisconsin Rapids and I plan to follow through on that.
WRCT: You mentioned cleaning up housing in this area. Tell us your plans on that subject.
CM: I’d rather not hire outside advising firms to come in and do a job that city taxpayers already pay for. [Planning and Economic Development Director] Adam Tegan is not running the department properly at all. We need to do inspections every three months on multi-units to bring it up to code. It’s dangerous right now. It’s time to pretty the city up. I want to change the city to make it more affordable for youth and make this a more affordable place to live. I also want to lower housing rates and rent, which essentially equates to a wage increase.