Re-Elect Robert Mielke for Wausau Mayor
Myth vs Fact
There are some common misconceptions floating around about the Mielke administration. Most of these misconceptions are unfounded due to an incomplete knowledge of the facts of the matter. This page addresses those common myths.
Myth: The city has allowed key developments to slip away such as Micon Cinemas and Liberty Mutual.
Fact: These projects did not come to fruition based on decisions made by private sector entities due to failed negotiations. Micon Cinemas was unable to find a successful compromise with the owners of the Wausau Center Mall‚ despite city assistance in attempting to find common ground between them. Liberty Mutual‚ after securing permission to build a new office at the top of Bridge St at Westwood Drive‚ began looking to instead build on the riverfront near the Dudley Tower. Negotiations between parties stalled and the deadline was looming. With no end in sight the negotiations with private land owners‚ Liberty opted to renew their lease with Aspirus at their current location.
Myth: The City has no plan for future success and no future vision.
Fact: The City continues to work on a number of strategic plans for development and improvement of multiple areas of the city‚ including the North and South Riverfront and the Towers area downtown. We have completed an update of our Comprehensive Plan which is available to view on our website and addresses current and future assets and needs for everything from economic development to infrastructure to historic‚ natural‚ and cultural resources. Wausau is also actively following plans for the Near West Side‚ Business Campus‚ and North Downtown/Riverfront.
Myth: The City lacks public engagement in decision making.
Fact: The Mielke Administration has hosted many public information meetings and public engagement sessions to get input from residents as plans are being formulated and projects are considered. These sessions have also been conducted away from city hall to maximize public interest. Design Charettes for the Riverfront were held at the Grand Theatre and on a Concert on the Square night to make it easy for attendees to stop in and offer input. Recently‚ public engagement was sought on the South Riverfront and Towers Area plans by engaging residents at the Farmer’s Market on a Saturday morning‚ so residents did not have to take time out to come to city hall and sit through a traditional meeting.
Myth: Wausau is not growing.
Fact: Wausau has invested in smart initiatives and amenities aimed at attracting new businesses and residents and retaining the ones we already have. Each year since 2016‚ building permit issuances have increased and the last two years‚ have reached record levels. Commercial property value has increased by $96‚539‚500 since Mayor Mielke was elected.
Myth: Wausau has too much debt.
Fact: Since Mayor Mielke was elected‚ a number of unaddressed problems have required action. Infrastructure‚ aging facilities‚ understaffing‚ training‚ and development opportunities have created increased borrowing to take advantage of opportunities for development and to address capital projects and issues while interest rates were low to gain ground on a number of unresolved problems that had seen only “band aid” fixes in the past. In 2018‚ Mayor Mielke led an effort to restructure the city’s debt to bring Wausau below its 50% borrowing threshold. This included getting the water and sewer utility to refinance and carry its own debts‚ which the city had carried for a number of years‚ while the utility’s financial health was improving. Now capable of carrying it’s own debts‚ their obligations are no longer charged to the city’s debt load.