For a lot of people, the idea of Good Government affecting their lives is a myth. Many people just see it as a spectator sport that they do not really play. Voter turnout is down, voter engagement is down, and the whole thing is cynical as hell these days. If you wonder how that happens, look no further than that Wausau City Council and its chickenshit leadership of this city and our future.
I am running out of steam in regards to writing things like this. I went back since the beginning of Citizen Wausau and I have written more than a handful of things like this. Honestly, I hate being that guy. I hate being the guy who writes over and over again how crappy things are, but in fairness to me, I do not think that until recently a lot of other people were doing it. But, I am losing steam.
In fact, I am only writing this because someone wrote me an email today saying that he had lost faith that anything could change in Wausau. That no matter what happened the big shots who run the city behind the scenes will always do it, that the council will just remain filled with middling men and women who do nothing, who will just rubber stamp what is already done.
I am not willing to concede that there is a shadow government made of the likes of Ghidorzi, Miron Construction, McDevco, the Community Foundation, and whoever else we want to elevate to the Rothschilds and the Carlyle Group. I think men and women have business interest, selfish interest, and personal interest for doing what they do. I do not sense a cabal.
But, what I do sense is an incompetent city council unable to lead, unwilling to follow, unwilling to do just about anything other than vote on sign permits, bartender licensing, etc. Not willing to take a stand. Let us look back shall we (this is not a complete list):
- Van De Yacht
- Thomas Street 1
- Thomas Street 2
- Boys and Girls Club Budget
- The Pay Raises
- Mary Anne Groat
- Administrator versus Mayor Study
- Harvey Schofield and the Trail
- Wausau Club
- Calling Keene a bully and demanding information run through the Mayor’s office
Do you remember anything happening as a result of any of these things? Did anyone get fired over the Thomas Street trouble? Did Mary Anne Groat not get a raise? Do you actually have any idea what happened in the Pay Raise thing?
Our council called a Committee of the Whole recently to talk about reprimanding the Mayor. I went to the meeting, waited a while, but eventually just had enough and went home. Reports are nothing happened. They did not reprimand the Mayor for his actions with pay raises, or his demand that the Council get all its information from his office.
At this point we all know I think Mayor Jim Tipple is not doing a good job. I do not understand the pay raise thing one bit, only because it happened so long ago. I know that giving an employee a raise while she is on disciplinary status seems insane, but who knows there might be a rule that I do not know that makes that have to happen.
But, I am 100 percent sure that a Mayor cannot demand that members of the Council get all their public information through the Mayor’s office. That just is not a real enforceable policy. It is also rather dictatorial.
But, nothing was done. The Council did nothing. The Mayor remains unfettered by any sort of oversight from this council, or the one before it. And as a result, we continue down the same unchanged, unclear path that Mayor Tipple has kept us on since he took office.
The City Council
- William Nagle
- Romey Wagner (President)
- David Nutting
- Tom Neal
- Lisa Rasmussen
- Sherry Abitz
- Gary Gisselman
- Keene Winters
- Karen Kellbach
- David Oberbeck
- Robert Mielke