McManus, Spiros, and Witzel Attend Two Forums
For the first time in ten years, the City of Marshfield will have a new face in the Mayor’s office. In the running are candidates Bob McManus, Rebecca Spiros, and Tom Witzel. (Watch the UW-Marshfield Wood County Forum and the Community Center Forum here, courtesy of MCTV.)
Two mayoral candidate forums were held last week, one at UW-Marshfield Wood County and one at Second Street Community Center. Hosted by Don Nystrom, the forums were an opportunity for residents to get to know the candidates and their stance on issues including streets, economic development, and communication.
McManus, a mortgage lender at Forward Financial Bank, has lived in the community for about six years. A California native, McManus spoke to his appreciation for the family values of Marshfield. He expressed a desire to build up the downtown and improve roads.
“I think the reason that I will be the best choice for mayor is because it’s going to be a fresh perspective. Communication is going to be a fresh perspective,” he said on Friday. “I believe sometimes that maybe there may be areas of the city that are in a bubble that ‘this is the way we’re going to do it, this is the right way.’ That has got to change. The people have to be heard… That is going to be the perspective that I bring.”
“I’m also going to be very careful about finances,” he added. “I owned a business for several years, so I’m very cautious on cost overruns. I’m very caution on ‘how do we do this right?’ and ‘how do we do this upfront?’ because the money is very important. We want to do all these things. I believe we need Economic Development.”
“I will be an advocate and a voice for you,” he told those on Friday. “I won’t have a lot of different committees. I will be the one here at your center with you 3 to 4 times a year listening to your input and your ideas and then hopefully putting that through.”
Spiros, a registered nurse and also a member of the City’s Common Council for more than five years, has served on the Board of Public Works and Judiciary License Committee, as well as on the Board of Directors for The Hannah Center and Main Street Marshfield.
“I think I would be the best candidate for this position,” she said. “I have a really good understanding of the city, their employees, my fellow Council, the administration. I get along really well with everybody.”
“I have a good hold on on the finance and budget process,” she added. “In the five years I’ve been there, I’ve been frustrated several times with some of the things that are done at the City level. Whether it’s procedurally how they do things, or just just the way that things are approached, I know there’s room for improvement. I’m ready to dive in and start to try to make some of those changes, work with Council to make those changes.”
“We have a lot of great things here in Marshfield,” she said. “We just need to continue to develop those great things. We need to improve our communication with everybody. Most importantly, and one of the biggest reasons I wanted to run, is because often decisions are made at a Council level and sometimes they’re made late, having already been made at Committee. It’s already all been hashed out before it’s gotten to you and the biggest thing that bothers me is that after the decision is made then we start hearing from the residents saying ‘why did you do that?,’ ‘why are you doing that?,’ ‘why did you make that decision?,’ and that’s bothered me for a very very very long time.”
“In all my years on the Council, but more importantly in my years as a nurse, I’ve really learned to listen to people and advocate on their behalf. I’ve done it for 29 years, and as mayor my plan will be to continue to do that, to listen to as many people as I can and to fight for what you’re what you’re wanting.”
Witzel, a technology trainer at Marshfield Clinic Health System, currently serves on the City of Marshfield Common Council, a position he has held for about 1.5 years. A former member of the police auxiliary, Witzel emphasized support for public safety and diversifying downtown Marshfield.
“I would really be honored with your confidence in the position of mayor,” he said. “I have a long history in this community, family that has relocated to this community because they’ve realized just how wonderful this community is, lot of roots here,” said Witzel. “This is the community where I grew up, this is the community where my wife and I chose to raise our children, this is the community where I plan to retire. Anything that happens now has a long term effect. I plan to be enjoying that long-term effect.”
“Personally I always strive for excellence in my own personal life,” he added. “That can be seen in what I’ve done professionally in my desire and work toward a Master’s Degree that I received about ten years ago and so I personally am always striving for excellence and what I would like to do is to be able to take my striving of personal excellence and push it toward excellence in the city, helping to encourage those who work for you to also strive for that excellence to make this city the very best that it can be.”
The Primary Election is February 20. The General Election is April 3. Find our FOCUS election headquarters here.