Mayor’s Council On Beautification
Last Tuesday, I was joined by residents to kick off the Mayor’s Council on Beautification. The Mayor’s Council on Beautification was first announced at the 2014 State of the City Address. The intent and focus of the group is to be action oriented in identifying potential projects, work to secure project funding through grant opportunities and subsequently scoring and prioritizing projects. The CN grant previously written about serves as leverage for potential projects.
The meeting was highly productive, with a great turnout of residents. Initial project ideas included planting trees, beautifying City entrances and hanging flower baskets on Grand Ave. I am proud to see another example of resident-led engagement, this time in beautifying our City. I’m reminded of a study I read recently by the Knight Foundation that concluded one of the factors driving people’s attachment to a city is aesthetics. It goes without saying, resident-led investment in our city’s appearance is completely connected in stimulating community satisfaction and economic growth. I look forward to what future meetings will bring. If you’re interested in participating, please contact me to be added to the contact list.
Get Your Business Online – Breakfast Before Business
Last Thursday morning, in conjunction with Google’s Get Your Business Online week, I was joined by over 50 area businesses to formally launch the Get Your Business Online with Google Wisconsin Rapids initiative. At Breakfast Before Business, I reiterated that in 2014, it is vital that businesses large and small have an online presence. Businesses that are online grow 2x as fast. As mayor, raising awareness and connecting our local businesses with the tools and resources to get online or improve their online presence is very important and that is why I am proud to bring the partnership with Google and to launch this initiative in Wisconsin Rapids.
Please remember that this is the first event in what will be a year-long emphasis of our local businesses. Stay tuned for future events and information pertaining to this important initiative. A link to the event’s presentation can be found here. Additionally, my blog post from the event (with links to the website and materials handed out) can be viewed and shared here. If you know of a local business who could benefit from this partnership, please spread the word!
Other Meetings and Visitors
As part of our ongoing discussions with Renaissance Learning, following their recent announcements, I met with their leadership on the subject of workforce and competitiveness. Understanding their challenges and opportunities reaffirms many of the initiatives in the works here at City Hall. Emphasis on Innovation and Technology to further create an environment where tech companies, like Renaissance, can access talented and experienced workers is a must. Further investments in our parks and public spaces will undoubtedly position us to compete with other areas where talented programmers choose to live, raise a family and ultimately work.
As Renaissance Learning has assured us that their headquarters will remain in Wisconsin Rapids, we must continue to foster an environment where tech firms can start, grow and thrive right here in Wisconsin Rapids. We will stay in close contact with their leadership team and CEO as IT continues to grow as an emphasis in recreating and diversifying our local economy. Creating a pipeline that starts in K-12 is critical for firms like them to find the appropriate talent. With my background, I couldn’t be more energized for what is possible
I also had the pleasure of meeting with 20 preschoolers at St. Lukes last week. I spoke about various City departments and what role they play in making many of the things they look forward to in the summer (i.e. pool, playgrounds, parks) run. I enjoyed answering questions and discussing my role as Mayor. As always, the students were full of good questions! I appreciate invitations like these to ensure all people have direct access to their mayor.
Attempting to Set a World Record with the Boys & Girls Club
Last Friday, I participated in an event that served as a celebration to a week of activities aimed at recognizing National Boys & Girls Club Week at our local Boys & Girls Club. This week-long celebration calls attention to the important role Boys & Girls Clubs play in advancing the success of nearly 4 million young people. Friday’s event-part of a club-wide program focusing on getting kids up and moving- saw the Boys & Girls Club of Wisconsin Rapids join Boys & Girls Clubs nationwide in an attempt to set a Guinness World Record for the most people exercising to a fitness video within 24 hours. I was given the opportunity to speak to those in attendance, as well as help facilitate the Club’s exercise session. It was estimated that more than 30,000 participants from 700 clubs nationwide participated in the effort to secure the world record.
I was proud to be a part of the activity and make an exciting announcement in celebration of the Boys & Girls Club of Wisconsin Rapids 20th Anniversary. On August 30, 2014, staff members and supporters of the club will participate in a 20 mile run- one mile for each year that the club has been in existence. The run will help raise funds to support club activities, serving the Wisconsin Rapids area. Time to get training!
Thank you for reading,