A Changing City Council, Mayoral Appointments and Beautification



Changing Council and Swearing In

Last Tuesday was a notable day for the City of Wisconsin Rapids.  We saw the most significant changeover of the Council since the change from 19 Alderpersons down to 8 in 2002.  In that changeover, we said goodbye to three Alderpersons who, collectively, had 52 years of service: Marion Hokamp, Bob Nash and Jean Young.  That’s an incredible amount of time and decision-making.  On behalf of the residents of our wonderful City, please accept a heartfelt thank you; those years of service have immeasurably enriched our community.  I am certain each outgoing Alderperson will continue to serve the community in different ways.

City Clerk swears in Alderperson's Tom Rayome, Todd Ferkey, Greg Hepp

City Clerk swears in Alderperson’s Tom Rayome, Todd Ferkey, Greg Hepp

With three departing, we welcomed three new faces to our City Council.  Those members are Terry Dolan, Todd Ferkey, and Gregg Hepp.

The reorganized Council elected Alderperson Chad Wirl as Council President.  I look forward to working with the new and existing Council members in the coming year!



I,too, was officially sworn in last Tuesday, marking the end of the first term and beginning of my second term as Mayor.  It has been an honor and a privilege to be your Mayor the past two years, and with a great deal of appreciation to continue serving as the Mayor for another term!  Making our community more competitive for residents and businesses, diversifying our local economy, supporting opportunities for you- our residents– to participate and improving our city business operations will move Wisconsin Rapids forward.  I look forward to continuing our City’s progress over the next two years!

Mayoral Appointments

Serving as an Alderperson is just one way to get involved within our city.  Beyond Council appointments to committees and commissions, I’d like to share another opportunity that exists for interested individuals, like you, to make a contribution to our City.  As Mayor, It is my responsibility to appoint City residents to various Commissions and Committees as terms expire.  Participation on a board or commission is essential to infusing new ideas and energy within city government.  Most boards meet once per month or in some cases, quarterly.  If you are interested in serving and would like to be considered, please send me a resume and your interests.  Serving as a mayoral appointment on a decision making body in the City offers one of the most tangible ways to influence change and make a difference. Click here to see a full list of boards & commissions.

Airport Sponsor Workshop

As the Chairman of the Alexander Field Airport commission, last Wednesday, I joined our Fixed Base Operator and representatives from airports around the state for the 2014 Airport Sponsor Workshop in Madison.  The workshop is designed to discuss future projects that require state and federal funding at our airport for the coming years as well as compliance with the rules of both entities to ensure the maintenance of state and federal funding. Bureau of Aeronautics staff to discuss airport operational issues.

Aside from gaining insight from Bureau staff regarding airport operations, the workshop provided a unique opportunity to dissect and refine planned improvements over the next 6 years at Alexander Field.  Last year, the Airport Commission began work on an updated airport layout plan (ALP) for land inventory as well as reflecting plans for taxiway and runway improvements.  Planning for future improvements is essential to utilize state and federal funding through airport entitlement dollars.  The commission also purchased it’s own snow-removal equipment to help control snow removal costs. In winters like the last, finding creative ways to maximize operational dollars is essential. An additional note related to Alexander Field is that of the tree cutting that has finished on airport property. In the coming weeks, further cleanup and land restoration will occur. A replant of areas will also be performed restoring the land to a much more physically appealing place.

Mayor’s Council on Beautification

The Mayor’s Council on Beautification will have their second meeting this Wednesday, April 23 at 4:30PM in the first floor conference room.  The group had a very productive first meeting a few weeks ago with a great turnout of residents.  Initial projects identified were: planting trees, beautifying City entrances, boulevards and hanging flower baskets on Grand Avenue.

The group’s second meeting will build on ideas from the first meeting and decide on projects to pursue in the coming months.  I encourage anyone interested in participating to stop by, or contact me to be added to the list. I am thrilled to support another example of resident-led engagement- this time in beautifying our City.

Coffee with the Mayor

On Tuesday, May 6th, I invite you to join me at The Hotel Mead’s Cafe Mulino, from 8-9 AM.  All are welcome to join me for all or just part of the time, for breakfast or coffee, so spread the word to friends and neighbors.

Thank you for reading,

Mayor Zach Vruwink.
PS: To read past Community Updates, click here.



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