Social Media, Chickens, and Street Opening



Social Media Policy and Chicken Ordinance            

At last Tuesday’s June City Council meeting, among regular city business, the Council discussed and decided on items related to the use of technology to communicate and the keeping of chickens.

The City Council voted to adopt a Social Media Policy to govern the city’s use of Social Media to communicate.  This policy is of particular significance, as it has been something that my office, with our then Social Media Intern, and City Department Heads have spent many months working on to fit our organization. Second, as a Mayor who prioritizes technology and the role it can play in providing an additional means of communication with constituents, I also recognize the challenges that can come with it, and the need for adopting a policy that uses overall best practices as well as addresses concerns that may exist with introducing an additional medium of communication within the City.  I commend the City Council and City staff for their recognition and approval to adopt modern and expanded ways of reaching and communicating with residents!

Now that the Social Media Policy has passed, our plans are to use social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to provide the public with additional information and foster a conversation about what is happening in the City.  Progress has already begun, with the creation of a City of Wisconsin Rapids Facebook Page, as well as a City of Wisconsin Rapids LinkedIN page.  Additional City departments will soon be communicating on one or both of these mediums, so be sure to visit and “Like” the pages for updates!

City Council also discussed and took the preliminary steps required to adopt a City ordinance that allows City residents living in one and two family homes to raise chickens within City limits.  Since the vote was not unanimous, the ordinance will come back next month to Council for a ‘second reading’ and vote.  If you have any questions or concerns, or just want to learn more about this issue or others, I encourage you to contact the Citizens for a Clean Green and Welcoming Community, who have been coordinating the effort to bring this ordinance to Wisconsin Rapids.

To view this and other recorded City meetings, please visit RCCA’s YouTube channel.

Beautification Update 

treeplanting1Last Thursday, members of the Mayor’s Council on Beautification joined residents from the community in holding a “Flowering Tree Planting Event” aimed at planting flowering crab trees along the Riverbanks in areas that previously featured them.

Previously, “Hopa” trees have had a long history in Wisconsin Rapids.  Last Thursday’s event was not only significant for the City’s efforts to renew its commitment as a Tree City USA, but was also meant to revisit the work started by the late Richard Brazeau, when 4,000 flowering trees were planted in 1965 and the “Hopa” Tree Festival began.  As of late, only a small number of the original “Hopa” trees remain along the river, but events like the one held last week aim to change that- with plans to continue planting the flowering trees in the coming years.  To view an article published in the Daily Tribune covering the event, click here.treeplanting2

I am proud of the resident-led work being done by the Mayor’s Council on Beautification.  If you’re interested in participating in future meetings, please contact me to be added to the contact list or feel free to attend future meetings, held the third Thursday of every month at 4:30PM.

United We Can Event

unitedwecan1Last Monday, city management and I had the pleasure of participating in the South Wood County Hunger Coalition’s United We Can- “Strike Out Hunger” event held at Witter Field.   “United We Can” is a contest for a cause, inviting participating groups to compete to build the most creative and visually captivating sculptures out of basic-needs and food items.  The sculptures were on display for attendees of the Rafter’s game that evening and all items used were then distributed to area food programs.  Our City Team pulled together and formed a can sculpture displaying our City Logo.

unitedwecanriverviewIn all, 14 teams participated in this year’s event and over 4,000 items were collected for distribution to the Wisconsin Rapids Family Center, Inc., Rapids Family Backpacks and SWEPS!  Recognition awards were given in several categories including most creative, most nutritious and a community choice category.  The award for “Most Nutritious” went to the Riverview Medical Center Team. “Most Creative” AND “Community Choice” went to the Paper City Savings Team.  Congrats to all the winners.  Our City team already has big ideas for next year!

The South Wood County Hunger Coalition is an initiative of the United Way of Inner Wisconsinunitedwecanpapercities.  The coalition consists of local food providers, community programs and community members who are concerned about hunger issues.  The coalition works together towards a common goal- fighting hunger in our community.  The Coalition has working committees in the areas of healthy foods access, outreach, advocacy and education, and food acquisition and distribution.  Visit for more information on the South Wood County Hunger Coalition initiative and how you can get involved in stamping out hunger

Street Opening

This week, prior to heading to Lunch by the River, join us for the Ribbon Cutting to mark the official opening of the First Street/Roundabout project. The event takes place near the Courthouse at Market Street at 11:30 AM, Thursday, June 26th!.

Pizza With the Mayor

Earlier this year, I launched Coffee with the Mayor. Each of the coffee sessions have been terrific, with great questions posed and excellent suggestions made, many of which I have taken back to the office! Meeting residents in comfortable, friendly locations has been a great experience and I’m looking forward to hosting these and similar sessions. While I plan to rotate Coffee locations and times, at the suggestion of many, I am going to launch another variation, in the evening, dubbed Pizza with the Mayor on Wednesday, July 2nd from 5:30-6:30pm at the Ridges. All are welcome..

Thank you for reading,

Mayor Zach



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