Happy New Year!
As the calendar turns from 2014 to 2015, we reflect back upon this past year’s notable events and milestones. One such acknowledgement is that of our public employees who serve our community daily. In 2014, the City of Wisconsin Rapids recognized a number of significant employee service milestones. The following is a list of those employees who have worked more than 25 years with the City and celebrated 25, 30, 35 and 40 year anniversaries in 2014:
- David Batten (25 years)
- Donald (Jay) Bemke (30 years)
- Sharon Borchert (35 years)
- James Borski (30 years)
- Tammy Florence (35 years)
- Randall Jahns (25 years)
- David Kerkman, Jr. (25 years)
- Michael Kruger (30 years)
- Greg Luke (25 years)
- Yvonne Mason (25 years)
- James Neitzel (35 years)
- Janice Oleson (40 years)
- Bruce Schoff (25 years)
- Duane Skibba (25 years)
- Nancy Turba (35 years)
- Darnell Tyjeski (30 years)
In addition to recognizing the above employees for their service, we recognized outgoing City Engineer Dave Laspa as he retired after 36 years of service. His roundabout cake was a fitting gesture. On behalf of the city- residents and co-workers- thank you for your service and best wishes Dave!
New Years Wishes
As we look forward to the beginning of the new year, I would be remiss if I didn’t reflect, at least briefly on a few of our accomplishments of the past year. In many ways, I believe it was the year of You, our residents.
2014 in Wisconsin Rapids was a productive year as we continue to take steps forward to improve. Internally, we continue to analyze, take new and innovative approaches to how we do business to ensure the City’s ability to provide the services our residents expect into the future. Our City’s leadership took notable steps forward with initiatives to improve our operations and equally as important to improve the quality of life that is our own. Already this year, we’ve taken strides in this approach, through the development of a GIS system, the upcoming launch of our GrowRapids portal, and our operational efficiency initiative- Rapid Improvement. We’ve begun to “Open Government”- by establishing a system of public participation and collaboration, based on technology, to strengthen and promote efficiency and effectiveness in government.
In addition to improving the way we do business, 2014 also saw increased opportunities for involvement in government. Our city’s physical image is improving. Last year, we formed a Mayor’s Council on Beautification, which, through efforts like the flowering basket program and various planting events, successfully transformed areas of our City into bright and colorful exhibits. Key to this success has been, and will continue to be the involvement of our citizens and the development of the relationships we have with our local and regional partners, including surrounding municipalities and county government. In the coming year, I look forward to expanding on our current initiatives, and introducing others, including a Mayor’s Council on Youth, Sustainability and more. Further, opportunities to serve as a Mayoral Appointee on various boards and commissions continue. With all that our City has accomplished, I am confident that calendar year 2015 will bring even more significant success!
I look forward to new beginnings and to the formation of deeper and new partnerships as we face the challenges that 2015 will most certainly bring. With effective leadership, stronger partnerships, and an involved community, the City of Wisconsin Rapids will continue down a path of greater health, in all various forms.
Here’s wishing you and all of your families a health, prosperous and enjoyable New Year! Thank you for the opportunity to serve you.
Mayor Zach Vruwink