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Port election heats up with two vying for mayor PDF Print E-mail
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Written by KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM   
Wednesday, 03 January 2018 19:35

Commission member Marty Becker faces political newcomer Adele Richert in race to succeed Mlada

    The Port Washington Common Council will have a new look come April, with voters choosing between two first-time candidates to replace Tom Mlada as mayor.
    Marty Becker, 69, of 669 W. Pierre La., and Adele Richert, 74, of 304 S. Webster St., will face off in the April 3 election.
    While neither candidate has sought political office before, government isn’t new to Becker, a longtime member of the city’s Police and Fire Commission.
    If elected, one thing Becker said he would push for is a study to determine the need for a second fire station, something long requested by the fire department but put on the back burner by the Common Council.
    “The study to see if and when we need a second station is really important,” Becker said, noting the the current station has a number of limitations that need to be addressed.
    While he’s familiar with the police and fire departments, Becker said, “the rest of it is a learning curve.”
    Richert, who is retired, is a longtime California resident who moved to Port Washington about two years ago to be near her son, who lives in Brown Deer.
    “I fell in love with the city. I love its history,” she said. “I hope we don’t lose that with some of the developments being planned, particularly around the marina.”
    Development, she said, needs to be “measured, responsible, safe for the environment, and it needs to maintain the historic ambience the city has.”
    Richert added that she wants to get residents more involved in what the city does, and she plans to hold listening sessions.
    The city’s current focus on development has been among Mlada’s achievements, although some of those developments, particularly those proposed around the marina, are controversial.
    Becker , who also said he wants to hear from residents regarding the issues, said he likes the idea of the Blues Factory, just not the proposed location in the north slip marina parking lot.
    “I think it is a prime piece of property that I’m not sure why we’re selling. I’m not sure the Blues Factory couldn’t be put somewhere else,” Becker said.
    Becker, a pharmacist, said he’s running to give back to the city that’s given so much to he and his family and to give people a choice for mayor.
    “I’ve been in town for 40 years, and this city has been very good to me,” he said. “This city needs someone who’s dedicated to the city.”
    The mayor’s job is a “very unappreciated one,” Becker said, noting the mayor doesn’t cast a ballot but instead directs the tone of government.
    While Mlada has in many ways turned the mayor’s job into a full-time one, Becker said he believes it should remain a part-time post.    
    The mayor’s seat is only one of the seats on the April 3 ballot.
    Running unopposed for aldermanic seats in the election will be incumbents Paul Neumyer and Dan Benning, who represent the city’s 2nd and 4th districts, respectively, and newcomer Patrick Tearney, who is running unopposed for the 6th District seat being vacated by longtime incumbent Dave Larson.
    Larson, who filed noncandidacy papers, said he made his decision “after much deliberations and thought and discussion with my wife.”
    Tearney, 65, of 334 S. Eva St., is a retired newspaper reporter. He’s attended a number of Common Council meetings and has become familiar with the issues facing the city.
    “Downtown development is something everyone is concerned with,” Tearney said, adding it’s something he would talk to residents about. “But a lot of it has been approved already.”
    Tearney said he is also concerned with the number of closed-session meetings the council has held in regard to developments.
    “I think open government is important,” he said. “I’m hoping to be as open as possible with people.”

 
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