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Biggs quits council, City Hall turnover continues PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 06 September 2017 18:41

Resignation of president clears way for fourth new alderman since April

  Port Washington Ald. Doug Biggs, who is the Common Council president and a member of the Finance and License Committee, announced Tuesday he is resigning his post effective at 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 15.
    Biggs’ resignation comes at a time when the makeup of the Common Council is in flux. Two longtime aldermen, including the former council president, were ousted in a contentious election this past spring in the wake of controversy over development in the city — particularly the Blues Factory and other lakefront development — and a third aldermen stepped down.
    Biggs, who has been the city’s 4th District alderman for five-and-a-half years, said he could no longer devote the necessary time to the job.
    Biggs, who is vice president of sales and marketing at Gilman in Grafton, said he would miss many of the remaining Common Council meetings this year because of work commitments.
    “It’s not fair to my constituents, not being able to devote the time they should get,” Biggs said, noting he had discussed the matter with both his employer and family. “And I want to spend time with my family.”
    Biggs closed Tuesday’s meeting by thanking those he has worked with over the past five years, and he urged aldermen to “always do the right thing for the city in the short, medium and long term.
    “Never think about how a decision will impact your re-election chances,” he said. “I think back to those brave aldermen who voted for a marina for the city, were removed from office and yet were doing the right thing for the city in the long term. Can anyone here imagine Port Washington without that marina?”
    Biggs also told aldermen to follow facts, not their gut, adding, “At no point can the pull of popular opinion be more important than data. The moment you allow this to happen is the moment you will hurt the city.”
    To those who disagreed with his decisions, Biggs asked them to be a voice for an alternative viewpoint rather than someone who is just “against the council.”
    He also spoke against those who attack the integrity of aldermen without proof of their transgressions, saying that dismantles trust in government and the system.
    “These people are subversives, and their viewpoints should be called out and asked for proof or rejected completely,” Biggs said, citing those who disagree with decisions made by aldermen and accused officials of being in the pocket of developers.
    Biggs said the city has accomplished many good things during his tenure, including the opening of Coal Dock Park, approval of the Harbour Lights project and a number of lakefront improvements, adding that the thing he’s most proud to have his name attached to is the World War II pillar in Coal Dock Park.
    “I am humbled by the sacrifices these people made that allowed me to serve,” he said.
    Aldermen were quick to thank Biggs for his service, and several asked him to reconsider his decision — something Biggs said wouldn’t happen.
    City Administrator Mark Grams said aldermen will elect a new council president at their Tuesday, Sept. 19, meeting.
    A discussion on how to replace Biggs as aldermen will also be held then, Grams said. Typically, the Common Council accepts applications from interested residents, interviews them and then selects a new alderman, he said, but the council could also hold the seat open until the April election.

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