The City Council did send the Mayor versus City Manager question to referendum on Tuesday night. However, a complaint has been filed with the Government Accountability Board questioning the form and presentation of the petition wanting this change. A determination by the GAB of this complaint must be received before the question can be placed on the ballot. I have been asked by citizens who the 6 Councilpersons were that signed this petition to replace the Mayor position with a City Manager position to lead our City. They are: Lauren Resch, Marlene Zahn, Roger Reed, Al Schreiber, Jean Feldt, and Bob LeBreck.
On that note, please remember that there will be a Primary Election on February 17th, as there are 5 candidates running for the 2 at-large positions, and only 4 names can go on the April ballot. Those Councilpersons running are Connie Bickel, Sheri Groll, Joe Stiloski, Bob LeBreck, and Jean Feldt. You can vote (and also register) at the counter of City Hall starting February 2nd until February 13th. Also, you can sign up for an absentee ballot, (and/or register) by calling Carol at 834-7711.
Oconto’s 5th Annual WinterFest is fast approaching – Saturday, February 14th at the Oconto Legion Golf Club – FREE outdoor events and chili cook-off (small charge for all-you-can-eat plus cute bowl) from 11 a.m. To 4 p.m. And FREE raffle starting at 4 p.m. Last year’s event had over 100 participants – fun for children and adults alike, and all the chili was sold! Make sure to plan on taking part of this wonderful winter happening where everything (but the chili) is FREE – FREE – FREE! Probably the only event, anywhere FREE!
The Candlelight Walk at Copper Culture Park has been rescheduled for Saturday, February 28th from 6 to 8 p.m. The event was cancelled due to the extreme cold – we could not expect workers to set up and work the event from 3 to 9 p.m. Please put a note on your calendar!
The ice-skating rink at Sharp Park is ready to go – and will be maintained until weather conditions toward spring prohibit safe skating. For those who like to skate under the night sky, the lights will be kept on until 10 p.m. On Friday and Saturday!
Oconto has just received word that the Federal Surface Transportation Board has approved the abandonment of the former Union Pacific Railroad line which recently was a recreational trail. This abandonment is also supported by the WDNR and the WisDOT, and moves another step forward for the industrial expansion of Graphic Management Specialty Products through the Gregory Corp., LLC – and great news for Oconto!
Have A Great Day! And remember, “Lazy people tend not to take chances, but express themselves by tearing down other’s work.” – Ann Rule
Victoria Bostedt, Mayor for Oconto
2015 Winterfest on Porter will be held on Saturday, February 14, at the Oconto Legion Golf Club from 11 am to 4 pm. There will be a lot of fun outdoor and indoor activities, including a chili cook-off sponsored by the Girl Scouts. There will be a free raffle from 2 pm to 4 pm. Come on out and enjoy this great day of family fun!
Oconto was incorporated as a City in 1869. This included a government with the Mayor as the leader of the government and face of the City. That a Councilperson (whose grandfather served in the role of Mayor of Oconto for ten years of his life) would originate and present a petition to remove this Mayor position is disturbing from many fronts. Yes, EVERYONE has freedom of expression as an American (including myself in this Mayor’s Message) and can start petitions or sign them – just as I can speak truthfully about our city’s happenings. At what point, though, is an action stepping away from what your elected position dictates. That 6 of our 10 Councilpersons signed this petition to remove the Mayor’s office is very, very disturbing. I did not (and would not) sign the petition to put the Administrator/Clerk/Treasurer position back to Clerk/Treasurer, even though I support the idea. I hope and pray that their personal opinion does not spill into their vote on Tuesday night – that is not representing the majority of the people – it is representing their personal objectives. This idea of replacing the head of the government does not belong in the hands of 10 citizens, even though they were voted in to represent us – it is a decision to be made by the majority of Oconto’s people – through vote.
Alderperson Connie Bickel spoke for 270 people who wanted their voice heard, and put to a vote of the people, the question of whether we should have an Administrator/Clerk/Treasurer or a Clerk/Treasurer. Alderperson Bickel’s motion did not receive a second; therefore, the motion could not move to a vote or discussion of the Council. That is not representing everyone – certainly the 270 citizens were not represented by all At-large Councilpersons.
Many citizens told me after I was first elected, that it would take years to straighten out what kept Oconto from progressively moving forward. I realize that is why certain people want me removed, one way or another – that everything can go back to the way it was. We cannot go back. We were dying as a community – as a City! Along with working toward Oconto’s progress, the tough issues to approach are being approached – whether it was setting up the rummage sale sign policy, or bringing harbor slip prices to their proper place noncompetitive to our own taxpaying Hi-Seas marina, raising Holtwood Campground fees to prevent the Campground from losing money, returning liquor license fees that were mistakenly overcharged to our businesses, bringing a recreational asset in the swimming pool back to life, and many more decisions to fix what is wrong – always truthfully – always ethically. That is what I represent, that is what I stand for, even though it may be by myself, as a representative of the people. And I always will!
Have A Great Day! And remember, “Keep your fears to yourself, but share your courage with others.” – Robert Louis Stevenson (Thank You, sister Donna!)
Victoria Bostedt, Mayor for Oconto
City Attorney – Oconto, WI (pop. 4,500), located on the Oconto River 30 minutes north of Green Bay, has a current opening for the position of City Attorney. This position is a contract position.
In this role, the selected individual or firm will handle all municipal court matters, conduct all of the law business in which the City is interested, serve as legal advisor to the Mayor, Common Council and officers of the City, draft ordinances, bonds and other instruments as requested, handle administrative labor issues including, but not limited to, grievances, personnel matters and employee handbook updates, perform all labor negotiations and other contract negotiations and such other duties as provided by State law and as designated by the Common Council. Applicants must be licensed to practice law in the State of Wisconsin and a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin. Experience in municipal law a plus.
Compensation shall be in the form of a retainer in the amount $2,500 per month plus $50 expense reimbursement. Interested parties should submit a resume along with qualifications and experience to:
City of Oconto
Sara J. Perrizo, City Administrator
1210 Main Street
Oconto, WI 54153
Qualifications, as well as questions, may also be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline for submissions is Friday, February 20, 2015 at 4:00 p.m.
The Oconto attendees of boys’ basketball game at the UWGB Kress Center on Monday were beaming with absolute pride witnessing the players’ determination to bring a victory home and honor to Oconto! It reminded me of the Boys’ Baseball State win – when all necessary ingredients blend together – and the result is perfection! Each player played to their top potential, giving everything they had – teamwork abounded like clockwork – our 3-pointers were going in – and we won by 14 points against a team rated as 7th in Division 4! I am looking so forward to their future games – they are on their way!
Not only is Oconto designated as a Bird City – we are one of only 14 saluted with High Flyer status in the state! This is obtained through conservation and education activities that promote and protect birds and their habitat. Most of the other 12 cities (2 are counties – Brown and Ozaukee) are very large such as Green Bay, LaCrosse, Milwaukee, Muskego, Oshkosh, Stevens Point, and Wausau in the 23,000 up to 599,000 population range. What accomplishment it is, that our City of 4,544 has reached the potential of other cities much bigger. And we really must Thank Cordula VanDenHeuvel and her helpers for all their hard work obtaining this High Flyer achievement!
Along with the development of the Kelly Pickle Property, Oconto has been in favor of closing the recreational trail (former railway) in order for the attached businesses/industries to purchase portions of this trail, and proceed with expansion. Some of this expansion will include future jobs for the people. We are awaiting approval from the Surface Transportation Board to abandon this trail, that plans for expansions can proceed.
Remember the Candlelight Walk at Copper Culture State Park on Saturday, January 10th from 6 to 8 p.m. For a very peaceful, calming night amongst the stars!
The Council will have before them on Tuesday night an opportunity to allow the citizens who voted them in to speak, through referendum, regarding the future of the City’s government. Hopefully the Council will seize this opportunity, and represent all the people as their at-large position requires.
Have A Great Day! And remember, “Everyone wants a voice in human freedom. There’s a fire burning inside of all of us.” – Lech Walesa
Victoria Bostedt, Mayor for Oconto
City of Oconto
Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department
The City of Oconto Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department is accepting applications for the position of Parks Working Foreman (40 hours per week). The salary range for this position is $11.96-$12.46 per hour, depending on experience and qualifications, plus an excellent benefits package.
The Parks Department is also accepting applications for the position of Part-Time Laborer (35-37 hours per week). The salary range for the position is $11.46-$11.96 per hour, depending on experience and qualifications.
Both positions require a high school diploma or equivalent and a valid driver’s license. Applications, along with a job description and additional qualifications, can be picked up at Oconto City Hall, 1210 Main Street, Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. The deadline to turn in the applications has been extended to Friday, February 6, 2015.
Parks, Recreation and Forestry Director
Happy 2015 Everyone!
As the year 2014 is coming to a close, what a perfect time to reflect on Oconto’s accomplishments of this year. And these are OUR accomplishments as a City. To achieve true success, many factors have to work together, and that is what is wonderfully occurring. I couldn’t be prouder or happier about Oconto’s continuing progress. It is everything I have talked about and believed in since beginning my role as your Mayor.
Both our Main Street and Brazeau Avenue are becoming busier hubs with the addition of new businesses. Main Street acquired Deb’s Hair Emporium, J.L. Spaulding, LLC/Take the Reins Ranch, Salon Mystique, Soulage Massage, along with the brand new look of Jorene’s Le Cuts and Matravers Furniture. Never to be forgotten is the “from the ashes” miracle revival of the Log Jam Saloon. This adds to Classy Clutter Mercantile, Main Street Health Insurance along with Just Me Tattoo on Congress Street. The Pioneer Bar changed ownership/name to Mookie’s Pub and also the golf course to Oconto Legion Golf Club.
Brazeau Avenue has acquired Quik-Trip and Benjamin’s Family Dining, along with the brand new look of McDonald’s and change in ownership/name of Kaley A’s to Shake N Burger. This adds to XS Hair Studio, Tammie’s Two, and One Touch Wireless. The development of the Kelly Pickle Property is a major achievement by the City. Not only was a new road and utilities added, but The Ruins Adventure Golf was constructed and O’Reilly’s Auto Parts will be building in the spring. Two additional offers are pending. The goal was set to sell those and the final 3 parcels within a year of the first purchased parcels.
After a three-year process, the swimming pool’s repairs were passed by the Council, and the goal is to reopen in the beginning of summer, 2015.
Our first Nature Festival at Copper Culture Park was successfully attended by over 800 people and utilizes (to the utmost) our Bird City designation. This, along with various new innovative and educational programs on birds and other necessary creatures of nature.
Our Breakwater Park/Harbor is receiving more exposure, most recently with the construction of the ice-fishing access. Sailing lessons were introduced in 2014, with the plan of twice-a-week lessons next summer, plus a first annual Sail Festival to begin the lessons in June. 4 of the 6 fishing tournaments held this summer did not involve payment by Oconto to bring them here.
Bond Park received more improvements and will be finished in the summer of 2015. A movie theatre was erected at the Holtwood Complex through the generosity of a future Eagle Scout. Pecor Street was revitalized and produced another recreational trail for walkers and bicyclists.
Three of our industries NEROCO, Graphic Management, and LeTourneau Planstics have planned expansions with the possible increase of more jobs in Oconto.
For the first time, Oconto was showcased in a four-page article (with pictures) on our wonderful attributes in a national magazine, Great Lakes Boating.
Oconto was awarded a grant from the Wisconsin Waterways Commission, to assist in purchasing and constructing a handicapped-access dock at the City Docks.
If I have neglected to mention any other acheivements, please let me know.
Looking forward to an even more successful 2015 for our beautiful City of Oconto and its people!
And remember, “Know what you are doing. Love what you are doing. And believe in what you are doing.” — Will Rogers (Thank You, Donna, my sister!)
Victoria Bostedt, Mayor for Oconto
The Harbor Commission would like to thank Dick Doeren for his donation of a computer and keyboard for the Harbor Masters’ office at Breakwater Park. Thank you, Dick!
The Candlelight Walk, which was scheduled for this Saturday, January 10, has been cancelled because of the severe cold temperatures. It will be rescheduled for Saturday, February 28, 2015 from 6-8 p.m. at Copper Culture State Park. If you have any questions, please call John at (920)834-7706. Thank you!
Well, that holiday we have been preparing for months is right around the corner! I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas! Whether you celebrate with family, friends, or by yourself, may it be a time of joy and peace. Take a few moments to drive or walk through our downtown with all the special lights and decorations in all the businesses and to Freedom Park where the city’s crèche has its new home. Take a few moments to drive or walk down Brazeau Avenue including the Avenue of Wreaths, also all the unique displays in businesses and homes. Take a few moments to drive or walk through Winter Wonderland celebrating over 30 years of bringing happiness to others! Take a few moments to drive or walk down any street in our absolutely beautifully-adorned Oconto. Any of these destinations will surely bring you joy and peace! And it is all right here at our touch. And it is free.
Please remember that City Hall is closed December 24th and 25th. Also that recycling will not be picked up those days. Hopefully you already saw the ad from Jeremy where Wednesday’s (December 24th) pick-up was on Monday, December 22nd and Thursday’s (December 25th) is on Tuesday, December 23rd. Friday’s pick-up stays the same. If you didn’t see the ad, we apologize. Please keep your recycling until next month’s scheduled day. Thank You.
For those ice-skaters waiting for the Sharp Park ice-skating rink to open – and that is a great thing! – we are hoping (weather permitting) to fill it and have it opened after Christmas.
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL OF YOU – OUR BEAUTIFUL COMMUNITY OF OCONTO!!!!!!!!!!!!
And remember, “Find ecstasy in life; the mere sense of living is joy enough.” – Emily Dickinson
Victoria Bostedt, Mayor for Oconto