SHEBOYGAN — The February primary is coming up on Feb. 16 in the City of Sheboygan. One of the biggest races on the ballot is the seat for the city's mayor.
We set down with incumbent Mike Vandersteen to discuss his reasoning for seeking re-election, his biggest accomplishments in his first two terms and more.
See the full Zoom interview here:
Highlights from the interview:
On his reason for seeking re-election — "I really feel that we've started so many neat things in the city, and I just want to work through to finish them off. One of them is our infrastructure projects, which are our city streets. We've got a 14-year program, and we're in the fifth year of that program and we've made huge strides. When I came in as mayor, for the last six years prior to that we paved an average of 1.4 miles of streets each year, and now we've gotten that up to 4.2 miles of streets, so we've tripled the amount of streets that we have resurfaced every year. While we still have a lot of work to do, I think we've made some huge strides."
On his biggest successes of his first two terms —"One of the things that we've worked really hard on is to grow our neighborhood associations. This effort started with our police department several years ago when they divided the city up into 72 distinct neighborhoods and they implemented a community policing program. In order to support that, the city had started with their neighborhood associations and has grown that from the two it had started out with to now a dozen neighborhood associations. It's great to see the neighbors in these parts of the community step up and take a bigger role in their neighborhood, form an association and work with the city to try to improve their neighborhood."
On the biggest issues he would address in a new term — "One of the the things that we'd like to do is really get our hands around the low-incoming housing that's needed in the community. Right now, with the projects that have been done—the Wasserman, the Washington School and the Badger State Loft projects, and then the Oscar, which is currently in construction, we'll have 609 new workforce subsidized housing units that will be available in the community. We're doing a study to see if this is enough to meet the demands, I don't think it will be, and then we'll need to know how many more units we need to build to really serve the needs of our community."