Thank you for electing me!

Ryan4citycouncilIt’s official:  I’ve been elected to the De Pere Common Council for a 2 year term and will be sworn in to office on at the city council meeting on April 19th at 7:30pm.  You can watch this or any meeting live from the comfort of your own home on channel 4 for Time Warner subscribers, channel 99 for AT&T U-verse subscribers and online at http://www.depere.tv/.  The entire list of meetings can be found online at  http://deperecitywi.iqm2.com/Citizens/calendar.aspx.  Or you could get crazy and attend council meetings that are open to the public.

While I will do my best, I hope that you will provide commentary and input when you feel that I am doing a good or poor job representing the best interests of my constituents.  I expect that I won’t always agree with everyone all the time but I am committed to explaining why I hold certain positions in controversial situations.  Please use my ‘contact me’ page to submit commentary and suggestions to better the direction of the city.

Here is my original post that explains why I ran for city council:

In a nutshell, I really enjoy living in De Pere, owning a business in De Pere, and having my children in the amazing De Pere public schools.   I’ve seen how much the community and businesses care about De Pere.  And when you really care about something, you start looking for ways to make it even better.  Running for City Council is the next step in my efforts to improve the livability and business desirability of De Pere.  For the past 8 years, I’ve served De Pere’s Main Street program as part of the De Pere Chamber of Commerce (2008 to 2012) and then with Definitely De Pere from 2012 to the present.

What’s so great about De Pere?  There is so much potential here, I really don’t know where to begin.  As a business owner, I can say from experience that the businesses love to support community events and the community likewise loves to frequent the downtown.  But let’s start with something small, like a random piece of trash on a street or in the downtown.  Typically, it is picked up within 24 hours by any citizen or city worker that sees it.  That’s pride writ large.  De Pere’s parks and the River Walk are more evidence of that civic pride. Now let’s go to something larger, something so big and encompassing that people don’t even know they are affected by it: De Pere’s history.  Father Claude Allouez’s 1671 mission at “les rapides des peres.”  One of the first, if not the first settlement in what would someday become Wisconsin.  Everything in between?  That’s what makes De Pere great.

What’s not so great about De Pere?  I’m unopposed in my run for city council likely because no one knew the city council seat was being vacated.  I only knew because I happened to be in contact with my alderperson who is now running for Brown County Supervisor.  How is that possible? I say it’s because we’ve lost our community voice.  We have no dedicated local newspaper and in that respect, have lost a significant portion of our history and community involvement over the last few years.  This is best exemplified by the storm of people that grab ‘pitchforks and torches’ and head to city hall when something gets relayed by a friend’s neighbor’s cousin that causes them to think that city hall doesn’t represent them and makes them angry. That’s bound to happen every now and then (I’ve lit a few torches myself), it just doesn’t have to be the norm.

I’m running for city council because I truly care that De Pere continues to manage its finances wisely while it develops a socially responsible, sustainable environment for people like me to raise a family, run a business and enjoy year round.  I want to restore the communication between myself and my constituents in district 2 to head off misunderstandings before they happen.  My goal is to use this website, regular posts and a bimonthly email to update De Pere citizens regarding items on the city council agenda that they might want to provide input on.  And then beyond the reactionary feedback on agenda items, I’d like to go one step further and open the conversation to collect ideas on what we can and should be discussing to make De Pere even better.

Do you have ideas?  I’d like to hear them.  Email ideas@ryanjennings.us