Superior mayor will break from tradition in State of the City address
When snow fills the streets, it isn't Assistant Public Works Director Jeff Goetzman who climbs in the grader to clear a path. Traditionally, when Mayor Dave Ross takes the stage for his annual State of the City address he recognizes the efforts o...
When snow fills the streets, it isn't Assistant Public Works Director Jeff Goetzman who climbs in the grader to clear a path.
Traditionally, when Mayor Dave Ross takes the stage for his annual State of the City address he recognizes the efforts of city managers.
This year, Ross said is breaking from tradition to recognize the men and women who make the city hum.
"A lot of things we do is a result of somebody really challenging us to think about how we do things," Ross said. "There were a few people that work for us that said: 'You know what, Mayor, you honor your administration every year. You honor the good deeds of citizens throughout the community. You take time to acknowledge progress. And the work force -- the 200-plus people who hit the streets every single day and make things happen in the community are not acknowledged.
"We really should honor those people who come to work every day, pick up your garbage, trim your trees, process the mountains of state and federal paperwork, answer the phone, process and respond to hundreds of questions," he said, "all with pretty incredible precision."
But some traditions won't change as Ross presents his sixth annual State of the City address at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Rothwell Student Center at the University of Wisconsin-Superior.
As in years past, Ross will recognize those who paid the ultimate price to serve their country and the public. The deaths of Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Pionk and Staff Sgt. Jeremy Vrooman, both of whom lost their lives serving in Iraq in 2008, and Jason Zunker, a Superior native and Chippewa County sheriff's deputy who died in the line of duty, will be remembered.
And Ross will address the city's economy.
To be noted are the new block 40 fighter jets that will extend the mission -- and jobs of 200 of Superior and Douglas County residents -- at the 148th Fighter Wing base in Duluth; the $4.3 million investment in Exodus Manufacturing, and the $4.5 million renovation of the Washington Building at 1517 Tower Ave. So will small-business investments such as Ron Gustafson's renovation of a former grocery store for commercial and office space, and the Bachand family's and Dale Yeat's renovation of buildings on Belknap Street. Ross said small business is the backbone of the city's economy.
Field Logic, Twin Ports Testing, Genesis Equipment, Midwest Energy, Charter Films and Amsoil -- all Superior firms -- will be honored for leadership on a national and world level in their respective industries.
Ross said 2008 was another good year for business in Superior but troubling signs such as layoffs at Genesis and closure of WS Live that will eliminate more than 70 jobs indicate Superior won't be untouched by the global economic crisis.
Ross plans to check in with the citizen he honored last year, Chesare McLaughlin, who was 4 when Ross recognized her efforts to clean up Superior.
This year's honoree is only a little older. At age 11, Tyler Nystrom's attention to detail and accurate reporting of a crime ended a burglary spree in Superior's East End.