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Five aiming for two ballot spots in District 6

By Press Times Staff

GREEN BAY – Five people will face off Feb. 18 for the right to advance to the April 7 general election in District 6 on the Green Bay Common Council.

Incumbent Kathy Lefebvre is being challenged by Stewart Larsen, Justin Paradise, Michael Lee and Paul Boucher.

The top two vote-getters advance to the general election.

District 6 in Green Bay encompasses the Bay Beach area on the east side of the Fox River.

The Press Times emailed each candidate the same three questions and gave them 100 words to respond to each.

Kathy Lefebvre

Kathy Lefebvre

Why should people vote for you?

John and I just celebrated our 50th year living in District 6.

During this time, I have served on the following: president for the East Shore Drive Neighborhood Association, Green Bay Board of Park Commissioners, Friends of the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary board, Areas of Concern (AOC) DNR Advisory board, the Steering Committee and hands-on construction Habitat for Humanity Women Build.

Also, fulfilling two terms on the county board and one for city council has given me insight how our government works.

What’s the biggest issue facing Green Bay?

Getting the city back on sound footing. I am on the city Finance Committee and it has been a struggle balancing the needs to run effective and efficient departments along with the responsibility to the taxpayers.

Serving on finance, I helped reduce our 2019-20 bonding by almost $1 million.

The second is the flooding on the Bay, East and Fox rivers.

We need to look for funding, both federal and state, with costs in the millions not budgeted for.

How can the city continue to grow Bay Beach?

Living near Bay Beach and serving on the former Green Bay Board of Park Commissioners, I know the impact Bay Beach has for the city and community.

A number of years ago, the city purchased properties west of the park and presently have large areas still underutilized.

The park department is finally on the right track with the new rides installed the last few years.

Knowing the economic value Bay Beach brings, the new boardwalk and pier, along with future new rides, shelter, etc., will improve the park, ensuring future success.

Stewart Larsen

Stewart Larsen

Why should people vote for you?

I love Green Bay and want it to be a community we all can be proud of.

I am passionate about the well-being of others, and of our city, as this is the home and community that I will raise my three young children in.

Through economic development initiatives, attention to street concerns, enhanced recreational opportunities, blight removal, neighborhood revitalization and sound public safety, Green Bay can build upon its rich history and step into a bright future.

To do that, citizens need to elect members of the city council who listen more and talk less.

What’s the biggest issue facing Green Bay?

For too long some of our politicians on the city council have seemed to care more about their next election, rather than making sure the city prospered in the next decade.

A prime example is the council’s neglect of funding and planning for street repairs.

Our streets are important for economic development, quality neighborhoods and safe travel.

Over the years, too many alders have turned their backs on the need to implement long-range plans to maintain and improve our streets.

I’ll take seriously the responsibility of making good decisions today to secure a bright future for Green Bay tomorrow.

How can the city continue to grow Bay Beach?

I am a young father with three small children who love to go to Bay Beach.

Bay Beach is right in the heart of City Council District 6, so it will require my attention should I be elected.

Bay Beach is a money-maker for the city.

The city must make sure that it remains a family-friendly, safe and enjoyable place for our citizens and guests.

The city and the county need to work together to determine if nearby Renard Island can be developed to be a complement to Bay Beach.

Justin Paradise

Justin Paradise

Why should people vote for you?

As a native of Green Bay and current resident of District 6 for over 10 years, I have seen the community change over the decades and would like to help make new progress within the community with a fresh perspective.

I’m looking forward to promoting a sense of community and connection with neighbors.

Good neighbors help make a strong community work.

What’s the biggest issue facing Green Bay?

I believe the biggest issue facing Green Bay is a large debt.

Millions of tax dollars are being spent on paying this debt as well as interest.

With a reduced or eliminated debt, we could be using this money for more community services such as roads, police and fire departments.

A elimination of debt would help reduce the need to continually raise taxes.

How can the city continue to grow Bay Beach?

I think Bay Beach has grown well over the years and there is already planned growth in the future, which is exciting news.

The biggest improvement I would like to see at Bay Beach, however, would be better concessions and food in the main pavilion.

Michael Lee

Michael Lee

Why should people vote for you?

I’m committed to representing them, their needs and concerns.

As someone who lives and works in District 6, I’m readily accessible to my fellow residents, and I’ll consider it my obligation to initiate and maintain effective communication.

I’ve never cared for the “if you need me, call me” procedure from elected officials.

If the voters of District 6 elect me, they’re hiring me; I’ll be working for them.

It will be incumbent to do the work involved with keeping a flow of communication going between residents and myself.

I promise to give District 6 strong, ethical, and responsive representation.

What’s the biggest issue facing Green Bay?

Other than financial matters, which are big issues for every community, what I am actually hearing from residents in District 6 is that they want what most people ultimately want: Strong, safe neighborhoods with access to essential services.

As one who both lives in District 6 and is employed in the district as well, I am in constant, daily contact with our residents, and I spend much of my time in our neighborhoods.

In short, as a “biggest issue,” nothing matters more than the neighborhoods we live in.

How can the city continue to grow Bay Beach?

We have a long-term master plan for Bay Beach, we need to stick with it and continue to bring in new rides to keep it fresh and appealing.

We need to keep the park affordable and safe for families.

Secondly, we need to be good stewards as we consider any development, taking into consideration the impact of development on the environment of this gem with which we are blessed as a city.

Finally, as we address growing Bay Beach, we should work closely with the existing groups, who already are doing much to advance and preserve the area.

Paul Boucher

Paul Boucher

Why should people vote for you?

People should vote for me because I have been analyzing the issues that have been limiting and, in fact, stunting the growth of the City of Green Bay.

I have the solutions that the city council has not been talking about.

There is a need for a college in the downtown area.

There is no higher education institute that directly addresses the need for minority teachers.

I request that we build a college to be named Cherry Starr International University.

This will solve dozens of problems facing the city.

What’s the biggest issue facing Green Bay?

The problems we have include: growth stagnation; there is shortage of large anchor businesses; we have been unable to bring tourists to the area and when we do they do not frequent the downtown; limited bus service; it is very difficult to answer the question: what is there to do in Green Bay?

Especially when talking to young adults; the congestion that is caused by the lack of bridges and/or tunnels to traverse the Fox River.

What is there to see in Green Bay?

The LPGA left in part because of Green Bay’s inability to answer these questions.

How can the city continue to grow Bay Beach?

We need to allow pedestrian traffic to access Renard Island.

It’s a very cool place on hot days.

There needs to be more age-appropriate opportunities for teenagers, including rides, American Ninja courses, and a brighter, more colorful park.

We need to address the flooding issues and increase tourist boat traffic.

We can solve both concerns by building a canal tunnel from Green Bay to Kewaunee.

Other problems will be resolved with this including extending the shipping season, year-round fishing, access to pipeline in Lake Michigan water, reducing the ridiculous number of quarry holes, creating jobs and attracting tourists.

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