Becker is Port’s prescription for mayor

Longtime pharmacist garners 67% of vote to top Richert in race that focused on open government, development

PORT WASHINGTON MAYOR-ELECT Marty Becker (left) and former mayor Joe Dean checked out Tuesday’s election results during Becker’s election-night party at the TreeHouse Lounge inside the Twisted Willow restaurant. Becker, who defeated challenger Adele Richert in the election, will take office on April 17. Dean was the city’s mayor from 1994 to 1997. Photo by Sam Arendt
Ozaukee Press staff

Longtime Port Washington pharmacist Marty Becker was elected mayor Tuesday night.

Becker, who succeeds Mayor Tom Mlada, garnered 67.2% of the vote to defeat Adele Richert, 1,922-928.

 Ten write-in votes were cast in a race where turnout was 44.65%.

“I’m totally humbled,” said Becker, who has lived in the city for 40 years. “It’s really been a humbling experience.

“I’m not very political. I think people know me and what I stand for. I just want to do what’s right for the community.”

Richert said she intends to remain involved in the community.

“I knew this was an uphill fight,” she said, especially since she has only lived in the community for two years. “I entered this race at the request of some people who wanted change. I will continue to advocate for change.”

There are projects she wants to continue working on, Richert said, adding she may seek a spot on a city committee or two.

“I can do just as much for the city as a citizen as I could do as mayor,” she said. “I will definitely be an active member of the community.”

Becker, 69, was elected at a time when much of the city remains divided over lakefront development, particularly plans for the Blues Factory entertainment complex.

Becker has committed to mending that rift and re-establishing trust in local government, in large part through open communications with the community.

He also said he would make sure the Common Council holds fewer closed sessions, saying they have helped to foster the impression that the city is doing things behind the public’s back.

Becker, who will be sworn in on April 17, reiterated Tuesday that he is committed to ensuring government operates in an open setting.

“The main thing is you have to have open government and common sense,” he said Tuesday. “You have to have a well-planned and well-financed and well-thought out plan for the future, and you have to do that with minimal impact on city services and the school district.”

He asked resident to contact him if they have questions or concerns, or if they want to serve on city committees.

Becker, who has served on the city’s Police and Fire Commission for the past seven years, will have to step down from that post.

Richert, 74, who had also run on a platform of open government, said she shared Becker’s commitment to healing the community.

“I think we need to come together as a city, newcomers and old timers,” she said. “The nice thing about this campaign is that Marty and I weren’t in this against each other. We were in it for the city. We presented people with two very distinct choices.”

Becker thanked his supporters and also Richert, saying, “There should never be one person running for office. There should be two so voters have a choice.”

Port Washington’s mayor serves a three-year term and is paid $7,500 annually.

Incumbents Paul Neumyer and Dan Benning were elected to their aldermanic seats representing the city’s 2nd and 4th Districts, respectively. Neumyer received 273 votes and Benning 232.

Newcomer Patrick Tearney was elected to represent the city’s 6th District with 207 votes.He replaces Ald. Dave Larson, who did not seek re-election.

Aldermen, who are elected to two-year terms, are paid $3,750 annually.


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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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