Mlada says he won’t seek third term as Port mayor

He championed breakwater, lighthouse projects, was at center of Blues Factory controversy

    Port Washington Mayor Tom Mlada announced Tuesday he will not seek re-election in April.
    Mlada, whose accomplishments include the controversial decision to sell the city-owned north marina parking lot for the Blues Factory entertainment complex, told the Common Council that his years in office were “among the most rewarding and fulfilling and meaningful of my life.”
    But, he said, despite the fact there are projects he wanted to see through, he and his family made the decision jointly.
    “I do believe we’ve accomplished so much,” said Mlada, who is completing his sixth year in office. “There are things we’re so close on, but we’re just not quite there yet.”
    Those include such things as the Cedar Vineyard development, completion of repairs to the north breakwater and creation of a tax incremental financing district on the city’s north end to spur development there, he said.
    “It has been a period of change,” Mlada said. “And change is not without controversy. Change isn’t easy. But I really believe the type of change we’re pursuing is really what we need.”
    The change, he said, includes significant downtown growth — not just the Blues Factory but other lakefront residential developments that have been approved.
    Those developments, Mlada said, will allow the city to keep providing necessary services without significantly increasing taxes, as well as increase traffic downtown to help keep shops going.
    “We fought and scratched and clawed our way to incremental change, and all the incremental changes we’ve made add up,” he said. “We don’t always get it perfect. We give it our best.”
    City Administrator Mark Grams said Mlada will be remembered in large part for his work in downtown and shepherding development throughout the community.  
    “The breakwater, Coal Dock Park, redevelopment downtown, marketing the city ... the growth we’ve had, economically and residentially and in terms of the tax base,” Grams said. “To me, I think that’s a pretty good thing.”
    Mlada announced his decision by reading a letter to the editor he penned that is published in this week’s edition of Ozaukee Press.
    He added a few comments after, thanking the many people who have gotten involved in committees and organizations to help improve the city — everything from the waterfront safety committee and initiatives to the work of such groups as the city’s Economic Development Committee, Community Development Authority, Environmental Planning Committee and lighthouse committee.
    Mlada said he made his announcement now to allow people time to consider whether they are willing to take on the commitment that the office of mayor requires.
    “It is a time commitment,” he said. “It is a family commitment.”
    He’s confident that whoever follows him will “do an even better job,” Mlada said. “I promise I won’t be weighing in from the peanut gallery.”
    Mlada added that there is much to do in the coming four months before he leaves office, and he urged others to “step out from behind the computer ... and make a difference.”
    Mlada is not the only city official whose position is up for election on April 3. Aldermen Paul Neumyer, Dan Benning and Dave Larson, who represent the city’s 2nd, 4th and 6th districts, are also up for election.
    Both Larson and Neumyer said Tuesday they will likely seek re-election
    Benning, who was appointed to fill the term of former Ald. Doug Biggs, said at the time he would seek election.
    Candidates can circulate nomination papers until 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 2, when they are due at City Hall. Clerk Susan Westerbeke said that she will be at her office that day, even though City Hall is otherwise closed.
    Incumbents who decide not to run for re-election must file noncandidacy forms by 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 22, or the deadline for nomination papers will be extended by three days.
    If more than two people run for any one office, a Feb. 20 primary will be held to cull the field to two before the April election.



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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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