Political newcomer poised to join Port Common Council

Ozaukee Press staff

Barring a massive write-in campaign, Patrick Tearney will become Port Washington’s new 6th District alderman, succeeding longtime Ald. Dave Larson, who is not seeking re-election.

Tearney, 65, of 334 S. Eva St., has never sought public office before, but he is familiar with the process as a retired journalist best known locally as a former reporter and editor at the News Graphic Pilot and Sheboygan Press.

Tearney said he started attending city meetings as a way to be better informed, and when Larson announced he would not seek re-election he decided to run.

“I think it’s an important job. Citizens are supposed to step up and do these things,” he said.

Many of the development issues that residents are concerned about “seem like they’re in place and moving,” he said.

But, Tearney added, development brings its own challenges. Developers come to Port because of the small town charm, but the city needs to be careful to retain that in the face of new development.

“I think it’s necessary to balance the needs of the community and the needs of the developer,” he said.

Tearney said he isn’t a big fan of the proposed Blues Factory, adding it’s not the concept that bothers him.

“I don’t like the location. It might work well somewhere else,” he said. 

But if it’s built, Tearney said, “I hope it will be successful.”

The proposed Newport Shores development is an attractive building, Tearney said, adding, “It’s very tall. That bothers me a little bit. It’s a very ambitious project.”

Acknowledging the rift that has opened between citizens and the Common Council since the Blues Factory project was proposed three years ago, Tearney said he would work to be accessible to his constituents.

“I hope people in my district will contact me. I do want to get as much input from people as possible,” he said.

He said he also hopes the city will hold fewer closed sessions in the future.

“I think sometimes if you have some of these negotiations in open session, you know the members of the council and the mayor are asking the tough questions,” he said. “There’s a lot to be said for doing the public’s business in public.”



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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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