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GUEST COLUMN: Wausau’s economic development director responds to criticism

in Opinion

Editor’s note: Christian Schock wrote this in response to a Sept. 24 guest column submitted by former city council members Keene Winters, Deb Hadley and Richard Anklam calling for an administrator in Wausau. This letter is being published in its entirety with Mr. Schock’s permission. Read the column that prompted this letter here. Mr. Schock is the economic development director for the city of Wausau.

[I am] just replying/clarifying a previous editorial as perhaps “the rumors of my (departure) have been greatly exaggerated” (Twain), and I read, with a bit of dismay, about my own premature departure.

While we’re all here for just a short time, I don’t plan on departing this world, or Wausau, just yet. In my 4 years here in Wausau though, we’ve all witnessed those authors persistent and negative attacks on staff, on city projects, even on citizen constituents. There’s no need to qualify their political motivations, they appear quite transparent.

Course, should I remain welcome, I’m continuing my work with the rest of the City’s team. It’s a great time for the City, with all-time record new growth but also challenging opportunities like the Mall, getting Riverlife back on track (and yes, it’s getting back on track), and seeing long overdue projects finally move forward.

Mayor Mielke has an important long-term and non-political focus on development, I’ve worked for dozens of elected officials and that’s refreshingly rare, and unlike those aforementioned authors. The City’s investments in infrastructure, quality of life amenities, expanding the businesses campus, and new housing options are all important foundations for generations to come.

In my 20 years in government, I’ve served at every level of public administration: city, county, regional, state and federal, having witnessed the positives and negatives of the different administration models: mayor, city council/manager, administrator- and frankly all the drama that goes naturally with it no matter what structure is in place. We shouldn’t shy away from tackling complex or difficult projects just to avoid the usual, predictable barbs from the WP&R’s regular contributors; the City would never get anything accomplished.

And while I don’t normally wade into this- and not the first city employee to be personally attacked- I don’t mind setting the record straight.

Christian Schock, Wausau

Editor’s note: The views of our readers and guest columnists are independent of this newspaper and do not necessarily reflect the views of Wausau Pilot and Review. To submit a letter, email editor@wausaupilotandreview.com or mail to 500 Third St. Suite 208-8, Wausau, Wis., 54403.

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