Dear editor,

Just sent in my absentee ballot. It is one of the rights and duties of a citizen to vote.

I am grateful to have two exceptional candidates for mayor in Wausau. I support Bob Mielke for re-election because he has done such an excellent job. Working with others we have seen much growth and development, more first responders, a more effective City Hall environment, more housing units, completion of the river life and river walk, the playground and the Thomas Street construction despite the heavy rains, flooding, and high water table. The Wausau City Council has worked with the community and we are looking at a vital improvement in the sewer and water plants, which are old and located in places that will no longer meet the DNR requirements. We have seen the city utilize low interest loans, state and federal money to prepare for the new construction.

Now I can observe construction everywhere in town, new businesses and a city working together to deal with the COVID-19 crisis and using carry out and social distancing and computer learning to limit the spread of a virus that is deadly and expensive to treat.

As spring warms, we can visit and talk with neighbors form a safe distance and hopefully see the virus run its course. Till that time, I am glad that the City Government, officials, and mayor have been on the job.

I hope all the construction workers, medical personnel, food preparers, grocery and pharmacy workers stay save, while I hunker down and await the end of something that is frustrating and deadly.

So Bob Mielke has been effective and changed the status quo, effective and cooperative investment has resulted in TIF and TID programs involving the city, county, school district and NTC and that means a better tax base, more investment, and building and jobs in Wausau. Proper planning means the river front is an attraction, River Life is being completed, Thomas Street has been completed, hundreds of housing units are being completed for rentals and purchase, we have expanded first responders, and we are working to pay down the debt at an expanded rate.

I dedicate the purchase of my home to a 10-year payoff and it is working, not spending on much else, but it has been reduced by bi-weekly payments and that means the interest is now only a fraction of the payment being made. It truly works. I worked it out with the Connexus Credit Union, a financial advisor Mike Haight of Edward Jones, and I stay within a tight budget.

Mielke has pushed for a good budget in Wausau, despite the reduction of support from the state over the past few years. Over the last year I saw only a $30 increase in my property taxes and the city, county, school district, and NTC all held the line on property taxes. When you are retired, that is important.

Mayor Mielke is a change-maker, an advocate for accountability, transparency, and follows a community plan making Wausau a better place to live.

John Enk of Wausau

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