Dear editor,

As an active observer of the (Wausau) City Council over the past year, as well as in the recent past few weeks, it is apparent to me that this group of representatives of the city are quite dysfunctional as a whole. 

Tom Neal, despite your former appointment several years back, you are beginning again anew. You may have some good ideas, but I would prefer that you sit back and join the group in observation instead of trying to reign in attention on all of your self-claimed expertise and professionalism. 

I was ready to give you a chance as an alder but already I’m turned off by your assertive and all knowing approach. It seems you’d rather stir things up and draw attention to yourself. Better to assess your position as part of a whole and not the end all to a category. Not that you may have some good ideas, but perhaps it would be best to ease your way into the council rather than attempt full reign.

Other council members that have been observed over the past year have lessons to learn as well. Many of the council members are uneducated or lack the motivation to truly do their homework regarding issues at stake. It’s really sad to see such an unbalanced team in leadership. On another hand, there are members that are far too outspoken and claim power that is inappropriate. Knowledge to be shared is good, but being overly assertive and aggressive is not. Boundaries should be better recognized.

There is a strong division which was most visible in the 2022-2023 city council. I feel strongly that Alders (Gary) Gisselman, (Terry) Killian, (Becky) McElhaney and (Doug) Diny were a good representation of what we should have in the council. People who are not yeasayers, but instead, do their homework and prepare themselves with knowledge of important points that are to be voted on in the council. I have been impressed with those who ask questions before they vote “Yes”, dig into something that is suspicious or needs more evidence or information before making big decisions. My thanks to the impressive stature of professionalism and knowledge coming from Alder Gisselman, Alder Killian, and Alder Diny this past year.

Many on the other side of the council, seem to have their own private clique, and follow one or two very strong people in making their decisions or casting their votes. It is evident that some of them even have distaste for the new mayor.

My hope is that Mayor Diny has a leadership plan in place to create equality, motivation to dig deeper and make better informed discussion and decisions, and strong leadership which should be respected by the council. 

I would like to see the seating arrangement of the council changed quarterly, to deter influence by an alder seated beside another, and to encourage more cohesiveness in the group. I would also like to see a limit imposed of four years maximum in service followed by two years before re-election. Also, I see appointment to committees from within the committee, as a popularity vote.  

Let’s give city council a raise and expect much better.

Mary Bychinski of Wausau

Editor’s note: Wausau Pilot & Review gladly publishes commentary from readers, residents and candidates for local offices. The views of readers and columnists are independent of this newspaper and do not necessarily reflect the views of Wausau Pilot & Review. To submit, email [email protected] or mail to 500 N. Third St., Suite 208-8, Wausau, Wis. 54403.