Mayor talks new programs
Ideas include property improvement, biking with the mayor
BY NAOMI KOWLES
For the Star Journal
Rhinelander Mayor Chris Frederickson is prepping to introduce programs that make good on his recent campaign promises. In an effort to improve the city’s community appeal and make government more accessible, he outlined plans for a property improvement program last week in an interview with the Star Journal, as well as an initiative to implement “scheduled suggestions” to the city calendar of walks, Zumba, and biking with the mayor.
Both programs are still in the planning phases, although the first “walk with the mayor” occurred with a couple participants this Monday. The “property pride development” initiative, pending a permanent name, is his vision for a city-wide competitive outreach aimed at improving curbside appeal.
He said the plan will essentially involve homeowners signing off on an open competition, in which participating businesses and organizations will undertake a complete overhaul of the property front in a one-on-one rivalry across the road with an opposing organization.
He wants the initiative to spark a sense of pride in personal property. Another motivation for the enterprise is expansion of the tax base, drawing people into the area who desire to live and work in Rhinelander.
“We’ll start out with entryways into the city,” he explained. “People will sign off on property…an extreme makeover. We’ll do it for free if you let us do it, you just have to sign off.”
“If they really want to invest in the competition, you’ll see those two properties improve,” he said. “People want to bring back community pride.”
Homeowners would have no control over the final appearance, and Frederickson said parameters would be put in place so far as the length of time required before property owners could alter the makeover results. He also said the city’s insurance company had signed off on the concept, and that he was in the process of consulting with the city attorney regarding the legal ramifications of the program.
“It’s a risk,” he noted. He envisions as many local organizations and businesses as possible joining the program. He said he has not approached any as of yet, and that the program is still in its planning phases.
Frederickson said there were no similar programs in existence to his knowledge, and that he had drawn on inspiration from his parents for the concept.
He is also looking forward to introducing programs, like the walks with the Mayor, that will provide opportunities for members of the community to converse with him on issues of interest and concern to them.
Excited about the mayor’s new property initiative? Frederickson is looking for a name for the program; send your suggestions to StarJournal@mmclocal.com and we’ll forward them to the mayor’s office.