Hello from the other side of Appleton

We live in an enviable neighborhood, in the north central heart of the city. We mark our days by the church bell tolls, and summon children home when the street lights turn on.

Yesterday, a community service officer helped my neighbor Donna track down a lost chicken she found wandering our street. No one raises chickens here. We’re just helpful like that.

We live in old, solid houses and, though our garages our detached, our residents are not.

The City of Appleton found that out this year when they announced that they would be closing the Erb Park Pool.

Even I was taken aback by this neighborhood’s passionate response. In a lovely example of how government can work, the city reversed its decision, listened to the specific requests of its citizens, and came up with an incredible design for a new pool.

We have a contested mayoral race this year, featuring 20-year incumbent Tim Hanna and his challenger, Josh Dukelow.

Naturally, we have a few specific questions for the candidates from our position here on the other side of Appleton.

1) What are your specific plans to work the ThedaCare to keep the Appleton Medical Center right where it has been since 1958?

2) How will you develop Wisconsin Avenue?

3) How will you allocate resources to address crime in Appleton, particularly stranger-on-stranger crime?

We’ve heard some vague references and one alarming idea of converting the hospital to a giant housing complex, but we’re very protective of this area and we’re hoping for more.

We’re lucky to live in this city and we know that. So, whatever happens on April 5th, we’d like to thank Mayor Hanna for his 20 years of service to the community. We’d also like to thank Josh for his eagerness to serve.

We like both candidates, but we’re going to vote for the one who offers the best specific plans for our neighborhood and the city it represents.

Wisconsin Avenue
We’re thrilled with all of the riverfront and College Avenue development, but we’d like to see Wisconsin Avenue get some attention too. 

6 thoughts on “Hello from the other side of Appleton

  1. Thank you for your questions! I will respond here and this weekend on my campaign Facebook page, and include a link to this post.

    The potential changes related to AMC are still years away. While some of the existing functions may remain on that site, it is possible some or all of the medical services will relocate. If that happens we must find creative ways to reuse the buildings, such as housing and office space for other businesses.

    Wisconsin Avenue needs help, and it will take partnership between the city and the businesses on that street to develop a plan for action. I’m disappointed that a massive investment in concrete has not been followed by an investment in time and attention to that business district. I would suggest a Business Improvement District and creative placemaking (both working successfully on College Ave) to help boost the Wisconsin Ave corridor.

    Finally, community policing that focuses on relationships with residents will help to deter stranger-on-stranger crime. I would also allocate more resources to growing neighborhood organizations to empower and connect people to work together on this issue. When we can quickly identify potential problems and have trust in law enforcement, we can work together to improve safety and make our neighborhoods more desirable for current and future residents.

  2. Yes, It is nice to see a response from Mr. Dukelow. IIt seems to me that a lot of money was spent to upgrade AMC with the new tower and so many excellent services in that AMC massive building. I recently had the pleasure of being a patient on the 8th floor of the tower And because of the time of year without snow cover or the umbrella of leaves…I was able to see this lovely city go to sleep at night and wake in the early morning hours. It is a wonderful mid size midwestern city. Do we really want to turn into another destination city like GB or Madison? I like the comments and questions brought forth by “Molly and Me’ and am not quite sure that Mr. Dukelow answered to my satisfaction. However, perhaps we do need to give Mayor Hanna one more term and then entertain another candidate for Mayor who is not quite so eager to rearrange the City of Appleton into his desired vision but for the vision and benefit of all the citizens. I do not agree with Mayor Hanna on his search for a new library but that is another subject for another time. I am hoping that our Mayor will respond to the same questions posed to Mr. Dukelow.

  3. Thank you for the questions! Here are my answers:

    1) What are your specific plans to work with ThedaCare to keep the Appleton Medical Center right where it has been since 1958?

    The City will work with ThedaCare as they decide on the process for what they want to do and will provide support for that decision: We will work with them to upgrade if they stay, and if they want to move we’ll work with them to find an appropriate place in the City of Appleton and to find an appropriate re-use of the property on Meade Street. Whatever re-use of the property, we need to keep in mind that it’s in a neighborhood and the future use of that property can’t encroach on that neighborhood. In the past, we’ve worked with ThedaCare to make sure it doesn’t encroach on the neighborhood and we will continue to do that.

    2) How will you develop Wisconsin Avenue?

    The city has a TIFF district in place and we are ready to work with businesses who want to take advantage of that. This could be expanded to provide incentives for businesses to relocate or locate there. There is also a possibility of re-zoning to make it easier for businesses to locate there.

    3) How will you allocate resources to address crime in Appleton, particularly stranger-on-stranger crime?
    Crime continues to go down in the city; in fact, 2015 saw a 5 percent decrease from the previous year. Having this neighborhood blog is a great way to contribute to a decrease in crime by connecting with your neighbors and watching out for each other, so kudos to you! We currently have more than 200 neighborhood watch groups active in the community, which are coordinated by a full-time staff member at the police department. The safest cities are the ones where neighborhoods are strong and neighbors look out for each other, no matter how many police officers there are. Our statistics show that stranger-on-stranger crime is a small percentage of crime in Appleton, and we are continually assessing whether or not we need more officers on patrol. This is determined by a number of factors, including monitoring how officers’ time is spent during their shifts.

    I hope this answers all of your questions! Thank you again for caring so much about our community.

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