Community reacts to Green Bay mayoral forum

Tight race for mayor is on
Published: Mar. 16, 2023 at 11:17 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Dozens of residents gathered at Franklin Middle School Thursday evening for the Green Bay mayoral forum, hoping to learn more about candidates Mayor Eric Genrich and Chad Weininger.

Prior to the forum, local labor leaders gathered outside the middle school for a demonstration against Weininger to highlight what they called an “anti-work agenda”.

“In the state assembly, Chad Weininger voted for a huge tax cut to millionaires and billionaires at the same time he was taking away rights from workers in this state and that’s not a record that we want as our next mayor,” said Jon Shelton, President of UW Green Bay United, which is a faculty and staff union.

Shelton is also the Vice President of Higher Education for American Federation of Teachers Wisconsin. He said back in 2011 when Weininger was in the state assembly, Weininger voted for Act 10. It took away the collective bargaining rights of most public employees.

During the one-hour event, the public asked the candidates questions regarding topics such as higher property taxes, how to decrease crime, how to end the opioid epidemic and infrastructure.

“I thought Chad Weininger had a really good response about looking at roads differently, the philosophy of roads, and how to fund roads,” Sandy Duckett said. “I thought he had a good response about neighborhoods, but I also think he’s the kind of person that showed how he could work together. He even complimented the previous Mayor.”

There was also a question asked to the candidates regarding the audio recording devices in city hall. Mayor Genrich said it was politically charged by members of Weininger’s party.

“I didn’t like hearing about the parties involved that was stated by our current Mayor,” Duckett said. “This is a local race and we want to have our Mayor represent the citizens, not the people in the state or the federal government, and let’s work on things that we can control.”

Karen Van Gemert said debates are healthy opportunities for citizens to come out and hear what each candidate has to say before casting their final votes.

“I think we’ve got two quality candidates and I’m hoping we have a good turnout at the polls,” Van Gemert said.

What most people took away from the forum was it was very informative and they have a lot to digest and think about. At the end of the day, everyone loves and cares about Green Bay and everyone wants to see it go in the right direction.

Early voting begins Tuesday, March 21. The polls officially open on April 4.