GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) – After 16 years as leader of Green Bay, Mayor Jim Schmitt is looking forward to some time off as he wraps up the final days in office.
Memorabilia from Mayor Jim Schmitt's 16 years in office is laid out on tables at city hall (WBAY photo)
On Tuesday, Green Bay voters will pick a new mayor, whose first full day in office will be April 16. The race is between former state representative Eric Genrich and current Brown County supervisor Patrick Buckley.
After four terms as mayor, Schmitt is ready to hand over the keys to his office at city hall. But before he does that, he invited people to take small tokens of his tenure with them as he moves onto his next adventure.
After 20 years with his name on the ballot, Mayor Schmitt said voting for Green Bay’s next mayor was different, but in a positive way.
“I feel really good. The city is in good shape. I’m excited for the candidates who are running for office,” said Mayor Schmitt. “A lot of opportunity in the city. Someone gave me this opportunity, and now I can hand it off to someone else.”
Along with a few words of advice for the next mayor, Mayor Schmitt is also giving away a few mementos he’s collected over the years.
“You don’t want to get all your advice in the walls of city hall. You really want to get out and be with people as much as you can,” said Mayor Schmitt. “Today’s (Monday) an opportunity for me to not only share some of the gifts but thank the people for letting me lead this city for the last 16 years.”
Schmitt said he is proud of a lot of projects over the years, but there’s one thing he can really hang his hat on at the end of the day.
“The fact that people are proud of Green Bay is really what a mayor strives for,” said Mayor Schmitt. “If the pride is higher than it was 16 years ago and people are more confident to live here and kids are more confident to stay here and not move, then I’ve done my job.”
When asked what’s next, here’s what Mayor Schmitt said: “I don’t know what is next. I am very blessed. Financially we are good and my resume looks good with what I’ve done here in the city as a leader and the private sector. I’m going to take the summer off and do nothing, and I mean nothing, and I will see what’s out there and I’m confident. I feel good and I am looking forward to the future.”