It’s being called a celebration of service for Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt.
More than 300 people were invited to the private event to celebrate Mayor Schmitt’s 16 years of service to the City of Green Bay.
The atmosphere was upbeat, the crowd lively.
But the occasion: bittersweet.
“These people are true friends and they’ve been with me through 16 years, but more importantly the highs and the lows of the job and many more good times than not so good,” says Schmitt.
It’s not only the end of an era for friends and for the people of the city, but for those knit closest to him -his wife and daughters.
“I feel that Green Bay is a better city because of Jim and we’re excited for the next chapter,” says Schmitt’s wife Dona. “But we’re also excited for the new mayor too and we want him to be even more successful than Jim because that will make Green Bay better.”
But maybe it’s time to take a break.
“We’re very proud of him, but I’m personally very excited for my parents, the both of them,” says Schmitt’s daughter Greta. “We’re out of the house now so it’s time for them to just be old people together and enjoy that.”
Aside from the performances, the champagne and the grandeur that is the Hotel Northland, being mayor isn’t an easy job.
Which is why Green Bay’s current first lady has this advice for whoever is next in line.
“Try to keep that family unit always together and take that family time which is really important,” says Dona. “And hold onto your closest friends because you’re going to need them.”
As for Jim, there is life after mayordom.
He’s just considering his options.
“I’m going to take a few months off and just really enjoy what I’ve done and really enjoy the future and opportunity that people have here in Green Bay.”
Mayor Schmitt is hosting a send-off party on the second floor of City Hall Monday, April 1.
The public is invited to attend anytime from 3:00-6:00 p.m.
There will be refreshments and gift giveaways.