The political environment in Green Bay

Local News

The relationship between Green Bay’s mayor and City Council has been stormy in recent months.  But as Kris Schuller reports, when it comes to Jim Schmitt’s annual State of the City Address, elected leaders are confident political bickering will take a backseat.

For the 14th time since taking office Mayor Jim Schmitt on Wednesday will deliver a speech – highlighting his vision for the city moving forward. 

“There is a lot going on in Green Bay and we’re very pleased with the future,” said Schmitt.

And even though the last few months have been controversial at city hall – all alderman we spoke with are sure in this State of the City Address politics will stay on the sideline.

“I think a lot of the things going on in the background and a lot of the things you’ve been seeing, I don’t think that should be addressed,” said Alderman Joe Moore.

“I think I would leave politics out of it,” echoed Alderman Randy Scannell.

In recent months City Council tried to remove Mayor Schmitt from office and failed. Alderman Guy Zima has threatened to file for a recall election against the mayor and the issue over ownership of the Hotel Northland has brought construction to a halt.

It’s all lead to tension at City Council meetings, but it hasn’t stopped council members from doing the work of the city.

“There are issues that divide it, but once the gavel does hit, I let it go and I think most do,” Scannell said.

“We got to stay focused on what we’re doing,” said Alderman Tom De Wane.

Council President De Wane says he does believe though that along with status reports on the Shipyard on Broadway, the Legends District near Lambeau Field and efforts to bring a beach back to Bay Beach, that the mayor must address the status of the Hotel Northland project.    

“It will get done, council will make sure it gets done and that is our number one priority, the Hotel Northland,” said De Wane. “That’s what he needs to put out there.”

In a speech focused on a brighter future – despite all the bumps of the past.

“We have to focus on what we’re doing and get to the bottom line, which is getting it done,” De Wane said.

The mayor’s State of the City Address event begins at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Meyer Theater in Green Bay. The public is invited to attend. 

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