Thank you all for coming. This morning I want to talk about this  community’s and my future. 

I have been given the honor and privilege to help lead Neenah, this  wonderful community of almost 27,000 people I have called home my  entire life. This opportunity has been a dream job and one that I have  enjoyed for almost 8 years. The people that live here are hardworking,  respectful, and care about each other and the community. It would be  hard to find another community like ours that continually reminds me  of a hallmark movie scene. 

When I was elected my wife gave me a placard that still sits on my  desk that reads “Neenah, No Place I’d rather be” and that still holds  true today. 

I have been blessed to have had a wonderful life with a mother Ruth that even though she passed away when I was 18 she taught me that  hard work pays off. Brothers and sisters (Kelli, Gary my Campaign  Treasurer for my entire career, Scott and Lee) that were always there  for me when I needed them. Family, Aunt Shirley, brother-in-law Kip  Kitzerow who was an alderman in Neenah, Father-in-law Wayne,  uncles and cousins that helped whenever I needed it. Friends, lots of  friends that were there for me during difficult times, opening my  businesses and running for office.  

And my wife Renee, my biggest contributor to all my successes. As  most of my friends will attest none of this would have been possible  without her support, help and guidance. She has been a wonderful  first lady for Neenah. Along with two wonderful daughters Casey and  Kari that have been my pride and joy for many years and am extremely  proud of both of them. Being in the public eye is challenging at times 

for family and I want to say thanks for being supportive all these years  so I could follow my dream of public service. I also had the benefit of  a role model as a teenager that helped change my life. My stepfather  

Marshall, a Neenah Police Officer helped shape me for the road ahead  along with my step mother Brenda. Both were instrumental in  preparing me for life as an adult. 

Grocery store clerk, Jays Potato Chip salesman for 10 years, Small  businessman Trophy Shop owner, along with becoming a husband  and father made me want to become more involved with the  community. 

So in 1985, Thirty six years ago I ran for alderman for the sixth ward  just wanting to make Neenah better. Give something back to the  community was the goal. Public service and helping people was the  simple reason I wanted to get involved. My government teacher  George Scherck made me realize that one person could make a  difference. Four years later found me announcing I would be running  for the 55th State Assembly representing Neenah, Menasha and Town  of Menasha. With support and guidance from Senator Mike Ellis, one  of the States most productive and influential Senators in our history I  embarked on a campaign that had me personally knock on every  single door in the district. At the time I was undetermined if I was a  Republican or a Democrat, I just knew that helping people and solving  problems was something I was good at and enjoyed. My slogan was  “Listening to people is the most important way to represent them” I  worked hard in Madison doing what I believed in to help make the  state and the Fox Valley a better place. But Politics changed and the  goals were to further divide the state with the parties being the focus  and become divisive with the peoples best interests not being as  important as being in control.  

At that point I realized my heart was with my hometown and I could  help make Neenah a better place. Coming home to the place that has 

been so good to me and my family through the years as a child,  father, husband and small businessman in this community and making  it a great place to live, work and play was possible. In 2014 running for  Mayor and winning was a dream that I never thought possible but one  that would fulfill my passion for helping make a difference. 

Knocking on every door in the city and meeting residents that believe  Neenah is the best place to live fueled my desire to work hard to lead  this great community.  

None of this would have been possible without family and friends and  people that believed in me. Once again my family and friends were  there like Council President Todd Stevenson and brother Judd, Ruth  and Wayne, Betsy, Arnie, Gary and Gail, Larry and Maureen, Ken and  Jan, Larry and Cindy, Kurt Schultz along with so many others were  there to support my efforts. One man I would like to thank in  particular that has been unwavering in his support of the community  and my goals and hopes for the city is John Bergstrom. His  commitment to Neenah is unbelievable both philosophically and  financially. His help has made Neenah a special place. I would never  have had this opportunity without any of these friends. All of you and  many others gave me the opportunity to make a difference. 

We have done some pretty incredible things here over the last 7.5  years. The staff that I have been blessed to work with in my career that has helped guide me, truly has the citizen’s best interests in mind and  has been the key to my success in helping this community excel 

Surrounding myself with good help for me my entire career. My  Madison staff and people like Fiscal Bureau Chief Bob Lang taught me to be judicious with taxpayer funds and also taught me to lead.  

In addition all the Neenah department heads here have shown me that  my first day in office goal of “finding a way to yes” is possible. My time  in Public Service has taught me that working together regardless of 

party affiliation, conservative or liberal, young or old that if you sit  down and look at all the possibilities there usually is an answer that  works. If both sides are a little mad then you probably have a deal that  works. 

We have done some pretty great things here during my time here. For  a community our size I have often been quoted saying “We do things  big here in Neenah” 

With the help of a tremendous staff and Council here is a small list of  accomplishments both for Neenah and the region I’m extremely proud  of to have had a small part of: 

A few years ago we helped to convince Theda Clark to stay right  where they are at and last week they announced a $100 mil  renovation and expansion plan. 

Successfully convinced the Legislature to provide a $1.6 mil  Stewardship Grant for the Loop The Lake Project 

Helped bring “The Plaza” to downtown Neenah 

Removing Minergy Plant from downtown Arrowhead Park Helped to bring the Plexus Design Center Project downtown After many years of pause we improved Lakeshore Avenue to  Kimberly Lighthouse with a beautiful trail for citizens 

Acquiring most properties in the 200 block Main Street without  Eminent Domain 

The cities first two new higher end apartment living projects to  the downtown area are under construction 

Started the state’s first Transportation Fee in lieu of special  assessments for road improvements thus saving homeowners thousands of dollars 

City began making land purchases west of Neenah for housing  development 

Got rid of the junkyard between our industrial Park and Highway  41 clearing the way for a future project.

Successfully negotiated border agreements with our neighbors Successfully annexed Town of Neenah Power Plant bringing  $250k revenue to the community yearly. 

Saved communities millions of dollars of interest by objecting to  the Fox Cities Expo financing plan 

Helped to convince Kimberly-Clark and the State to keep the  Cold Spring Plant in Fox Crossing OPEN 

Next year a new trail through Bridgewood Golf Course and  Jewelers Mutual will be in place 

Numerous Road Projects throughout the Community After many years helped Neenah acquire land for a Dog Park New Police Station addition on the horizon 

I have also made national headlines for banning dancing and  also got quite a few people worked up for proposing the city  make a name change to “Whoville”. All done to promote High  School Musicals risky but well worth the effort 

All of these were accomplished as a team and in most instances my  role was small. This community is well served with hard working  people like Mike Easker, Chris Haese, Aaron Olson, Kevin Kloehn, Gerry  Kaiser, Gretchen Raab, Lindsay Kehl, Mike Kading, Joe Wenninger,  Tony Mach and Adam Westbrook. 

I’m grateful for a Common Council that was civil, respectful to each  other and understood the need to think outside the box sometimes.  The community is lucky to have a group of nine dedicated leaders  working for them especially Council President Stevenson who has  given over 30 years to the community and been a great right hand  man to me and a great leader to the community during my career. 

I worked with wonderful people like Eileen McCoy, Judge Jim Gunz,  Attorney Jim Godlewski, former Mayors George Scherck and Marigen  Carpenter, Councilman Kunz and many others. In Madison, Governors  Thompson, Doyle and Walker are friends and were helpful in so many 

ways. My former Administrative Assistants Adam Field, Matt Kussow  and Cale Battles helped guide my initiatives and future. 

My rock and person that had the most difficult job helping to make  me look good is my current Administrative Assistant Joni Heinz. She is  a tremendous asset to the city and kept me on the straight and  narrow. We are extremely lucky to have her. 

And all the other 260 employees of the city that work hard day in and  day out to improve our quality of life. Early in my tenure I tried to do  every job in the city through my “Working with the Staff” initiative and  found out just how important every role was towards making the  community great. I salute all of you for the job you do. 

It is an honor and a privilege to serve as Mayor of this great  community. It is now time to stop and smell the roses, start taking  things off the bucket list and allow another person to step up and  further lead this community to prosperity. 

Public Service has been a wonderful calling and I appreciated the  opportunity to make a difference. I was 28 years old when it began  and now 36 years later, it is time to step back, rest a little and spend  time with family. Being on call 24/7/365 has been part of my life. Being  in the public domain brings challenges for my time. At age 64 I want  to enjoy more time with grandchildren Kaiden, Ashton, Carson, Easton, Riley, Sam, Casey, my daughters Casey and friend Brian, Kari and son  in law Clint, and of course Renee and our family business. 

So after much thought and hesitation I am announcing that I will  not be running for reelection as Mayor of Neenah. The decision to  retire has not been an easy one due to the love for this community and the opportunity to make it even better tomorrow. Getting older  makes staying up later past 10 pm to work on the budget harder to  do, Committee night meetings after all day at the office are more  difficult and answering the phone calls, emails and texts daily is 

challenging. Maybe being the only Mayor in the state to give out my  personal cell phone is not such a great idea. Calls from constituents at  6 am or 11 pm get answered by me often. The reaction from the  person is taken aback because they expected to get an answering  machine. Being a hands on leader, my staff especially, public safety like Police and Fire could call in the middle of the night when large  events or tragedy struck. 

Many folks have agreed with me over the years and many have not.  I’ve had death threats directed towards me and uncomfortable  situations in public where someone was upset with an issue or  decision. My family and children have had to endure unpleasant  interactions with upset constituents and folks that many times were  emotional or somewhat aggressive. But the overwhelming majority of  folks have been understanding and supportive over the years and a  pleasure to represent. 

And COVID has drained a lot of energy out of me with daily decisions  necessary to guide and protect 26,000 people and 260 employees. The  pandemic has made the last 18 months a challenge that has drained  me emotionally and physically. The responsibility of protecting our  community was immense. 

But it has all been worth every minute of it. Helping thousands of  people with problems with city or state government has been  rewarding. Finding a way to yes, and negotiating deals that benefit our  community has been fulfilling. 

It is time to enjoy my cottage more, do more traveling, find out what a  Memorial Day or 4th of July is without a parade or day in the park, help  out in the family business and family time. Watching more of the  grandkids football and baseball games will be nice. 

I have had a great run 17 elections without a loss. Undefeated at  the ballot box. Three terms as Alderman, 12 terms (24 years) in 

the legislature as a State Assemblyman and 2 terms (8 years) as  Mayor leading the best community in the state. 

To my friends in the press Thank you for what you do and for treating  me fairly over my career. You reported on the good positive things  and smacked me when I made a mistake. I have always been a  supporter of transparency and open government. I appreciate what  you do. 

Maybe I just need to recharge the batteries. Never say never to a  future return to Public Service but time will tell. 

They say you will know when it is time to retire. 

My goal was to make a difference in the community and state and to  leave Neenah in a better position than when I got here. 

I’m proud to say we made a difference in people’s lives. 

“I’ve given you all I’ve got to give. It’s been an amazing, great run, no  regrets. 

Neenah will always be my home and I will be around to help if needed  or asked. I love this Place. 

I did my best and thank everyone for the opportunity. I will leave you with this: 

My favorite movie song  

Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey “I’ve had the time of my life” 

Public Service is a great calling and I thank the citizens of this great  city for giving me this tremendous honor and responsibility to lead  this community for 8 years as Mayor. 

Thanks for all you do to make Neenah a great place to live, work and  play. 

Thank you all for coming.

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