Mayor Katie Rosenberg Wausau

Rosenberg talks challenges, achievements in mayoral re-election bid 

Mayor Katie Rosenberg Wausau

Katie Rosenberg tweeted “HOLY BALLS” in 2020 when she’d realized she’d been elected as the city’s next mayor, defeating then-mayor Robert Mielke. 

That tweet went viral, attracting the attention of celebrities and the Wausau populace alike. And questions about whether she would run again started nearly on day one.

Rosenberg put that question to rest Wednesday in announcing she would be seeking a second term in office. That follows an early announcement trend she started when she announced in 2019 nearly a year in advance that she would be running for mayor. 

And it also continues what has been a trend for Rosenberg’s communication: it was made on social media. 

In her Facebook post, Rosenberg talked about the challenges of the job, citing many “dark nights of the soul,” and described “really scary moments where I wondered if this is how I would leave this world.” She talked about needing an expensive mouthguard to prevent her from grinding her teeth out of stress, and needing to advocate for imperfect solutions. 

Her major campaign push for a strategic plan took until the second half of her term to get accomplished. And she’s become a regular target of right-wing radio. And the city came under scrutiny when city leaders revealed that all six wells contained PFAS levels above state-recommended levels. 

But, Rosenberg touted accomplishments while in office. Those included creating a new position to work with the city’s homeless; adding 12 new firefighters to the city’s understaffed roster (staffing levels hadn’t changed since the 1970s); Increasing housing units in the city, including affordable ones; hiring a number of new directors and being recognized by the Biden-Harris administration and Sen. Tammy Baldwin for the city’s efforts around water. 

Rosenberg in response to questions from City Pages says she doesn’t plan to start campaigning for several months — but so many have been asking her and she got sick of the questions. “I’m not actively campaigning right now and I’m thinking our community isn’t interested in a year long mayoral campaign right now either,” Rosenberg says. “That SCOWIS cycle was the worst.”

This post has been updated with comments from Rosenberg.