Mayor Katie Rosenberg Wausau

Strategic message

(First published in the July 3, 2019 issue of City Pages)

Katie Rosenberg in her first campaign event calls for public input in a citywide strategic plan


Katie Rosenberg officially kicked off her election campaign for Wausau mayor last week.

Wausau Mayoral candidate Katie Rosenberg highlighted failed city projects in demonstrating the need for a citywide strategic plan in her first campaign event Thursday, June 27.

Rosenberg in May announced she’s running for Wausau mayor in the April 2020 election. The seat currently is held by Robert Mielke. Another candidate, Chris Norfleet, has filed to run for mayor as well. A primary runoff would be held in February if more than two candidates ultimately run. Mielke has not yet said whether he will seek re-election.

To a crowd packed into the loft at Downtown Grocery Thursday, Rosenberg pointed to confusing failures the city has seen recently. Rosenberg talked about her roots growing up on the southeast side and how she benefited from the planning of past city leaders.

“That’s why when I first started to get this inkling that I didn’t understand what was going on in Wausau I immediately went to look for the Wausau Strategic Plan,” Rosenberg says. “I wanted to know where we were going and how we planned on getting there. I wanted to know how we knew we were successful. What I found instead was a graveyard of project plans.”

Rosenberg pointed out failed proposals for the former Sears building (Micon Cinemas), the mall, Liberty Mutual, the city picking up the tab for moving company locations, and the “perpetual promise of development along the river littered with broken promises from people negotiating in bad faith.”

Rosenberg renewed her call for a Wausau strategic plan, and says during her first 90 days as mayor she would collect public input toward a strategic plan. “Cities that are growing, that are successful, that are attracting new business and development — they all have plans,” Rosenberg says.

Rosenberg also called for more civil treatment of residents, and of the media.