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'The Recipe is There:' Port Mayor Cooks Up 2013 Goals

Port Washington had its ups and downs in 2012, and Mayor Tom Mlada has high hopes and big plans for the year to come.

The year 2012 brought a lot of changes to Port Washington, both positive — such as the addition of Duluth Trading in downtown — and negative, such as the loss of Foxys and Victor's Pier Street Shanty.

While 2013 is only in its early days, Mayor Tom Mlada said he looks forward to achieving many goals this year to help moving Port towards a brighter future.

"There's a lot to do ... there's a lot to help move forward — I feel privileged to be at this place at this time," Mlada said of his position leading the city and the year to come.

Mlada hopes that officials can put some effort in 2013 toward garnering some reputation-boosting national recognitions for the city, such as pursuing a Gold Medal Award for Port's park system as well as "walkability" designations.

"I think our park system for a city our size is absolutely deserving of a recognition (like that)," he said.

Though Mlada recognizes the excellence of park system in the city, he also said he hopes to have Park and Rec launch a "Friends of the Parks," program, to help raise funds that will maintain and improve the parks.

The city will definitely see some improvements in technology, with the launch of a new city website, Mlada said — hopefully before June, in time for the tourism season.

Other already planned but exciting new additions to the city in 2013 include the opening of the Historical Society's buildings in downtown, as well as the new Coal Dock Park, set to open by June.

Mlada said it will also be important to continue focusing on the city's economy, and also shift that thought process outside of downtown and looking to utilize the industrial sector of the city.

"The recipe is there, we just have to obviously reach out and do the best job we can to really market (the industrial space)," he said.

Mlada also said he hopes to do some planning for a city-wide Economic Development Conference that will include a job fair and opportunity for local business to promote themselves. The conference would take place in 2014, but requires some legwork now.

"My hope is it's yet another way (Port Washington) starts to be known for things — other than what we are known about now," Mlada said. Though it may be a long shot, Mlada said he thought about seeing whether Gov. Scott Walker would even make an appearance and speak to the idea of improving local economies.

Rik Kluessendorf January 14, 2013 at 07:42 PM
Give Governor Walker a reason to be here and he will come. If the city can show that it went from what it is now (stagnant and somewhat struggling for any economic identity) to a success story where things are opening and growing - Walker will come. He may take credit, too, but if the results are there, who cares where credit falls, right?

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