Jim Paine for a Progressive Future
I’m running for Mayor to bring a progressive future to Superior. My years of experience in local government and lifelong commitment to community service prepare me to lead Superior into a 21st century future.
After graduating Superior High School I served in the United States Marine Corps before returning to home to pursue my education. I earned a Bachelor’s Degree in history from UW-Superior and a Masters in Advocacy and Political Leadership from UMD.
I have made community service the cornerstone of my adult life. My wife, Katie and I are active members of Cathedral Church, I am a Rotarian, a member of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and a member of the Superior Young Professionals. I have served on the Douglas County Board for the last five years where I serve as the Vice-Chairman of the Administration Committee and as a member of the Health and Human Services Board, the Metropolitan Interstate Council and the Veteran’s Commission.
I am offering experience, education, and vision as your next Mayor.
Our community is facing serious challenges and the way we meet them will determine whether and how our community grows in the coming decades.
- We have the worst crime rate in the State of Wisconsin for cities of our size.
- We have the oldest housing stock in our State.
- We have the highest property tax rate in our region.
- Our support from the State is steadily decreasing.
- Our wages are among the lowest in the State of Wisconsin.
These are large, structural problems that cannot be solved with short term solutions. We need to make substantial investments in long term growth if we want our city to succeed in the 21st century.
We can reduce crime by increasing our investment in community policing. I intend to hire at least one more community policing officer that will work with neighborhood and community groups and train citizens to take an active role in protecting our homes and property. I will also work closely with our regional partners, both in Douglas County and across the bridge, to develop regional strategies to reduce crime.
We cannot substantially improve our housing stock overnight or even in the next four years but we can begin to lay the foundation for real growth. In my role as a Douglas County Supervisor I have already worked to begin a study of the housing needs of our City so that we can begin to target the neighborhoods that require the most investment and that have the most potential for growth. The city must step in to demolish the worst properties and provide assistance and incentive to improve and redevelop neighborhoods. Because property tax is our principal source of city revenue, housing growth is the only way we can significantly reduce taxes without reducing service. It is also the only way we can adequately replace the decreasing support from the State. Cosmetic improvements can not bring the type of substantial growth that we need. Only long term investment will accomplish that goal.
We need to continue to develop our local economy but we need to recognize the changes in the national economy. Innovation is the key to 21st century growth. We cannot know who or what the next major advancement in our economy will be so we must cultivate a high quality of life that attracts and retains citizens that will create new businesses. In the short term, however, we must focus our development efforts on wage growth, which in turn supports our retail economy. We do this by attracting and improving industrial and manufacturing business and by supporting organized labor, which not only provides high paying jobs but raises the standard of work, training, and compensation for entire industries.
In addition to meeting these challenges, we need to invest in modern initiatives that improve our economy and quality of life. In the next four years we can make our city a leader in modern development.
We can improve our access to the outdoors by developing our waterfront for community, rather than private, access. We must also increase our access to our municipal forest by improving our maintenance of ski and bike trails and trailheads and by connecting our existing, accessible trails with a cross city trail linking the Millennium Trail with the Osaugie Trail.
We can improve access for bicycles and pedestrians of all ages by investing in modern infrastructure that recognizes our changing transportation needs and looks to a future that is slower, safer, and more efficient.
We can recognize the needs of 21st century citizens and business by offering free, city-wide wifi internet service. This is an affordable, exciting innovation that forward thinking communities across Wisconsin and the United States are already implementing. It will help us stand out to developers and potential homeowners across our region while ensuring that every citizen has access to what has become the primary form of communication in the modern world.
We are living in a time of profound social and economic change. Our community is facing 21st century challenges that cannot be met with 20th century solutions. In the coming election you face a clear choice between a conservative status quo and a vision for a progressive future.
I am not intimidated by the challenges we are facing. I believe that each challenge provides an opportunity if we are willing to act boldly and look to the future.
On Tuesday you must decide our community’s future. A vote for me is a vote for solid experience, outstanding education, proven leadership, and a bold vision that will move our community forward.