City Councilor Plans Run to Replace Hagen
By Doug Dalager
In his first run for elected office this past April, Fennessey won his current seat on the council. His district straddles Belknap Street east of UWS and WITC, and includes the Hayes Court neighborhood, Superior High School, and the east end of Superior from a few blocks north of the Bong Museum down E. 2nd Street to 15th Avenue East.
One of Fennessey’s challengers will be Jim Paine, 6th District representative to the County Board of Supervisors. Paine’s district is located in the center of Superior and includes the UWS and WITC campuses.
Fennessey states that he wants to serve residents as a “champion for Superior.” He offers a family legacy of civic dedication going back generations, including his father’s current representation of the Superior City Council’s 2nd district.
When asked what his major contribution might be in changing the future of Superior, he said he “hoped to change the perceptions of young people” referencing the common refrain of Superior being a dying city with “nothing to do”, and few opportunities for young people.
As a young person who briefly left Superior for employment in Minneapolis but returned in less than a year, Fennessey says he understands the need for providing hope to young people if they are to stay in Superior to contribute to our future success.
Fennessey sees himself as a vocal leader who will help capture an energy in Superior that he believes is growing. A supporter of the Better City Superior initiative, he believes that our next mayor needs to serve up some small wins on the short-term, but that big wins are required to turn our city around.
He went on to say, “The recent results of the Better Cities Superior Referendum place us on the doorstep of a fantastic opportunity.”
He hopes to continue such progress and envisions creating a ten year plan with a vision for the future. Fennessey believes that a successful mayor needs to lead the city with the idea of “customer service” towards citizens rather than simple administration.
While he asserts that Bruce Hagen and Dave Ross built a strong foundation for Superior to grow on by establishing a good reserve of $9M, and a good credit rating, he plans to approach the job with “forward thinking business leadership.” Fennessey sees himself as being a vocal advocate for Superior and active in Madison to help improve the City’s future.
When asked how he could compete against other candidates with longer records of elected office, he stated that “we don’t need a career politician in office in order to accomplish our goals.”
-We must foster an economic environment so businesses fill our empty storefronts
-Current industries must remain welcome in a climate in which they can thrive
-Previous generations of housing stock must be maintained while focusing on new housing development
-We must continue to remove blight in the city, with a common goal of beautifying Superior
-Current measures set up to tackle our rising drug problem must continue to grow.
-Declines in state funding will require wise fiscal decisions and responsible budgeting
-The benefits of the Better Cities Superior Project must mature into a physical reality
-A sense of community and neighborly partnership needs to flourish
-And every resident should regard the city of Superior a place of excellence
A life-long Superior resident, Fennessey is a graduate of Superior’s public schools, and a WITC graduate with a specialty in micro-computers. He is employed by Otis-Magie Insurance as an Agent and Personal Lines Manager, where he supervises a staff of fifteen.
Fennessey’s public service includes serving on the following boards; the Head of the Lakes United Way, the Superior Public Museums and Superior Tourism and Development Fund. He also currently serves the city on the Superior Health Insurance Committee.
A Past President and member of the Superior Jaycees, he received that organization’s Outstanding Young Superiorite Award. Fennessey is a past board member and co-founder of Superior Young Professionals and received a previous appointment as Plan Commissioner for the City of Superior.
Fennessey, 34, has been married to his wife Ashley for 12 years. He reports they are the proud parents of three daughters, Ava (10), Nora (8) and Ailey (5). They live in the Central Park neighborhood of Superior.
For more information about Brent Fennessey, visit his website by clicking HERE.