Second Run for Superior’s Top Spot
By Doug Dalager
Kalee Hermanson, past candidate for Mayor of Superior, and South Superior activist has announced her intent to run for the position of mayor again in hopes of succeeding Mayor Bruce Hagen. She says she is dedicated to building a family oriented city, together.
In a 5:45 pm announcement today at Sclavi’s Italian Restaurant on Tower Avenue, Hermanson stated that she is “confident that I am the right candidate for Mayor of Superior.”
She went on to say:
I have the leadership skills necessary to move our City forward, but most importantly, because I care about Superior, its future and the people that live here. It is time we put our City and the people’s best interests first, not for the sole purpose of holding power and maintaining the status quo.
Raised in Superior’s North End, she is a 2003 graduate of Superior High School, and a self described “community advocate” for the past six years in South Superior. She holds a degree in Sociology and Business Administration from UW-Superior.
She states that her motivation to become involved in her community started while a student at UWS where she learned the “importance of being involved in her community.”
Hermanson is a Personal Lines Insurance Agent at Holden Insurance Agency in Superior. In her “off” hours she volunteers with various local civic organizations, including as a South End Days Organizer, United Way Board Member, City Planning Commissioner, President of the Bryant PTO, Co-Chair of #WEARESUPERIOR, and Superior Basketball Association Board Member.
A 2015-2016 graduate of the Superior-Douglas County Leadership program, she is married to husband Joe and they have one daughter, six year old Kenna.
On her website, Hermanson makes the following promise:
Let it be known, this campaign is not just about her. She will and will always run and lead with the intent of working for the best interests of not only our City, but all of whom call Superior – Douglas County home. Kalee upholds many core values, one of them being the fight for social justice where it is needed. We need to live in a society where people do not merely support progressive change, but fight for it. Read on to learn more of the issues facing Kalee Hermanson for Mayor of Superior and how they plan to overcome them.
Hermanson highlights her key concerns as follows:
City Spending and making the budget a top priority
- We will set optimistic and realistic goals to put the City budget on track.
- We will conduct an independent audit of all city financials within the first 6 months, and will identify key areas in which we can clean up in order to ensure proper spending of our tax dollars.
- We will cut frivolous spending and bring back funding to our Public Service, Public Works and Parks and Recs Departments in order to better protect and serve our community.
- With property taxes and fees continuously on the rise, we will set a realistic goal to lower taxes and fees over the next 5 years by being transparent and fiscally responsible in all of our decisions.
A focus on bringing Jobs to Superior
- I will utilize the previous administrations direction of a Mayor’s Economic Development Committee. I will put together a strong group of dedicated and diverse people who have the desire to work around the clock to bring in Industry and new business.
- We will utilize special grants and programs to recruit and maintain large businesses. We have the opportunity to offer 5-year tax free incentive to a variety of new businesses.
- We will bring in higher paying jobs by partnering with our world class schools to show businesses that we have the workforce they desire.
- We will create and maintain jobs for Young Professionals and existing residents so that we all have the opportunity to stay in Superior.
- We will embrace and work with Better City of Superior at the city and state level. We will promise to maintain our civic duty and make sure that we set this up to succeed, and we will ensure that the risks we take will not come back on our residents.
- We will continue to encourage Entrepreneurs to establish their local businesses in Superior. We will do this by utilizing our resources at the Wisconsin Small Business Development Center, the Superior Douglas County Development Association and the Business Improvement District.
- Every day our local businesses display their dedication to the future of Superior. The owners have invested their time, money and talents into our community, knowing it is a beautiful place to live, work and play. They are all assets to our community and it is important that we continue to support our local businesses, both at a city and community level. When we shop local, on average, 68% of our money spent goes right back into our community.
Housing: maintaining and developing our Housing Stock and Historical Buildings
- We lack affordable quality housing in Superior. In order to protect our residents we must set and enforce standards for our rental and building properties. As a city, we must meet and exceed the standards of affordable quality housing.
- We have the oldest housing stock in the area. We will work with independent developers and homeowners to find programs for those willing to bring life back into their homes, and also those willing to develop new homes in Superior.
- We will seek out and welcome developers who are willing to invest and revitalize our vacant warehouses and historical buildings. These buildings are a part of our rich history and we must do everything we can to preserve them for many years to come.
Public Safety: regaining focus on our Police and FireDepartments
- Our police department is feeling the strain of being short staffed and could soon face the loss of an additional 18 officers over the next 3 years due to retirement. With the recent increase of crime and the prev-a-lent drug epidemic in Superior, it is vital that we have proper staffing of our officers in order to tackle these issues while still protect themselves and our citizens.
- Our Firefighters are also of great concern as they could soon feel the same impending strain as their staffing grant comes to an end. I commend the Fire and Police departments for their continuous work in seeking grants to help with their budgets. We must recognize that even with their work in obtaining these grants, there is still a large responsibility on us to budget properly to meet their needs.
- For these reasons it is imperative that we work together with City Councilors, and the police and fire departments to develop a strong budget and succession plan for future attrition and turnover. Looking into the future we will be prepared to continuously meet adequate staffing levels in efforts to protect the community. The safety of our police officers, fire fighters, residents and visitors of our community is of utmost importance to me.
Family-Oriented Community: continuing our dedication to building a family-oriented community
- Our City is desperately lacking entertainment options for children and families. We will promote and seek out opportunities that bring families together at home and in the community. We must invest in our children as they are our future, and it is imperative that we work together as one, because It really does take a village.
- We will work with grant writers to embrace opportunities that will allow us to invest in our parks and playgrounds. My goal is to make our existing parks a focal point of each neighborhood to bring our neighbors, local business districts and community together.
- And finally, we will utilize and promote the great outdoors through the use of our beautiful Superior Municipal Forest, Wisconsin Point, and City and County trails.