It sounds like something Mr. Rogers would say. Jim Tipple's answer to a number of Wausau's problems lies in what he calls a “good neighbor policy.”
Tipple wants to form better partnerships with neighboring communities, such as Weston and Schofield, to save on city services. The candidate also wants the people in Wausau to team up with their next-door neighbors, volunteering to make the city a better place.
"You don't have to have government involved in a lot of these things if you get creative and you get the people to keep up their own parks and organize the neighborhoods to keep their own neighborhoods clean," said Tipple.
But Tipple's opponent, incumbent candidate Linda Lawrence, says Tipple is looking through rose-colored glasses.
Lawrence says it's unreasonable to rely solely on volunteers to keep Wausau's parks clean and even less likely that Wausau's surrounding communities would be willing to raise their taxes in order to fund a services merger.
Instead, the incumbent continued pushing her message of improving the quality of life in Wausau to lure in businesses and increase the tax base.
"Because companies won't locate, families won't stay in a place. That's not safe and fun and affordable," said Lawrence.
This was the last mayoral-only debate. Tipple backed out of a debate that would have been held this Tuesday because he could not see the questions in advance, but both candidates will appear before the Wausau Hmong Association, along with the Marathon County judicial candidates, Saturday night at the Masonic Building in Wausau.