Friday, Oct. 20th is Community Media Day, and is celebrated annually. This day recognizes the importance of free speech and accessible media for all communities.
To visit your local community media page, check out:
Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin – City of Wisconsin Rapids Mayor Shane Blaser announced today that he will not seek a third term in the Spring Election to be held on April 2, 2024.
“After nearly four years in office, I have made the decision not to seek re-election. It is time for me to find a better work-life balance and contribute to the city in other ways. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the City of Wisconsin Rapids as mayor,” said Mayor Blaser.
Since becoming mayor in 2020, Mayor Blaser has:
• Encouraged and supported the elimination of Special Assessments, in favor of a more equitable and fiscally manageable solution: a transportation utility.
• Drove the creation of a large municipal dog park, funded fully by room tax dollars.
• Worked with the American Legion Post 9 to create the annual Veterans Honor Walk, celebrating veterans with banners hung on light poles along Grand Ave.
• Evaluated and reorganized some departments to create greater efficiency.
• Focused on high-impact infrastructure improvements, such as streets and Fire Station renovations.
• Supported No Mow May in Wisconsin Rapids, to promote and educate the community about the critical period of pollinator emergence.
• Proactively responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, balancing staff and resident safety with accessibility of City resources.
Before being elected mayor in 2020, Blaser started and grew several small businesses in Wisconsin Rapids. He served as a City of Wisconsin Rapids police officer for seven years and as City Clerk for eight years. Blaser was elected District 8 Alderperson on the City of Wisconsin Rapids Common Council and served one term.
Mayor Blaser encourages interested residents to consider running for mayor, or another elected position.
“I have enjoyed the privilege of using my skills and experiences to help position our city for success. I look forward to passing the torch to a new mayor and watching how their unique perspective will help the city continue to grow, innovate, and progress into a bright future. This is a great time for another person to lead the City of Wisconsin Rapids and I encourage interested residents to look into the many resources available to learn how to run for local office. I hope a candidate emerges who I could support through their campaign,” said Mayor Blaser.
To learn how to get on the ballot, visit: elections.wi.gov/candidates/getting-ballot
Questions about the Spring Election or running for public office can be directed to the Wisconsin Rapids Clerk’s Office at 715-421-8200.
Mayor Blaser plans to spend more time with family and friends, and more time doing outdoor activities. While he hasn’t planned his next career move, he feels confident he’ll be back to work soon.
City of Wisconsin Rapids Mayor’s Office
Emily Kent, Executive Coordinator to the Mayor
Free Speech Week is an annual non-partisan celebration of the freedom speech and press in the United States. Free Speech Week is observed during the third full week of October each year.
The full proclamation is below:
White Cane Awareness Day acknowledges blind and visually impaired people's accomplishments, along with the importance of the white cane. Since 1964, White Cane Awareness Day is a national observance in the United States, recognized on October 15th.
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – The City of Wisconsin Rapids invites the public to a leash cutting ceremony for the new dog park, located on Saratoga Street, between 24th Street North and 25th Street North. (The site does not yet have an address.)
The ceremony will be held on Wednesday, October 11, from 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. at the dog park. The mayor will make a speech, cut the ceremonial dog leash, and unveil the name of the dog park. The public is encouraged to bring their leashed dogs, if their dog’s temperament is appropriate for the event. Dogs will be allowed to go unleashed in the park after the leash cutting ceremony.
The City of Wisconsin Rapids will also unveil the name of the dog park at this event. From August 1 through September 1, the public submitted 296 dog park names to the City of Wisconsin Rapids. On September 11, the Parks and Recreation Commission selected three park names for the public to vote on. From September 12 until September 19, 311 people responded to a survey of the following names for the new dog park:
• Rapids Park and Bark Dog Park
• Rapids Barks and Rec Dog Park
• Rapids Room to Zoom Dog Park
The survey results determined the name of the dog park. The name selected for the dog park will be used on park signage, marketing and branding materials, and website.
“It has been exciting to see this project come together and I’m eager to share this new space with residents and visitors. I hope you’ll join us in celebrating the new dog park,” said Mayor Shane Blaser.
A site was selected for the approximately 10-acre dog park in 2022 and staff conducted appropriate research to ensure the site would work well as a dog park. On November 14, 2022, the Parks and Recreation Commission voted in favor of moving forward with the dog park plans and expenditures, including clearing and grubbing and installation of fencing, not to exceed $130,000, which is being funded by room tax revenues. Room tax revenues are collected from all of the city’s lodging establishments and tourist rooming houses.
While the necessities for the project are fully funded by room tax revenues, the public is encouraged to consider providing financial donations or investing in larger sponsorship opportunities to help furnish the dog park with a pavilion, agility equipment, park signage and more. Memorial opportunities will also be available.
Contact the Parks and Recreation Department at 715-421-8240 to learn more about investment opportunities.
Donation checks can be mailed to:
City of Wisconsin Rapids
Attn: Finance Department
444 W Grand Ave.
Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54495
*Include note that the check is for "Dog Park"
Donations can be made online at: wirapids.org/dog-park
To learn more about the dog park and view video footage of the transformation of the park space, visit: wirapids.org/dog-park