Curtiss, Fennessey vie for 2nd District councilWith Councilor Tom Bridge stepping down, voters in Superior’s 2nd District are in for a change. Their choices at the polls will be former 8th District Councilor Tom Fennessey and local landlord Marty Curtiss.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
With Councilor Tom Bridge stepping down, voters in Superior’s 2nd District are in for a change. Their choices at the polls will be former 8th District Councilor Tom Fennessey and local landlord Marty Curtiss.
Fennessey said he was encouraged by community members, current councilors and his family to throw his hat in for the seat.
“I was on the council from 1995-2001 and really, ever since I got off the council, I’ve always had the desire to get back on,” he said. Since leaving the council Fennessey went back to school and moved from Billings Park to Allouez. But he kept active.
“I didn’t step away,” he said. “I stayed involved either with either serving on non-profit boards or other things in the city.”
The Fennesseys moved 11 years ago.
“We fell in love with the Allouez/Itasca area,” Fennessey said. “It is just a very traditional, generational neighborhood and that’s what I love about it.”
That was another reason he made a bid for the council seat.
“I’ve got a real desire to make some improvements out there,” Fennessey said. In particular, he hopes to work with the city and state to develop the East Second Street corridor into a mix of residential homes and businesses. The key will be to find a compromise to be neighborly and do it the right way while encouraging business development, he said.
“You could get several things out of this,” Fennessey said. “You could make Superior more aesthetically pleasing coming in for the visitors, but yet we could be reaping some of the economic benefits by allowing businesses to grow along that corridor.”
Other top goals for Fennessey include continuing Bridge’s legacy of caring for Wisconsin Point, business development city wide and looking for ways to make the city greener, such as capturing methane gas from the landfill to fuel vehicles or encouraging electric vehicles. The city needs to maintain adequate protective services and increase affordable housing as well, he said.
Fennessey keeps in regular contact with city departments through his job as director of facilities management for the University of Wisconsin-Superior.
“Between my council experience, my education and my work experience, I really feel that I could come on the council and be a quick-starter,” he said, while using his experience to find common goals and solutions.
Fennessey’s entire family lives in the Superior area, and his wife is a successful small business owner.
“I’ve got the dedication to say I still want Superior to grow, I want it to become better,” the candidate said.
Curtiss declined an in-person interview, but did send an email response. He said he hoped to affect “positive changes” in the district and the city.