Bridge, Curtiss face off for 2nd
In a matchup that looks like it did two years ago, incumbent Tom Bridge is facing a challenge from contractor Marty Curtiss. Curtiss challenged Bridge in 2009, when the seat was up for re-election. "I think the 2nd District needs someone who list...
In a matchup that looks like it did two years ago, incumbent Tom Bridge is facing a challenge from contractor Marty Curtiss.
Curtiss challenged Bridge in 2009, when the seat was up for re-election.
"I think the 2nd District needs someone who listens to the residents better," Curtiss said. "There's also some things that ... should change in the city."
Curtiss said he decided to run again to make those changes.
"I just don't think Councilor Bridge is paying attention and listening to the people out there," Curtiss said. "... I just think that out in that area things couldn't get much worse, but they could get a lot better."
Bridge challenged that notion during a candidate forum Saturday, stating he has always given his "utmost" when contacted by constituents.
Bridge joined the council as an appointee in 2002 and has served nearly nine years.
With people encouraging him to run again and his own desire to further efforts he's advocated for such as Wisconsin Point, Bridge said he decided to seek another term.
If elected, Curtiss said his among his priorities is finding a way to fix all the potholes.
"Seriously, that's the single biggest complaint, at least in the 2nd District," Curtiss said. Two years ago, he said, the biggest complaint was taxes.
"We're going to have to figure out how to work with what the state has got going on; today, who knows where it is," he said, citing last week's court decision that blocked publication of the state budget repair bill.
"We don't know what we're going to have to deal with -- less shared revenue and there's going to be some pretty big challenges, budget-wise," Bridge said. Despite the state of the Wisconsin budget and its impact on Superior, Bridge said the council will have to tackle maintaining services in the community.
"To try to work those things out is going to be a big challenge," Bridge said. "To work those things out is probably going to be the most important thing before us -- to continue to provide services with less money."
It's also going to mean looking for alternative sources of revenue without turning to the public to provide it, he said.
Bridge said while it is not realistic to run government like a business, he does bring that acumen to the table -- problem solving skills and the ability to look at the big picture -- from his business experience.
"Economic development has to be the biggest priority," Bridge said.
Curtiss said city continues to push new rules that drive up expenses for residents and businesses in Superior.
In fact, he became politically active when the city was revamping its former rental license law.
With the program undergoing a steep increase in costs and facing a shortfall because of a miscalculation in revenue it would generate, Bridge led the effort to eliminate the program -- one he believed in -- rather than further raising costs landlords' faced.
Most recently, Curtiss has spoken out against a 2005 ordinance that requires commercial property owners to have key boxes on their buildings to allow fire department access in case of an emergency.
"We just keep passing more rules that drive up the expense for people," Curtiss said. "It's tough out there. Yet we just keep driving up the expense for people."