Rhinelander to elect new mayor next spring
STAR JOURNAL REPORT
Rhinelander Mayor Dick Johns had made it official. After announcing earlier this month he wouldn’t be seeking another four-year term next spring, Johns filed his declaration of non-candidacy Thursday with the city clerk’s office.
Johns, who first became mayor in February 2005 and then was elected to the position in 2006, 2010 and 2014, will turn 85 next February. His involvement in Rhinelander city government dates back more than 50 years when he first joined the City Council in 1964. He left the council in 1970, before returning in 1995 and has been an alderman or mayor since that date.
Prior to becoming mayor, Johns was the president of the City Council and also chaired the Public Works, Parks and Recreation, and Public Safety committees. When Johns joined the City Council in 1964, aldermen were also part of the Oneida County Board of Supervisors.
A press release sent from the office of interim city administrator Keith Kost lists what Johns regards as some of his greatest accomplishments, which include a new wastewater treatment plant being built for the city for approximately $30 million, the implementation of the Premier Resort Area Tax (PRAT), for which the half-percent sales tax in Rhinelander is anticipated annually to bring in $400,000 earmarked for city streets, and the completion of the Streetscape project to rebuild the downtown area.
Three individuals have already declared their candidacies to run for Rhinelander mayor next year. They include a current alderman, Alex Young, a former alderman, Scott Counter, and Chris Frederickson, a respiratory therapist and youth sports coach in the Rhinelander area.
If all three or more candidates would file nomination papers by the Jan. 2 deadline, a primary would be held Feb. 20 to narrow the field to two candidates for the April 3 spring general election.