STAR JOURNAL REPORT
The Rhinelander Professional Police Association Political Action Committee has announced its endorsements for mayor and alderman following a candidate forum the organization hosted Wednesday,
According to a press release, the PAC has endorsed mayoral write-in candidate Chris Frederickson and incumbent District 4 alderman Tom Kelly, who was in the only contested race for city council. Kelly is challenged by Kyle Rogers, a former Northwoods River News reporter who now works at COLE Publishing in Three Lakes.
“After reviewing all available information of the candidates that fully participated in our process, we selected the candidates we felt most aligned with our core values and showed leadership skills that would advance the growth of the city as a whole,” according to the press release.
Candidates were asked what kind of priority they would give public safety. Frederickson, who has worked as a respiratory therapist for nearly 20 years, said it was the mayor’s job to support the police force. Candidate Alex Young, who has served on the city council for more than 13 years agreed on the importance, adding that it’s the largest part of the city budget, and common sense makes them a high priority.
When questioned about getting the council to work together, Frederickson said he’s “been part of conflict management for years.”
The PAC wanted to know how the men would deal with the drug issue as mayor.
“History will show opioid addiction is the biggest mental health problem of all time,” Young said, adding that he has attended various seminars and trainings on dealing with drug issues. Frederickson said he would put pressure on medical providers to recognize they’re feeding a problem, saying that heroin use begins with opioids.
Rogers, who covered the city council as a reporter, said he wants to bring an “educated opinion that drives an independent vote,” while Kelly, who has been on the city council for over a decade, focused on his record and experience.
Young emphasized that he is prepared for the job, saying he’s “ready to put 14 years of experience to work.”
Frederickson, who has never held elected office, said for him, it’s “passion and drive. I love this city.”
The PAC’s press release stated that “the decision to endorse a candidate was a difficult one as the other candidates provided excellent ideas.”