SUPERIOR, WI — Build a city that brings the community together – that’s Mayor Jim Paine’s vision for the future as he prepares to begin his second term in Superior.
“We want a city where a community thrives, where people know their neighbors, where people are helping each other out, and where we’re all contributing to an economy, where we all have opportunity in this economy and in the overall lifestyle and culture of this place,” said Paine.
Paine will soon start his second term as mayor of the city, but it will be his first full four-year term. His first term was just two years after he won a special election to replace former mayor Bruce Hagen, who stepped down in the middle of his term.
The proud UWS alum says in his first term, he put a focus on housing, wages, and development.
Paine said, “I thought those were the big challenges the City of Superior was facing, and I think we’ve made real progress in all three of those areas.”
As Paine looks towards his second term, he says creating a diverse transportation system throughout the city was a high priority in his first term and will continue for the next four years.
“We have to teach people why that’s better. So, I’m going to spend a lot of the next four years working on different forms of transportation and making sure everybody can move around the city safely, effectively, and equally,” he said.
When the mayor talks about moving the city forward over the next four years, he said giving the historic downtown district a shot in the arm will go a long way.
“The story of the next term is really going to be about retail development in the small picture. But I’m going to spend a lot of the next few months talking about how we do that, how we bring a community closer together to benefit not just business, but the people who live here,” he said.
Keeping taxes low, and making homeownership more attainable will also be high on his agenda.
“We want people to invest in our community, and the biggest way that the vast majority of people will invest here is to buy a home here, and we need to make that easier to do,” he said.
Paine added Superior is benefiting significantly from the new Enbridge pipeline terminal tax.
He said the revenue produced by that tax and other energy taxes are vital to the city and he’d like to rely more on that revenue instead of property tax to grow the city.
“If we are financially healthy, we need to start returning money to taxpayers. We have a lot of lower property values in the community. We have a lot of middle and lower income people, and if taxes are high, that’s a real barrier to opportunity for young families, for marginalized communities, for people stepping out of poverty, trying to make the biggest step of their lives, and that’s home ownership,” said Paine.
Paine added he’d like to put more focus on parks and general outdoor recreation.
He will be addressing all of this and more about his vision for the future at his state of the city address at 5:30 p.m on April 29th at UWS.