Mohr steps up to the plate

Acting mayor seeks the job permanently
By: 

Nanette Mohr

It’s hard to go anywhere in the city of Gillett without bumping into Nanette Mohr.

She has been on the Gillett City Council and school board for most of the past 27 years or so. She does most of her shopping in town. She’s on the Community Development Authority and is president of the library board.

Since last Mother’s Day, she has held yet another title: acting mayor. Mohr was asked to step in while Mayor William Pecha worked to recover from a debilitating stroke.

What keeps her going?

“My heart is here,” said Mohr, who has lived in Gillett all of her 71 years. “I love to promote the city of Gillett. This is my home.”

When Pecha filed his declaration of noncandidacy for re-election just before Christmas, she decided to throw her hat into the ring and run for mayor in her own right.

Mohr was the only candidate to file nomination papers on time and will be alone on the ballot, but funeral home director James Beaton recently announced he will be a write-in candidate for mayor.

She declined any comment about Beaton last week, saying she preferred to talk about what the City Council has been able to accomplish over the past nine months.

“We are continually looking for ways to make Gillett a very safe place to live, work, play and visit,” she said. “Our community is a great place to live and raise a family.”

The city’s Main Street has seen great improvement in the last year, Mohr said.

“We still have some work left to fill the remaining buildings,” she said. “Working to attract new industry is foremost on our agenda.”

Infrastructure needs have dominated budget discussions. Reconstruction of Birch Avenue and Richmond Street are on this year’s agenda — a project that’s eligible for $567,000 in grants, she said. A couple of blocks of First Street will also be redone if the bids are favorable.

Mohr said it’s been a pleasure working with the city’s department heads.

“They are all so knowledgeable and willing to work well independently and going beyond their daily needs,” she said. “They have been so helpful to me the past nine months. We have awesome employees who take their jobs very seriously and want to do what is best for our citizens and the city.”

The council opened up the 2018 budget process to include more face-to-face conversation with the department heads, she said.

“Everyone was involved,” Mohr said. “We got good feedback.”

The result was a good balance of fiscal responsibility while maintaining the services citizens expect as much as possible, she said.

While the mayor has an important job, running a city is a team effort, Mohr said.

“The Common Council plays the dominant legislative role, though the mayor has veto power and can break council ties,” she said. “The mayor can give input, but we try to form a consensus, although I have an impact into how things run.”

A lot of the work is done at the committee level before full council meetings, which are scheduled at 6 p.m. on the first Thursday of the month. She encouraged anyone with questions or concerns to come to committee and/or council meetings, or call her at 920-855-6084.

“The public is always welcome to all meetings to discuss any concerns,” Mohr said. “We have public input on all meeting agendas. The goal is open, honest, transparent and accountable government.”