Murray eager for another term; Gomez running for Tomah mayor, county board
With nine siblings Mike Murray (the youngest of 10) learned early at times it's better to listen than react.
With a diverse professional background over the years Murray knows that same rule applies to the business world.
With one mayoral term under his belt that lesson has been reaffirmed to Murray. The lifelong Tomah resident is seeking another term as Tomah mayor.
Murray leans on past job experience as an asset to work with Tomah's municipal government and department heads. He is owner of Murray's On Main. In the past he worked for Ryan Steinhoff for Driving Stars and Jeremy Haldeman American Family Insurance agency.
"The beauty of my current and past work situations is the fact that it has allowed me to work with a wide variety of ages and personalities teaching me to listen thoroughly before responding, something that I believe has been invaluable during my time as a Tomah council Member and mayor," Murray said.
Along with the community, Murray watched as Tomah Health developed on its new campus south of Tomah. Like others he is waiting to see how surrounding parcels develop. One project he did not support was construction of a new Tomah Area Ambulance Service building near the new hospital. Murray vetoed a proposal in 2018 to build next to the hospital.
Though not official, a site for a combined ambulance/fire department building could be unveiled early in 2020.
"There are many things on the horizon for Tomah as it continues to grow, both economically and by populous," Murray said. "I am very excited to be a part of it. During my tenure as mayor, perhaps the largest development is the opening of the new Tomah Health campus. This also provided much discussion regarding the placement of a new ambulance building."
Murray notes that discussion with members of the ambulance service, including a survey which members could respond anonymously regarding potential placement of the new building next to the new hospital, it became apparent the vast majority were opposed to that location and wanted something more centrally located.
"Fast forward to January of 2020 and we have come to realize that not only is a central location optimal, but the need for a new fire station is going to allow the city to build one large building to house both departments," Murray said. "The beauty of this is that there will be shared spaces, thereby eliminating duplication in building on two locations saving tax payers hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars."
City leaders and TAAS and TFD staff toured a facility in Lake Delton which is being used as a model for what would fit Tomah's needs for a combined building.
"We need to keep moving forward with these types of things in the city, using practical thinking to save money," Murray said. "There is not a bottomless checkbook in which the city operates from. That is what I hope to continue to do, listen intently and react in a calculated manner rather than just jumping into situations because it’s needed."
Like any mayoral/council relationship, reaching decisions can be contentious. But Murray know all have what's best for Tomah in the forefront.
"The city council has been amazing to work with in this whole process," Murray said. "We all do not agree on everything, but that is where we get a broader picture of thought processes and possible solution. In the end we come to an agreement that we feel best serves the community."
Regardless how the votes shake out in the February primary, Murray will remain a strong voice for Tomah.
"I'm actively involved in the community and fundraising to help with worthy causes," Murray said. "The special needs community remains very near and dear to my heart and I look forward to many years of supporting not only that organization but many others in our community regardless the outcome of the election."
Gomez runs dual campaign
Remy Gomez is running a dual campaign for municipal and county government.
The former alderman is running for for Tomah mayor and Monroe County Supervisory District 13 against Wayne Kling. There will be a primary, Tuesday, Feb. 18, for the mayoral race with Gomez, Brett Larkin, Nellie Pater and incumbent Mike Murray to get two names on the April 7 ballot.
Gomez spent an abbreviated term as the Dist. 8 alderman. He was appointed to the seat after Larry Siekert resigned the seat.
Gomes was defeated in the following election by Susan Holme, who is running for re-election for the Dist. 8 seat.
Gomez still sits on the Board of Appeals, Planning Commission, Ambulance Committee as well as vice chairman of the Long Range Planning Commission.
Gomez is motivated to seek the mayoral seat by "unfinished business."
"When I lost the (April) 2019 election by 19 votes there was and unfortunately still are many issues and topics that haven't seen a resolution that are high on my list," Gomez said.
One of those issues is housing.
What are your goals if elected?
"If elected or not, I plan to tackle what I believe is the #1 issue holding Tomah back from growing, which is affordable housing or lack there of," Gomez said. "I have already had a preliminary discussion about the issue with a couple different department heads in the city to see what can be done about it."
Gomez and girlfriend Kayla Giraud have three children Lily (17), Robert (16), and Chanse (9). He is a longtime Tomah resident.
"I'm a product of everything that is great about Tomah," Gomez said. "The empathy and compassion of my grandparents and mother along with knowledge and leadership I gained along the way from teachers to business owners. All of these qualities make me a candidate for everyone young or old, rich or poor, black or white, preacher or atheist."
Gomez is employed by Penkert Properties as a property manager. He also manages Murdock Manor in Tomah and two properties in Marshfield he handles from Tomah.
"I have always brought an open mind to every council meeting or board meeting I have attended," Gomez said."It's important to listen to everyone and their opinions. Then take the information gathered and make a pragmatic conclusion and make the best choices for everyone in the Tomah area."