SPICER -- After a challenging two years in office, Spicer Mayor Perry Wohnoutka is prepared to start making the changes during a second term.
"Two years wasn't long enough," Wohnoutka said. "It's been a learning ex-perience, but I don't feel like I've accomplished what I set out to do."
Wohnoutka said he ran for mayor in 2006 because he wanted to control Spicer's increasing property taxes.
"Ever since I was a little kid I could never figure out why our taxes are so high when we sit on a goldmine (Green Lake) and don't utilize what we have," Wohnoutka said.
" ... We're driving people right out of town."
The mayor said that if re-elected, he hopes to help the city reduce taxes, decertify a tax increment-financing district so more money is put on the city tax roll, preserve Green Lake's water quality and resolve the issues of the government so it can regain its efficiency.
Wohnoutka said he realizes his mayoral term has been turbulent. Most recently, the city hired a mediator to resolve numerous concerns within the city hall. Wohnoutka said he's positive the city government will be work together after the city Personnel Committee and mediator have completed their work.
However, some of the disorder of the last two years, Wohnoutka said, came from him addressing some long-standing city troubles.
The mayor said he's been labeled as "the laughing stock of the community or giving a bad name to Spicer, but I've done nothing but uncover the problems that are on-hand."
"We've had these problems for many years," Wohnoutka said. "And I guess I am willing to address them, bring them forward and try to fix the problems we do have."
Meanwhile, Wohnoutka said he has learned much about himself and city government that will "be with me for the rest of my life."
"It's been a hell of a learning experience," the mayor said. "From how to deal with people all the way to even running a meeting. ... It's just so many things."
On a personal note, Wohnoutka said working as mayor enabled him to get sober. He will celebrate one year of sobriety on Election Day.
"Win, lose or draw, I win with the sobriety," Wohnoutka said. "And I really do appreciate the support I've gotten from the people of Spicer."
The Spicer Commercial Club and the Willmar Area League of Women Voters invited all city office candidates to an Oct. 27 candidate's forum. Wohnoutka said he declined the invite due to a scheduling conflict.