Walmart issue impacting city council races

GREEN BAY – The possibility of a downtown Green Bay Walmart could play a role in next week’s spring election.

Earlier this month, a unanimous city council vote blocked a Broadway Supercenter proposal.

Having served 35 years on Green Bay’s city council, Guy Zima is hoping to regain his seat after being beat at the polls two years ago. He’s getting his name out to voters through an eight-question survey. The first two questions are on Walmart’s downtown proposal.

“I think an issue that has sparked so much interest, I think we want to know what the people have to say,” said Zima. “I wouldn’t be against having a referendum on it.”

Zima says he is receiving about ten of his surveys back each day. He says the results have been varied.

“I think if you’re going to truly represent people, you need to take their opinion about matters that are important,” said Zima.

In the 2012 Spring Election, Zima lost to James Warner 46 to 54 percent.

Warner isn’t running for city council this year, but his wife Angela is. She declined an on-camera interview, but told us she doesn’t have Walmart on any of her campaign handouts. Angela Warner says the Walmart issue shouldn’t decide who wins.

“I think a lot of the literature I’ve seen just asked for opinions and input, what do you think?” said Chris Wery, who is also running for city council.

Wery is running unopposed, but still handed out pamphlets. They include a request for feedback on Walmart.

“I had a feeling by the time the election rolled around in April and May that this issue would still be there in some form and I didn’t want to come in cold turkey,” said Wery. “I wanted to know ahead of time what our district thought.”

Four spots on the 12-member council are guaranteed to be taken over by a new person. As many as seven spots could see turnover.

Walmart hasn’t said if it plans to propose anything once the new council takes over.

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