GREEN BAY – Tuesday was the first night for Green Bay’s new city council.
Four new people joined the city’s twelve-member council as a result of April 1st’s election.
After a two year break, longtime alderman Guy Zima is back on Green Bay’s city council. He says his return will bring change.
“I think the council has been pretty quiet for a couple years and I think people decided they wanted to hear discussion rather than just rubber stamp,” said Zima.
After serving 35 years, Zima lost his seat in 2012. However, earlier this month, voters showed up for Zima in a big way at the polls. He beat his opponent by a nearly two to one margin.
“I’m of course pleased that the city saw fit to put my voice back on the city council,” said Zima. “I think a lot of people have missed it.”
In his previous tenure, Zima worked with Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt for ten years. Both admit things haven’t always been rosy between the two.
“We have our differences, but as long as we’re respectful we’ll get along just fine,” said Schmitt.
Schmitt says the last council was his favorite. He hopes the new council will pick up where the last one left off.
“Our agenda stays the same and we hope to work with them and work on their issues and continue to build a better city,” said Schmitt.
Chris Wery is also returning to the council after losing his seat two years ago.
“No matter who it comes from, we have to look at the idea, either if it’s good or bad, you kind of have to ignore who it’s coming from,” said Wery.
As for Schmitt and Zima, they say they know there will be differences. But both say they’ll try to do what’s right for their constituents.
“I didn’t disagree with everything he did while I was in office,” said Zima. “It just seems that way at times if anybody would bring something up it was me, so it appeared I was opposed to everything he did and of course that’s not true.”
“I look forward to working with him,” said Schmitt. “We had a nice little visit, but look, we’re still two different people and we’ll work hard to get along.”
Randy Scannell and David Nennig are the other two newcomers to the council.