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Two longtime Portage council members step down
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Two longtime Portage council members step down

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As the Jan. 5 deadline to file nomination papers to run for local office approaches, two members of the Portage Common Council announced they are leaving office.

One is leaving more than two years early.

Rita Maass has been a council member for roughly two decades, she said, and plans to leave her current term Thursday. She said her choice to step down before April 2023, when the term officially ends, was personal.

“I enjoyed serving and I will miss serving,” Maass said. “It’s time to move on and let the younger generation take over.”

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City Administrator Shawn Murphy said Mayor Rick Dodd can appoint an alderman to serve the district who resides within the area. District 9 borders stretch along West Wisconsin Street from Armstrong Street north to Silver Lake Drive to Airport Road and West Slifer Street. They connect to New Pinery Road, which stretches south to West Oneida Street, where it connects to Armstrong. The district encompasses Silver Lake Park.

Murphy did not have a date for when Maass’ seat may be filled.

Council member Doug Klapper of District 4 has filed papers of non-candidacy, said City Clerk Marie Moe. Klapper first became a council member when he was appointed by then mayor Jeff Grothman in February 2007. He then filed as a write-in candidate for the next spring election.

Klapper had been involved in local volunteer work before joining the council by serving on the city’s Park and Recreation Board and its Canal Ad Hoc Committee. He founded Gardens on the Canal, a group of master gardeners who spent time revitalizing otherwise unattractive ground along the canal, starting along Wisconsin Street in 2002 as a way to improve the look of the area for local residents.

The other two incumbents, Dennis Nachreiner of District 3 and Marty Havlovic of District 8, have filed for re-election as their terms end in April, said Deputy Clerk Becky Ness.

Follow Bridget on Twitter @cookebridget or contact her at 608-745-3513.

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