We believe Mayville is NOT a retirement community!
People ask what drives the Yes 4 the Community Group. Well, a lot of what drives this group is a desire to keep this community growing. On January 3, 2017, Mr. Dick Pichotta, self-declared “no” activist, sent a letter to the Mayville Board of Education. The third paragraph of his letter explains his opposition to the referendum:
“While some of our community leaders are apparently in denial, it is obvious to me that Mayville has turned into a retirement community…” – Mr. Dick Pichotta, 1/3/17
We can certainly deny that Mayville is a “retirement community” that should stop investing in its schools. Mayville is a recovering and growing community. While it’s true that manufacturing recently took a severe hit in this country, based on its history it is likely to come back.
According to City-Data.com, the median age in Mayville is 39.8 years. The median age in Wisconsin is 39.4 years. Therefore, Mayville is on par with Wisconsin and is NOT a retirement community!
Looking back to 1928, Mayville took a hit with the State’s first smelter shutting down and production shifting to areas like Milwaukee and Gary, Indiana. Nearly a third of the town left to find work elsewhere. Some say that the Depression started for America in Mayville. A few brave souls, like the Bachhubers, stuck it out, and started experimenting in shacks along the Rock River. They grew from working on a dirt floor to a global force in manufacturing, right here in Mayville. They stuck it out because they believed in the future of Mayville. They believed in the people and resilience of Mayville. To say we are in denial that we are a “retirement community” is an insult to the people that sacrificed so much to keep the community afloat.
These companies grew significantly from the 1940’s to today. So much so that the community grew. There were challenges along the way, but nothing like sleeping in a log cabin on the marsh with some friends only to go to work in a shack on a dirt floor along the Rock River. In the 2000’s, Mayville took a hit ahead of the rest of the country. Manufacturing for America began escaping due to outsourcing. Did the companies fold up and go elsewhere? No, they hunkered down in their modern log cabins and stuck it out. They stayed for Mayville. They stayed for us.
Then the Great Recession hit in 2008. After years of decline, did they leave then? Did they abandon Mayville and find a home elsewhere? No! They stayed. They remained loyal to Mayville. They adjusted their businesses. They brought in state of the art manufacturing and trained their employees. They diversified and took risks on purchasing other companies to create efficiencies like nothing they ever saw before. Today, they have robotic press brakes and lights-out laser cutting systems that can run days without outside interaction. They made it!
And now, does it look like they are calling it quits in Mayville? No! They have just stuck millions and millions in their facilities. We have some awesome looking factories at the edges of town. One is building a brand new state-of-the-art factory. Another renovated an abandoned building to today’s standards. All together, they have added hundreds of jobs back. They currently have hundreds of job openings between them all. And what do the “No” voters say? They say “Mayville has turned into a retirement community.” That is a slap in the face to all those that sacrificed so much for our community so that we can enjoy what we have today and so that Mayville is still on the map.
Do other businesses leave Mayville because it’s population is aging? Do they shut down because it is hard to find employees that can do the advanced work that they so desperately need? No! They buckle down. They invest in their people and facilities. They reach out to the schools weekly to show students what they are doing, to try and spark some interest in manufacturing in their minds because we are not doing it in our schools. We don’t have the facilities to get students excited about science, technology, engineering, agriculture, arts and math. We need this referendum to support our industry!
We are growing! We built a war memorial, in just a year. We now have a Shopko Hometown. We now have a Fastenal. We have a sharp looking main street that gets better every day. Audubon Days was a great success downtown last year. We have people working on the Blue Zones Project. We have people working on the Gold Star Memorial Trail through town that is sure to benefit the businesses downtown and attract outsiders to Mayville. We wouldn’t be doing this all if Mayville wasn’t recovering and trying to grow. We wouldn’t be doing all these things if it were going to just be a retirement community.
We need to do this for the next generation. The Yes 4 Our Community group is doing this for our kids and grandkids. We are sticking it out to make their lives better. If you want to keep your money in your pocket (which is short sighted…because who’s going to want to buy your house?), then vote that way. But don’t try to tell the rest of us that believe in Mayville that we have failed and we should pack up shop, literally.
Our parents made the sacrifice to build the middle school. Their parents made the sacrifice to build the high school. Now is our time to decide if we want to continue to take care of the investments they made in the Mayville Schools. It is our time to stand out from other school districts by focusing on Academics and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture, Arts, and Math). The referendum is a great plan for Mayville. Before you vote, fully understand and appreciate all the work that has been done over the last 3+ years. Attend some meetings. Ask questions. Then form your own opinion and go vote your way. We believe the majority of this community believes Mayville is more than a “retirement community” and will join us to Vote YES on April 4th!