Latest updates from the campaign:
On Broadway Inc. wish list: Improved streetscapes, more housing and infill development. and 'special projects'
Downtown Green Bay's vaccination rates are far behind, so a free vaccine clinic will open in October
“Other people are looking in and seeing wonderful things in the city of Green Bay,” said Johnson. “I think we have to find a way to embrace and enjoy and appreciate that about ourselves.”
“I think it’s an exciting thing for Green Bay, to be able to jump on the micro mobility trends that are happening in other communities,” said Alderperson Brian Johnson.
“This has been in the works for a while now,” said City Council member Brian Johnson, who is also the executive director of On Broadway Inc. on the west side of downtown. In 2018, after dropping off 100 e-scooters unannounced in Milwaukee, Bird discovered the hard way that Wisconsin state law did not permit motorized scooters on streets and sidewalks. City attorneys were quick to scold the company, and Bird left as quickly as it arrived.
Then, in an about-face, Wisconsin legalized electric scooters a year later. Around this time, Johnson created a mobility ordinance that defined how e-scooters would operate in Green Bay.
“This was very consequently a communication that was actually submitted prior to the pandemic and it was recognizing that other communities were having a great deal of success with parklets in their respective communities,” District 9 Alderperson Brian Johnson said. “And I think the effects of the pandemic certainly accelerated and highlighted some of the additional advantages of being able to create open spaces within our community.”
Johnson said parklets allow for the organic creation of active street fronts.
“This is about life downtown,” Johnson said. “You think about the amount of time, energy and resources in our respective organizations trying to coordinate events and activate street fronts, and this is a way for us to let that happen organically. People come downtown, not for parking stalls, but for amenities.”
"We have housing needs across the spectrum right now. It's not just in one category," said Ald. Brian Johnson of District 9. "Affordable housing is absolutely a need in the city but so is market rate."
UPDATE: Top Wisconsin court blocks governor’s move to delay election, U.S. Supreme Court blocks absentee voting extension
Wisconsin's in-person elections will be conducted as planned on Tuesday, April 7 from 7 a.m. - 8 p.m. according to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
Additionally, the US Supreme Court struck down a previous court ruling that allowed absentee ballots to be returned until April 13.
If you have an absentee ballot, you must deposit it into one of the lock boxes at city hall prior to 8 p.m. on April 7. If you did not yet receive a previously requested absentee ballot, you will need to vote in-person on election day.
“I secured more funding for streets and we’re doing 40 percent more over the 10-year average, approved additional traffic officers to curtail neighborhood speeding, supported more than $500 million in economic expansion, secured $4 million for affordable housing and neighborhood improvements and restored civility to local politics; we’re providing clean, honest and accountable government.” #PeopleNotPolitics
Voters will have two polling options on Election Day--West High School or East High School. District 9 residents will vote at West High School. Click the link for more details.
Promises Made. Promises Kept. #PeopleNotPolitics
Breakthrough out at Shipyard, but still seeks headquarters space in area. Green Bay is ready with alternative Shipyard project
Joint statement from Breakthrough, Mayor Eric Genrich and Alderman Brian Johnson regarding the Breakthrough announcement:
“The City and Breakthrough continue to meet regularly and are both committed to finding an ideal location for Breakthrough’s expanded corporate headquarters. Breakthrough and the City have recognized the Shipyard location isn’t going to meet the needs of the company, but that has not diminished the desire to continue what has been a fruitful and mutually-beneficial relationship. We are excited about future development at the Shipyard and look forward to the continued expansion of Green Bay’s vibrant and dynamic downtown.”
The (grant) deadline was missed because the announcement of the closing of the J.P. Pulliam Generating Station, better know as the Pulliam Plant, was not yet made, said Brian Johnson, District 9 alder for Green Bay.
"Early indications suggest that had this been submitted through the original process, this would have been a very strong contender, and I don't think that has changed at all," Johnson said. "All this does is alter that timeline a little bit in how we pursue that funding."
Brian Johnson to Host Listening Sessions
Voters in Green Bay's District 9 will see a couple familiar names — and one new — as they decide who will represent them on City Council.
Johnson took over the district immediately west of the Fox River, between Dousman Street and the border with Ashwaubenon, after ousting Zima in 2018.
Click to read responses from the Green Bay Press Gazette questionnaire.
"Right now, Johnson said the most pressing need near Broadway is housing. However, as part of the Rail Yard, there are 340 apartment units either complete, under construction or under contract.
'About a year ago, we set a housing goal of 200 new units in five years,' Johnson said. 'It looks like we're going to smash that in less than two years, but it doesn't mean we're done. We're going to continue to push. The more housing we have down here, the better.'"
"We want to allow residents of that neighborhood to give us feedback and tell us how they think we can best spend that money," Johnson told WTAQ.
"That million dollars, if we do it right, could really turn into more like three, four, or five million," Johnson speculated. "But we really need the individuals in that area to tell us where the areas of priority are."
I'm fortunate to be able to positively impact our community in my full-time profession as well. We're working very hard on the Shipyard, more housing for all income levels, in-fill development that adds tax base, business attraction that better serves our neighborhoods and beautification efforts.
Brian Johnson (i): Johnson, also the executive director of On Broadway, took office in 2018 after ousting former Alderman Guy Zima.
Desiree May: May spent a decade as a designer for The Karma Group and now works for Oshkosh-based Offbeat Press. She was also a national delegate for Bernie Sanders in 2016.
Guy Zima: Zima is seeking a return to City Council after his 2018 loss and an unsuccessful run for mayor last year. He often made headlines for his contentious relationship with former Mayor Jim Schmitt and sued Schmitt for comparing him to Harvey Weinstein and calling him a "dotard," among other statements. Zima also was accused of asking a city employee if she made a sex tape with her husband on their wedding night.
Alder unanimously passed an ordinance banning the application and sale of coal-tar sealants throughout the city at their meeting Tuesday, Dec. 17.
Alders took their support of the ban one step further and passed a resolution advocating for a state-wide ban on coal-tar sealants, which will be sent to the Legislature.
District 9 Alder Brian Johnson voted against the (second) resolution because he said it advocates for a state change without state-wide knowledge.
"We've supported resolutions here that have directly impacted residents in Green Bay, who we are elected to represent," Johnson said. "We can support resolutions that advocate to bring support back to our community, but this one does neither of those. We sent the message by creating the ordinance that the City of Green Bay supports a ban on this. Approving this resolution says that we are state-wide experts on this issue. In the absence of that state knowledge, in terms of what's best for the State of Wisconsin, our jurisdiction is the City of Green Bay, and that is who I am elected to represent. And it's for that reason that I feel that this is an issue that is better taken up by state-elected officials."
WPR: The Morning Show with Kate Archer Kent
Last week, a bill passed by a wide margin in the state Assembly that would give $1.2 million to Green Bay to remove coal piles that have sat on the banks of the Fox River for years. Green Bay alderperson Brian Johnson joins the show to share why this move is necessary.
Johnson was before the Committee of Transportation, Veterans and Military Affairs Sept. 25 to request funding to study the relocation project.
"What I told the Senate committee when I was there is a lot of people had this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I think they're wrong in saying that," he said. "If we don't do this now, we will never have this opportunity again."
Johnson asked the committee for a $1.5 million Harbor Assistance Grant to support a preliminary concept plan to determine if the coal piles can be relocated to the site.
"This is not new spending. This is money that's already been appropriated by the state for this purpose," he said.
19 times in the past 18 years there's been an attempt to eliminate or alter Green Bay's on-street parking ban from 3 to 5 a.m., according to Chris Pirlot, the city's parking and operations director.
“I think the fact this keeps coming up year after year indicates we haven't fixed the problem yet,” said Brian Johnson, a Green Bay alder.
Brian Johnson said Broadway Lofts will help the organization get more than halfway to its goal to add 200 new residential units in the Broadway District, of which the Rail Yard is a part, in the next five years.
"Setting high targets of urban density helps our downtown and urban ecosystem thrive, making it the economically smart and sustainable thing to do," Johnson said. "We’re pleased to see TWG invest in the Broadway Lofts to continue to expand diversified housing options in our central city neighborhoods which will in turn lead to additional development opportunities."
Alderman Brian Johnson pushed the Redevelopment Authority to approve the resolution of support so the city council can take up the issue at its meeting next week.
Johnson says state legislators are expected to have a hearing on the grant funds later this month.
Alderman Brian Johnson joins The Morning News with Matt & Earl on WTAQ to discuss his proposal, "Percent for the Art."
The Redevelopment Authority has adopted the resolution, now it will be implemented for future developments in Green Bay. Pro's and Con's of 1% "Art" requirement.
The Redevelopment Authority approved a measure requiring 1% of a property's estimated value to be dedicated to art installation for developments that use tax increment financing. The city may provide developers with these financial incentives, which are eventually paid off by the new property tax revenue the project generates.
Alderman Brian Johnson, who advocated the measure, said public art increases livability, promotes civic engagement and decreases poverty and crime. However, he believes the arts and culture scene in Green Bay lags that of other cities.
"These are the things that separate good communities from great communities," he said.
“It helps encourage economic development,” said Green Bay Alderman Brian Johnson. “You see that any time a neighborhood is going to transform, public art is often the first thing to move in, so we want to encourage more of that."
“It takes any new development project in the city of Green Bay that is going to receive public assistance, it requires a 1 percent investment of the assessed value of the project into public art,” said Johnson.
"None of this is levy funded, meaning taxpayer dollars are not being used for this,” said Johnson. “It becomes the burden and responsibility of the developer."
“Green Bay will be the first city in state of Wisconsin that has adopted a policy like this,” said Johnson. “Madison has passed one, but will take effect in 2020.”
“At the end of day we don’t want to see a project not happen because we made it cost-prohibitive, but we want to make sure when a developer comes in and receives public assistance, they are making appropriate investments in our community as well,” said Johnson.
A construction project focusing on affordable housing broke ground in downtown Green Bay Tuesday.
According to Green Bay alderman, Brian Johnson, this project helps the Broadway District meet its goals of adding 200 residential units and attracting 50 new businesses within the next five years.
The policy requires any developer seeking tax incremental financing assistance to dedicate 1% of the project's total value to a public arts project.
“We do feel if the developers are going to get the benefit of public assistance that they ought to contribute to the quality of life for all residents,” said Brian Johnson, the Green Bay alderman who proposed the policy.
“Public art has demonstrated time and again to be a leading indicator on economic performance, on quality of life, beautification of neighborhoods, additional investment,” said Johnson.
In addition to the recreational amenities, the concept includes plans for a container park, a development that would be a first for the region. In fact, Brian Johnson says the closest one he’s aware of is in Tulsa, Okla.
The park would serve residents as well as draw people who would go out of their way to see it, Johnson says. Furthermore, it would complement the commercial corridor in the Broadway District as well as adding more businesses.
“I think the novelty of that type of product will create interest amongst tourists and amongst those who want to go to Green Bay and check this out,” he says.
Safe Park is an initiative proposed by Alderman Brian Johnson that allows individuals who have had too much to drink to obtain a pass for your vehicle that allows you to park your vehicle overnight without risk of receiving a parking citation.
The plan, which city staff and an outside consultant refined based on more than 1,000 pieces of public input, now includes a dog park, playground, sloping great lawn, larger container park, urban beach, waterfront amenities, public art installations, sand beach and other amenities. It would complement private development nearby, led by Breakthrough's plan to construct a new headquarters beginning later this year.
Alderman Brian Johnson, whose district includes the Shipyard area, called the new layout "dramatically different," but one he likes for its public art, public input, potential to attract people and expanded container park.
"This will be a great amenity for the neighborhood," Johnson said.
“The objective is to see redevelopment,” said Green Bay Alderman Brian Johnson. “We don’t collect tax base on lots that sit empty. They don’t add or contribute to neighborhood enhancement so we want to see these revitalized and new homes put on them.”
“I think it’s important to recognize that in a lot of our older neighborhoods, they have seen a lot of blight and neglect and unfortunately we haven’t invested in them appropriately,” said Johnson. “So when the city takes over a lot, such as this, the goal is to be the first ones in, the organization that takes the risk in an effort to attract private investment. We are already seeing that in this neighborhood so we are very excited to continue that trend,” said Johnson.
In the last few years, DDL Holdings, a partnership of Titletown Brewing Company and Base Companies, has invested more than $30 million in new development in the Rail Yard. In 5 to 10 years, the belief is that number could rise to between $60 and $100 million.
“The roads really kind of clearly articulate where your parcels are going to be,” said Brian Johnson, the district’s alderman and the executive director of On Broadway, Inc. “It allows the opportunity to carve out some new land for new development.”
“We continue to see residential at 100% occupancy downtown,” said Johnson. “This creates some opportunity for us to really recruit some dense residential. You start looking at buildings that can attract hundreds of tenants, that is really kind of our focus right now.”
In Green Bay parking is banned on city streets between the hours of 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. But Alderman Brian Johnson thinks that rule should be changed, to keep the impaired from making the wrong choice of getting behind the wheel.
“This is really targeted at eliminating a chronic problem from our streets,” said Johnson.
“We put people into the unfortunate circumstance of having to make a choice. And sometimes that choice is – do I risk getting a parking ticket or do I get behind the wheel and move my vehicle. And we’re trying to eliminate that choice,” said Johnson.
Green Bay is one of 18 cities to win a $25,000 Levitt AMP Grant Award from the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation to host the series, which is intended to celebrate the city’s diversity and changing demographics, bring people together through music and inject new life into an underused public space.
“It’s really about promoting social inclusivity and social equity in our community. ... We feel that the Levitt music series is one of those opportunities to ensure that everybody in our community feels welcome and that they feel at home."
The Green Bay city council approves an investment plan to improve residential areas surrounding The Shipyard. The $1 million commitment was allocated as part of the project. Funding for the plan comes from the city’s neighborhood enhancement fund and various government grants.
Alderman Brian Johnson says the success of the neighborhood is a crucial part to the shipyard development as a whole.
"What we're trying to do is take care of a number of the residents in that area that have some aging housing and needed repair but also there's the infrastructure aspect. The infrastructure is a key component to this piece, taking a look at the streets, maybe the trees and the right of way, looking at how our intersections are operating over there, we want to make sure that everything in that part of the development is well taken care of," Johnson says.
Green Bay Alderman Brian Johnson said public and private investment in the 13-acre site just north of Mason Street gives the Broadway district a southern anchor around which it can develop more retail and restaurants. He said he hopes Breakthrough's announcement is just the first of many private commitments to develop this part of the city.
"This shows what can happen when the city makes smart, responsible planning decisions with properties it owns," Johnson said. "This site has sat idle for 30 years, but (the city) has made an investment in it and private development is following. A key piece of this development is the investment in the neighborhood. It's important to bring investment into that surrounding neighborhood."
“Right now I feel blind as an alder. I feel blind as a city council member. When we have budget season coming up and I have zero idea about how much money you need to effectively perform the job that our residents expect,” said Brian Johnson, Green Bay City Council member.
Johnson is asking Green Bay’s Public Works Department for a plan to address continuing flooding in certain areas throughout Green Bay.
Johnson said that plan will help the city make better monetary decisions when it comes to the upcoming budget.
“Any smart organization is looking at needs 5 years down the road,” said Johnson.
Alderman Brian Johnson wants to make that process easier for residents, proposing the city create a web page on its website where rat sightings could be reported electronically.
“So, we can scientifically start to gather data and use that for ways to identify solutions that are more appropriate for the nature of the problem we have right now,” Johnson said.
Johnson says right now when complaints are made, they are tracked by city inspectors on an internal map. He says gathering complaints online – would speed up the process and allow staff to better analyze the data.
“You can make maps with it, you can use it to identify problem areas within the city,” Johnson said. “What we’re looking for is a more scientific way to approach this problem.”
For more than a month, LimeBikes have blanketed the city as part of a dock-less bike program.
Since the launch on July 31, the 150 Green Bay LimeBikes have made 2,400 trips around Green Bay, carrying 1,400 riders.
As for the frequency you’re seeing the LimeBikes, supporting Alderman Brian Johnson says that’s a good thing.
“The only problems I've heard is people who aren't accustomed to seeing as many bikes around town, and I think that's a great thing,” Johnson says. “We look at cars every single day, and nobody complains about cars. So why can't we take a look at bikes in the same light?”
An Indianapolis developer plans to open 107 affordable housing units in downtown Green Bay by summer 2020.
The project will focus on affordable housing, a segment that largely has been ignored in downtown Green Bay's current housing boom.
There are no affordable housing units available within several miles of downtown and almost all housing units downtown are occupied.
Brian Johnson, Green Bay alderman and executive director of On Broadway Inc., also spoke of Rivett's ability to convert concern to action.
"He helped so many people in need and personified a larger-than-life reputation that has touched the hearts of every person in our community," Johnson said. "Because of this, we don’t mourn Jim’s loss as individuals, we mourn as a community full of love and gratitude that we had the honor to know someone so creative, brilliant and nurturing."
The Maple Avenue renovation is being held up as an example of how the city and local home builders can save older buildings and energize parts of Green Bay neighborhoods that have not aged well, said Ken Rovinski, who helps spur interest in city-owned redevelopment properties.
Alderman Brian Johnson is impressed with the home’s transformation. Johnson said public-private collaborations like this creates an opportunity to increase home ownership near downtown business districts.
“To me, this is probably the first ‘Love Here Live Here’ success,” Johnson said, referring to On Broadway’s 2016 housing improvement initiative. “It’s about identifying properties in the Broadway neighborhoods that aren’t quite living up to their potential. This renovation is exactly what we were looking to do.”
The RDA last month approved the city's purchase of a multifamily property at 158 N. Maple Ave., across the street from 159 N. Maple Ave., for a similar renovation.
Rats have long been an issue for residents on Green Bay’s West side, and Thursday crews from the city went door-to-door to address the problem.
The inspectors spent the morning and afternoon looking for signs of rats at houses in the area, and talking to residents about how to eradicate rats currently living in the area, as well as how to prevent their return.
Green Bay Alderman Brian Johnson said the one fault he found with the project was that the new athletic venue wouldn't bring thousands of spectators to the area as originally hoped. He liked everything else he saw, though.
"It maximizes access to the riverfront and it is not tied to other commercial developments," Johnson said. "We have the opportunity to show this is a quality of life amenity that has the potential to pay for itself. This is a great plan. It will prop up the neighborhood in a way it desperately needs."
Alder. Johnson, whose district covers the Shipyard Project, says his only concern for the new proposal is not being able to draw in the same, large crowds the Bullfrogs would have brought.
“I think the thing that the Bullfrogs offered was a management contract,” Alder. Johnson says. “They were going to come in and manage the facility for the city, they were going to offer a payment to do so, but unfortunately that deal's been lost. So we have to come up with a new option.”
Johnson says he still feels a dockless system is the way to go for a city the size of Green Bay.
With the Improvements and Services Committee's approval, the agreement now goes to the full city council.
If the agreement ultimately gets put in place, anywhere from 250 to 500 Lime Bikes would be scattered across Green Bay.
Johnson says since the agreement is with a privately run entity, there are no costs to the city.
"I think it's a surprise to everybody," Johnson who serves as the executive director for the Green Bay nonprofit On Broadway, said. "I mean you're talking about a 40-year incumbent, 40 years of service to the community and certainly Mr. Zima should be commended for that."
As to the personality conflicts between Zima and Schmitt, Johnson said people, "wanted to see civility and decorum brought back to the city council."
Johnson added, "They looked at what was going on with a number of the council members as well as the mayor's office and said, 'We've had enough and would like to see people work together.'"
“Brian will work to bring civility back to the council. Brian is honest, ethical, forward thinking, professional, a good listener, well-respected, a change agent.”
Tom Hinz, retired Brown County Executive
“The recent loss of The Shipyard project, an opportunity for significant economic impact and improved quality of life in District 9, is a perfect example of why we must act now if we want to ensure a positive trajectory for our city into the future.”
Brian is without question one of the kindest and most generous people I know. He works tirelessly to solve challenges and he is incredibly intelligent, inspirational and honest in his dealings.
Brian Johnson meets with Green Bay Press-Gazette reporter Jonathan Anderson to discuss issues of importance to District 9 and the City of Green Bay.
The Green Bay Press-Gazette sent candidate questionnaires to all of the Green Bay City Council candidates in contested races. Here are the responses from Brian Johnson and Guy Zima.
District 9 candidate Brian Johnson won the primary election last night with a total of 301 votes; alderman Guy Zima, the incumbent of District 9, had 259 votes.
Zima initially agreed to an interview, then changed his mind, telling the reporter during the phone call that he did not like that Local 5 reported the multiple complaints Green Bay city employees have filed against him over the years. He then hung up on the reporter.
Incumbents in two Green Bay City Council races failed to garner the most votes in Tuesday's primary election, raising the stakes that their seats could be in jeopardy this spring.
In District 9, Brian Johnson, executive director of On Broadway Inc., won 301 votes, while Zima received 259 votes.
The candidates from District 9 shared their ideas on how to serve our residents and the City of Green Bay. Unfortunately, Guy Zima did not respond.
"We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used to create them. My promise to the residents of District 9 is a commitment to listen, understand and act appropriately to protect your interests at City Hall and serve as a leader to advance a shared vision for the City of Green Bay." -Brian Johnson
"Brian Johnson (On Broadway Inc. director) offers a concern for safety, infrastructure, and human services, new ideas for growth and development, and perhaps most importantly, integrity and positive energy..." -Jordan Sullivan
Green Bay Alderman Guy Zima on Wednesday walked out of a forum for City Council candidates running in Districts 7 and 9.
"Talk amongst yourselves," Zima told onlookers. "I'm not going to waste my time."
YOU can vote early for the February 20 Primary Election to make our neighborhood better, stop the squabbling in City Hall and put Green Bay on the right track.
Here’s how; it’s quick and easy!
With 30 concerned citizens running for 12 seats on the Green Bay City Council, democracy is alive and well in the county seat of Brown County. Maybe people are starting to realize that the government closest to the people is the government of greatest importance to their daily lives.
Alderman Guy Zima could face sanctions for alleged misconduct if a new complaint against him moves forward.
On Wednesday, Alderwoman Barbara Dorff filed a formal complaint against Zima, alleging that he broke six sections of the city's code of conduct for elected officials.
In District 9, Brian Johnson is vying to unseat longtime Alderman Guy Zima.
Brian Johnson among those nominated for his work with On Broadway, Inc.
"We're expected to represent the city on a professional level and that's where I think when you look at the City Council as a whole, the area we are failing is that we're not meeting that demand," Johnson said.
On Broadway Inc. Executive Director Brian Johnson plans to run against Zima next spring, saying the Ninth District alderman should resign, citing detrimental behavior.
"This is something that is directly impacting the city's ability to attract quality talent, to keep them. It affects the residents of the district when he doesn't have the ability to interact with the individuals that he needs to interact with."
"He's asserted himself as the moral authority when it comes to the conduct of others. To not resign, is almost to suggest that he operates on a different set of moral and ethical standards, and I just don't think that's acceptable."
A prominent Green Bay community leader will challenge District 9 Alderman Guy Zima in next year’s city council election.
Brian Johnson, executive director of On Broadway, Inc., announced Monday that he intends to run against Zima.
Brian Johnson announced his City Council candidacy today for Green Bay’s 9th District, currently occupied by Guy Zima.
GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- The executive director of On Broadway Inc. announced he will be running for Guy Zima's city council position.