When Gary Will first ran for mayor in 2009, he pointed to three areas as being important to him: public involvement, concerns with the Sandmar neighborhood and encouraging use of unused buildings.

   While it may be hard to quantify exactly what impact he had on public input at council meetings, some progress has been made in bringing development to Sandmar.

   And, in terms of filling empty buildings? One only has to look downtown to see the progress made.

   Thus, after 10 years in office, now-Mayor Gary Will is ready to step down — and already one alderman has announced interest in taking his place. At Monday’s Common Council meeting, Will announced that his current term will be his last.

   “I’ll be turning in to the clerk, after the meeting, a notification for noncandidacy for the 2020 election,” he said. “I’m finishing my 10th year, and ... I think it would be in my best interest to get this out there in the public so it gives the public at least a month before they can take out papers and circulate papers for the election.”

   When he steps down, he’ll be tied as having served the most consecutive years in office with Lewis Kellogg, who was in the position from 1922 to 1932 (though Kellogg also served another eight earlier, from 1906 to 1914).

   Will elaborated Tuesday to the Commonwealth why he’s choosing to step away from Ripon’s top-elected office after his current term.

   “I’m in my fifth term, 10 years. The timing was right then [to run for office for the first time] and the timing is right now to step down,” Will said.

Read the full story, including more about Will's tenure — and more about Ald. Doug Iverson, who now plans to run for mayor — in the Oct. 31, 2019 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.