MARATHON -- Outgoing Rotary president and former Marathon City Councilman Chris Bull has thrown his hat in the political ring again.
Bull has filed to run for one of three open seats on the City Council in the November election. He said he had been toying with the idea of running when Bill Daniels declared his candidacy. When Daniels withdrew, Bull stepped up.
"He would have been a good candidate, and his family has certainly helped to build this community," Bull said. "If I wasn't going to run, I would have supported him."
Bull said it's good to have a field of candidates from which to choose.
"Then the community has a healthy dialogue about the city's future," Bull said.
Bull served two terms on the council from 2004 to 2008, rotating through both the vice mayor and mayor positions. This time around, Bull said his main focus will be the city's future.
"We've just finished one of the largest infrastructure projects in the city with the wastewater and stormwater projects. And all of our roads have been repaved, but we're at the end of that cycle," Bull said. "I believe that the council has been bogged down in dealing with the day-to-day stuff and not really focusing on the vision or goals for one year or five years out from now."
Bull said he wants to retain Marathon's "flavor" and quality of life, while growing the economy.
"We have three of four major hotel projects that have been mothballed while waiting for developers to decide what to do and the economy to improve. That killed our chances for commercial airline service and [opportunities] for all the support businesses and bringing tourists in," he said. "We need to get them redeveloped and back on line to help our community."
A longtime visitor of Marathon, Bull moved to the city permanently in 1999. He is a tennis pro and coach for Marathon High School's soccer and tennis teams and has real estate investments in the city. He also coordinates the American Youth Soccer Organization games at the community park. He is married and has children ages 17, 14 and 8.
Bull describes himself as a good listener who is able to make fair decisions.
"I'm a detail-oriented person. I like to read primary documents and do my homework on the issues that we're facing. With that, I'm also a person that sets goals and sees the big picture. I'm definitely vested in the community," Bull said.
Bull will face four other candidates competing for three seats, including incumbents Ginger Snead and Dick Ramsay. Mayor Pete Worthington has served three consecutive terms, beginning in 2006, and reached a term limit as outlined by Marathon's city charter. C.J. Geotis and Larry Shaffer are also vying for a spot.
In 2004, Bull defeated Shaffer and John Repetto for Seat 5 on the council, receiving almost 62 percent of the vote. In 2006, he defeated Kevin Woodland by just over 100 votes to keep his seat. At the end of that term, Bull stepped down to pursue private interests.
In the meantime, Marathon has moved to at-large elections -- the top three vote getters in the November election will earn a seat on the council. Council members receive a salary of $18,000 a year.
The deadline for Marathon Council candidates to appear on the ballot was July 10. Candidates may still qualify by paying a fee before Aug. 7. The election will be held on Nov. 6.