Dick Johns Wraps Up 54 Years Of Rhinelander City Government

Apr 11, 2018

Rhinelander Mayor Dick Johns
Credit Ken Krall WXPR

When Dick Johns first was on the Rhinelander City Council, Lyndon Johnson was U.S. President.

After 54 years, Johns conducted his last city council meeting Monday night after 13 years as mayor. Johns says when he first started, the city and neighboring towns all acted like individual entities but that attitude has changed...

"....the attitude that I like today that has happened, we're not just the City of Rhinelander. We are the City of Rhinelander and area and we're all in this together whether we like it or not. We have to support the townships. We have to work together in order to make it work...."

He says one major accomplishment he holds is being a key member of the group that formed the tri-county Human Service Center, which treats mental health concerns. He says Vilas county and Forest county took some convincing to join, but says it has worked out...

"....We're still together. We're the only tri-county unit left in the state...the formula we established 50 years ago is still working...."

He says the city found ways to find outside money to get things done...

"...we did a lot of work in my administration in regards to it. The new sewage disposal plant, the south side Sutiliff Avenue area, and the downtown city of Rhinelander. Now we have $500,000 coming in for street improvements. When you look at it, that is what happened in the last few years...."

Johns has been mayor after being appointed in 2005 to fill the term of Kevin Jenkins, who resigned. He was reelected three times.

The city is hosting a retirement gathering for Dick Johns Thursday, April 12 from 11:30 to 1:30 p.m. at Rhinelander City Hall council chambers.