Mary Kneebone was elected April 7, 2015. She serves on the Plan Commission, the Finance Committee, and the Board of Public Works. She chose to run for office to keep Stevens Point a vibrant, eco-friendly, family-friendly place.
Mary has several goals for her term. First and foremost, she wants to use her education and experience to serve the residents of the City and her district. Mary intends to help maintain the quality of life that led her and her spouse to retire here. Mary is particularly interested in seeing the City become as sustainable and eco-friendly as possible. Mary would like to see Stevens Point not only continue to be a Bird and Tree City, but also become a Dark Sky Community. Mary would like to see high-end, sustainable, in-fill type development on the East side of Stevens Point.
Mary wants to see the City continue to maintain a vibrant downtown as it helps foster a sense of community. She would like to see neighborhoods begin to identify themselves as the City continues to move toward a bicycle and pedestrian friendly environment. Mary thinks the City should pursue initiating one or two cycling events such as a Fat Bike or Cyclocross race. These relatively low-impact sport competitions, which highlight our rich resource base, will bring in welcome tourism dollars.
Mary was born in October, 1949 and grew up in Madison. She spent a lot of time as a child with her four cousins who lived on a small farm. It was a great adventure for which she is very grateful. Mary learned to be fair and ethical from her parents. They were typical of the 1950s, her dad managed a local credit union and her mom ran the household but went back into the workforce when Mary got into high school.
Mary and her spouse have been together 24 years and have a large extended family across Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan and Washington. They have a tabby cat, Fela, and are avid birders. During their 13 years in Texas, they took several trips to the Gulf of Mexico to see many migratory waterfowl, including whooping cranes at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. They belong to the International Crane Foundation and the local Aldo Leopold Audubon Society, and are proud that Stevens Point is a Bird City and a Tree City. They own stock in the Green Bay Packers and love the Badgers and the Brewers. They are big fans of pro cycling and tennis. They contribute to both Wisconsin Public Radio and Wisconsin Public Television. They also support the UWSP Women’s Basketball and Hockey teams, and like living where they do in District 7 since they are just down the street from the Pointer women’s home ice.
Mary’s love for science and natural resources guided her career path. Prior to entering UWSP in 1989, Mary was the Property Manager for River Bluffs Girls Scout Council in Edwardsville, Illinois. It was here that she honed her skills in generating balanced budgets for four camp properties and the Council Office building. Mary holds a Bachelor of Science in Resource Management/Land Use Planning from the College of Natural Resources at UWSP, and a Master’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from UW-Madison with an Environmental Planning emphasis. Her vision is to make her community eco-friendly.
Mary has had a long and varied work experience. She learned what it’s like to work with her hands while she was on the grounds crew for five years at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Madison. Mary worked for minimum wage during several years in the service industry, including a stint as a barista with Starbucks in Dallas and Stevens Point. Mary was able to use her education as a Neighborhood Planner with the City of Dallas Housing Department, where her major responsibility there was to oversee project development in two neighborhoods in the Neighborhood Renaissance Partnership Program. Mary also has experience in the non-profit area. In Dallas, she served as the Business Manager for the Suzuki Music Institute of Dallas, and is the recently retired Executive Director of the Portage County Literacy Council. This position added grant-writing to her resume and allowed her once again to manage a budget.
The job that means the most to Mary is her service in the United States Air Force. Mary was a crew chief for a C 130 four-engine turboprop cargo aircraft during the Vietnam Era. Stationed at Little Rock Air Force Base, Mary had the amazing opportunity to be a small part of an indelible memory of the Vietnam War. Their airplanes were involved in the relocation of hundreds of Vietnamese refugees fleeing the South, as the North overran the country after the US pulled out. The images of people leaving on boats and helicopters from the roof of buildings in Saigon are iconic. They helped relocate those folks from the Philippines to Guam.
Mary has lived in District 7 as a homeowner since November, 2006. Her roots here were planted while she was a UWSP student from 1989 – 1991. At that time, Mary lived on the other side of her District on Dixon Street, so she has had a chance to see the merits and challenges of both parts of her District.
Home Address: 5718 Sandpiper Dr., Sevens Point, WI 54482
Map of District 7