40 years ago: Marshfield swears in the city’s new mayor
By Kris Leonhardt
Forty years ago to the date of this week’s print edition, the council chambers of the former Marshfield city hall were packed for the swearing in of the city’s newest mayor and council members.
While controversy surrounded the election regarding a city fireman being elected to the council, a majority of the crowd was there to witness Marshfield’s mayor-elect taking the seat.
The new mayor was a two-term alderman in the 4th ward, who had been elected to the common council in 1975. In the April 4 election, weeks earlier, the two-term alderman defeated 20-year council member Cyril Marx, 3,233-2,638.
During the ceremony, council members presented the new mayor with a cigar tied with a pink ribbon and the words “It’s a mayor.”
With that, Marilyn Hardacre embarked on an eight-year run as mayor of the city of Marshfield, topped only recently by a five-term run by Chris Meyer.
News reports chronicle Hardacre as nervous, making her first address as mayor in 1978 with a “breaking voice.”
After thanking voters for the privilege, Hardacre listed a dozen areas in which she would devote her time and talents to, and just a glance through the first six of those items tell you that she meant to deliver on those words: meeting the inflationary costs of providing governmental services, street maintenance and improvements, increased traffic in the city, short and long term planning in city departments with a capital improvements priority program, revision of the city’s zoning code, and keeping the downtown area healthy and growing were near the top of the list.
Some of the work would last well into the time after Hardacre’s run as mayor, but nearly all of the items given that night became Hardacre’s focus; a few of these initiatives became staples of Marshfield city government and remain a part of the system today.
In the upcoming years, Hardacre would pour into her work as mayor. In the first six months of her term as a part-time mayor, Hardacre logged 50 plus hours a week in her mayoral seat.
See the full story on Marilyn Hardacre, in the premiere issue of Hub City Times new women’s magazine, BeYoutiful, on stands in May.