MANITOWOC, Wis. (WFRV) Manitowoc voters elected a new member to the city council last night. Tyler Martell defeated Gary Moore, a former Alderman, by 71 votes. Martell is only 20 years old and in Manitowoc, politics are a fountain of youth.
"I can't promise we'll lower property taxes, but I can promise we'll make spending cuts rather than raise taxes on people," says Martell. The Alderman-elect already sounds like a politician. We met up with him on the steps of city hall. He was only 11 when this facility was built. Martell will balance his time here with classes at Marquette University in Milwaukee, where he's studying Political Science. He says he knows his priorities: "I'd say it's the city. The education I'm doing for myself, the city I'm doing for 3,500 taxpayers."
Offering up advice is Manitowoc Mayor Justin Nickels. He was elected to school board at 18 and took office as Mayor when he turned 22. He'll be up for re-election next year. "Just stand your ground," he says. "It's tough being a young individual having your voice be known. I'm just glad I'm not the youngest elected official in the city anymore."
And if the trend continues, soon Martell won't be the youngest either. "People our age want to have a better city, a better state."
Martell ran two unsuccessful campaigns - one for city council in 2010, and another for school board last year. Wednesday night, he told us he's picking his classes for next semester and adjusting his schedule for the hour and a half commute from campus back to Manitowoc.