PITTSVILLE, WI (OnFocus) – Dale Nichols, Mayor of Pittsville and owner of Pittsville Meats, has been serving the city as mayor since 2014. We took some time to get to know Dale and find out what has brought him to a position where he can help Pittsville grow.
Pittsville Meats has been in business since 1947 with only three different owners during that time. Nichols has ran the business for 35 years and processes anything from beef and pork to venison.
Nichols moved to the area in 1983 and has since gotten married and raised a family which include three children, Rob (Marshfield) Heather (Oklahoma City) and Alex (Kansas City, MO.).
OnFocus: How long have you lived in Pittsville?
Dale Nichols: Since 1983. I grew up in Illinois and my folks relocated to Wisconsin in 1980 when I was still in college. I didn’t follow them immediately but after I graduated, I came up here.
OF: Why did your family move to Wisconsin?
DN: My parents had lived in La Valle, Wisconsin. It was the initial corporate downsizing era. My dad’s job got downsized out of existence with Oscar-Mayer. That’s why they moved up here. I relocated right to Pittsville when we purchased a meat locker here.
OF: What was behind purchasing the meat-processing facility?
DN: It was more my parents and what they were going to do through their retirement years. He had worked at Oscar-Mayer and everything was automated there. This kind of work was just way too heavy for him at that point of his life. They worked there for quite awhile with me but I had already relocated and it would have been hard to undo everything that had been done so we just made the best of it. 35 years later, and here we are!
OF: What are some of your hobbies outside of work and city government?
DN: We’ve always liked boating. We’ve owned several sailboats and powerboats. We’ve also had a long line of family dogs and that is one of the more enjoyable parts of life for us. We’ve taken our boats out on Lake Michigan and Lake Superior. We’ve taken them down to Table Rock Lake in Arkansas in the Ozarks but our typical go-to lake is Castle Rock Lake in-between Juneau and Adams County.
OF: How long have you been in city government?
DN: This is my third term. In my first elected office position, I was elected to the city council in 1992.
OF: What got you interested in city government?
DN: One of the elders [in Pittsville] was on the city council and he would bend my ear about different things. He was like, ‘Well, you’re young. You should run for councilperson.’ I didn’t really understand a lot about how things could go as far as the framework that city government operated in. He was very helpful in explaining his point of view and being a mentor.
OF: What is something you’ve accomplished while holding the title of mayor that you’re pretty proud of?
DN: We’ve updated our water treatment facility, that was pretty antiquated. We have a broader area of governmental employees. I think when I first started there were maybe four employees and now there’s seven-plus with part-timers. People usually don’t want to hear that government is expanding but the responsibilities that have been undertaken by the government in that time have also expanded. The thing that I’m most proud of changes from time to time. I like that our city officials take an active role in the management process of such a small community. I’d like to think the department heads feel supported by the city government although I’m sure there’s times where they feel frustrated by the city government.
OF: What is something the Pittsville city government is working on right now?
DN: We’ve been working very diligently on growing the community. I think one aspect of my responsibility is as mayor is trying to maximize the amount of development that we can have. I know in 2019, we had over 10 percent growth which for a small city is almost unheard of.
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