MANITOWOC, WI — General Motors dealer and community activist Bob Pietroske is heading to a familiar spot, city hall, for a photo shoot of him as Ward's 2006 Dealer of the Year.
“Maybe they'll think I'm running for mayor,” he laughs. “Better they're talking about me than someone else.”
Ironically, Pietroske used to own the land on which the city hall is built. He sold it to the city in 1990, prior to moving to a new facility.
Just a few months ago, Pietroske galvanized local business leaders to convince Manitowoc's city council to stop a 28% storm water fee it was planning to levy on the city's citizens.
Pietroske says he learned of the impending council vote on a Friday afternoon. The vote was scheduled for the following Monday night.
By 9:30 a.m. Monday, 32 business leaders gathered in Pietroske's dealership to strategize on how to get the city council to delay the vote. They were successful, and within several months the measure was dead.
That's one example of the effect Pietroske has had on his community through the years as a car dealer and citizen.
Pietroske is a mainstay in this community with a population of 70,000. For 29 years, he has owned a number of dealerships in the area. He since has cut back to one store, Pietroske Inc., selling Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chevrolet medium truck, GMC and Pontiac brands.
“That's all I want,” he says.