New London may adopt sister city
Committee recommends affiliation with Killaloe, Ireland
By Robert Cloud
The city’s Economic Development Committee voted July 26 to recommend to Common Council that New London authorize a charter establishing a sister city affiliation with village of Killaloe, County Clare, Ireland.
Mayor Mark Herter told the committee that he received an email from Tony O’Brien, mayor of County Clare.
Herter said having a sister city would have a mutual impact on economic development for both communities.
“I don’t see any negatives that came out of this,” Herter said. “There were a lot of positives as far as what we could do as a city, bringing their culture here, learning, our school districts, our downtowns, our hotels.”
Carie and Larry Katerzynske spoke to the committee on behalf of the sister city affiliation.
The Katerzynskes were the 2014 Irish Roase and Irish Man and former members of the Shamrock Club that sponsors the St. Patrick’s Day parade and festivities in New Dublin every year.
They have visited Killaloe, a small city on the River Shannon in County Clare and are friends with O’Brien.
“We have been working on this for 15 years,” Carie Katerzynske said. “It started as a project for the Shamrock Club.”
Idea first proposed 15 years ago
She said the club brought the idea to the city council, but the idea fell apart in 2008.
In a memo to the committee, City Administrator Chad Hoerth said the proposal “was put on a back burner with concerns on costs and whether the city would need to finance trips to Ireland.”
Carie Katerzynske said the only costs would be the expense of placing signs outside city limits identifying Killaloe as New London’s sister city.
Larry Katerzynske noted that Waupaca has had a sister city relationship with Nio, Japan, for 20 years at no cost to the city because it is funded by private donations and by families who participate in the exchange program.
“It’s what you make of it,” Larry Katerzynske said. “It’s what citizens make of it.”
“The benefit for this relationship would be making New London a possible destination for residents in Killaloe or other areas of Ireland to visit in the United States,” Hoerth said in his memo.
The Economic Development Committee voted unanimously in favor of the resolution to recommend the sister city affiliation to the council.
The resolution will go before the council at its meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 16.