STEVENS POINT (WAOW) _ The mayor of Stevens Point says he has filed bankruptcy after his decade-old clothing store suffered huge losses during the recession and economic downturn.
Andrew Halverson, who was elected mayor in 2007 and re-elected in 2011, says the Chapter 7 bankruptcy, filed Feb. 26 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Madison, listed debts totaling $200,000 to 55 creditors.
Halverson's clothing store, Andrews Limited, opened in 2002 and closed in 2012, he said.
"The recession took its toll on many small businesses and it took its toll on mine," he said. "We had no where else to turn but to use this mechanism to protect our family."
Halverson said that before the recession, his store regularly brought in $30,000 to $50,000 a month, but the downturn chopped that to $15,000 to $20,000. He and his wife borrowed money and used credit cards to keep going but revenues never rebounded, the mayor said.
"It's debt we had to take on to try and keep a dream alive," he said
Halverson, who earns $67,000 in salary as mayor, said his personal financial troubles do not reflect on how the city is being run, although he knows critics will likely surface.
"I am the mayor and that means fair game for conversation and I understand that," Halverson said. "The city is in excellent shape."
Halverson has two years remaining on his current term as mayor.