City Council president Terry Weld plans to seek a full three-year term in the April 7 election, saying he believes continuity is important in the position.
“I’m looking forward to it,” Weld said. “It’s been a great experience so far. I enjoy the opportunity and the responsibility, and I enjoy working with the council. They are an engaged and energetic council. And I want to keep going.”
Candidates could begin collecting signatures on Sunday. Incumbents need to submit non-candidacy forms by Dec. 27, and all candidates must turn in nomination paperwork by Jan. 7.
Weld was elected to a one-year term as council president on April 2. He defeated council member Andrew Werthmann, who had been named acting council president in June 2018 after Kerry Kincaid stepped down from the presidency mid-term.
Weld served two years on the council prior to becoming president, and he also served on the Plan Commission for six years.
Werthmann announced Monday he would not run for council president.
“I am so appreciative of the support in the community for my candidacy this past April, and have thought a lot about whether to run again, but ultimately I feel our City Council is on track and able to accomplish the goals and issues I ran on — pushing for affordable homes for everyone, investing in our neighborhoods especially older ones, and doing our part to fight climate change by achieving a citywide goal of 100% clean energy by 2050,” Werthmann said. “As a City Councilmember, alongside great colleagues, it is clear to me we have a City Council able to move this community forward and ensure that it works for absolutely everyone, especially those who have not been included in our recent success and growth.”
The council president election is the only position up for election in the city, though the City Council has a vacancy after at-large councilwoman Laura Benjamin resigned last week. Benjamin was elected in April.
The council will discuss filling her seat at a Dec. 10 meeting. The council could appoint someone to fill the seat or possibly add the race to the April ballot.
The Eau Claire school bistrict has two expiring seats: Vice president Lori Bica, who joined the board in June 2017, and Charles Vue, who joined the board in April 2014.
The school board Monday night appointed UW-Stout chief business officer Phil Lyons to replace Joe Luginbill, who resigned last month. That seat is up for reelection in April 2020.
In Altoona, Mayor Brendan Pratt and council members Dale Stuber (ward 1), Red Hanks (ward 2) and Andrew Schlafer (ward 3) are up for re-election.
Stuber, who has served more than a decade, said he is hopeful he will retain his seat.
“I just enjoy being involved in the city, and being abreast of what is going on,” Stuber said. “The city is growing and developing, and it’s fun being part of it.”
The Altoona school board has two seats up in April: board president Robin Elvig and Taylor Neff. Elvig, who was elected in 2008, became board president in May 2016. Neff won his seat in April and is wrapping up his first year on the board.
In Chippewa Falls, school board member Amy Mason said Monday she isn’t seeking a fourth term.
Mason was elected to the board in 2011, and is wrapping up nine years on the board, including two years as school board president. She thanked everyone who has voted for her and supported her over the past nine years.
“It’s been an unforgettable experience, but I don’t have the time to devote to this position it deserves,” Mason said. “Hopefully, I will return to public service in the future. By submitting my non-candidacy form early, hopefully it will encourage people to run.”
Mason said her work schedule now often calls for her to travel. She has attended some school board meetings via video.
“It’s awkward for everyone,” Mason said. “It’s hard to read body language and tone when you are on TV.”
The Chippewa Falls school board has two seats up in April. Pete Lehmann, who also was elected in 2011 alongside Mason, said he hadn’t decided yet whether to seek a fourth term.
The Chippewa Falls City Council has three seats up in April: Rob Kiefer (ward 2), Chuck Hull (ward 4) and Paul Nadreau (ward 6). Chippewa Falls city clerk Bridget Givens said she has given each of them their nomination packets, and none of them had indicated to her they weren’t seeking re-election.
Jan Traxler didn’t hesitate to begin collecting signatures for re-election to the Menomonie City Council. Traxler collected the 20 signatures she needed in her ward and turned in all her paperwork Monday morning at City Hall.
“It was all door-to-door,” Traxler said. “This is my third time I’ve run. No reason not to (collect signatures immediately.)”
Traxler, who is retired, said she is proud of the work the city has accomplished in her term in office, from revitalization in downtown and growth in industrial parks to dredging lakes.
“I like what I do, and I like the people I work with,” she said. “And there is always something going on.”
The Menomonie City Council has 11 wards, with the even-numbered seats up for re-election on April 7.
Traxler represents the city’s second ward. Other incumbents up for re-election in April are: Robin Sweeney (ward 4), Leland Schwebs (ward 6), council president Mary Solberg (ward 8) and Ryland Erdman (ward 10).
“I’m not aware that any have indicated they are not running,” said Menomonie city administrator Lowell Prange. “(Re-election forms) were distributed to them in the council packets last week, including their non-candidacy forms, if they choose to do that.”
The Menomonie school board has three seats up for re-election in April: board president Amy Riddle-Swanson, Daniel Paulson and Heather Klanderman.