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When: Tuesday, April 2nd, 2024; polls open 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Find your voting location at myvote.wi. All absentee ballots must be requested by March 28th, 2024 and turned in no later than 8:00 p.m. on April 4th either by mail or dropped off in-person. In-Person absentee voting will start Tuesday, March 19th and end Friday, March 29th. This will take place at City Hall. You can vote Monday-Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. If you plan to vote by mail, voters are strongly encourage to mail their ballots as soon as possible to ensure their ballot is received by the deadline.

What it’s about: There are 45 candidates running for the 29 seats this April. The Eau Claire City Council includes 29 members who each serve a two-year term. The candidates include:


District 4           Stella Pagonis (Incumbent), Jon D. Olson


Who can vote: The election is open to all eligible voters in the Eau Claire Area School District.

Where you vote and who is on your ballot:

Go to
Enter your voting address to learn which races are on your ballot and where you vote.

Why this questionnaire: The Good Government Council (GGC) is a committee of the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce dedicated to encouraging voter participation and providing members of the business community with non-biased information about candidates’ positions on important issues. Although the Chamber is active in policy issues, it is non-partisan and does not endorse political candidates.

Candidate Responses:

1. What are your background and qualifications for this position, and what value will you bring to the County Board personally?

Stella Pagonis

I am a lawyer practicing in children's advocacy, including child protection and adoptions. I have been on county board for about 18 years, and chaired Finance committee for ten years. I am familiar with all aspects of county operations and understand the job of the county.

Counties are responsible for delivering state and federal services to the citizens of the community. The responsibilities that we all know about include paved roads, county parks, sheriff’s department, and zoning. Other responsibilities include economic support, meals on wheels, children’s long term care, Veteran’s Services, Aging and Disability options counseling, and child protective services.

My work experience has provided me insight to the county’s human services department and the courts. My work on finance and budget has introduced me to every department and its financial needs. My value is understanding what the county does and the best and most efficient method of delivering services to county residents.

2. What should the County’s role be in responding to the healthcare crisis created by the HSHS and Prevea closings?

Stella Pagonis

The County has relied on these healthcare facilities for mental health commitments and drug treatment, and due to their closure, the county will need to find alternate locations which sadly are far away. The county utilizes these healthcare facilities for mental health commitments and for drug and alcohol detox. If an adult or a youth appears to be dangerous to himself or others, the county must hold that individual until a doctor clears him or the court commits him. These short-term hospital stays rely on beds in mental health wards.

The closure of the hospitals and the treatment center can have consequences for youth. Placing a youth many miles away from home, due to a mental health breakdown or drug treatment, is unacceptable.

Due to this, closure of the hospitals and treatment center can have a major fiscal impact on the county.

3. What is the County Board’s role in promoting economic development, business maintenance and commercial growth in the county?

Stella Pagonis

The county needs to work collaboratively with Economic Development Center, Momentum West, and the Incubation Center to promote new and innovative businesses to come into Eau Claire County. The county has a stable and vibrant workforce. The eastern portion of the county, especially, has space for new facilities that to be built. The county traditionally has approved having tax incremental districts to provide municipalities the additional increment to pay down debt for infrastructure.

The county can help promote a stable workforce, good schools, excellent outdoor recreation and established neighborhoods to attract additional workers.

4. How and on which issues and services should Eau Claire County work more collaboratively with the municipalities in its jurisdiction?

Stella Pagonis

The county and the municipalities can collaborate on housing, especially HUD housing, immigration services, transportation throughout the county, municipal business development though tax incremental funding districts, re-zoning for increased housing areas, improved services for the elderly and disabled, and library services.

5. What should the County’s role be through its DHS department in working with the City of Eau Claire and other municipalities on issues related to mental health and the unhoused population?

Stella Pagonis

The Department of Human Services has a specific role in working with people with mental health issues. DHS has comprehensive community services which provides mental health services to the community, both adults and youth. The matter of the unhoused is a different issue because county housing is an adjunct department and not a direct department within the county. Nonetheless, county housing has done an excellent job applying for housing grants and working with the Continuum of Care to obtain rapid rehousing vouchers as well as rental vouchers.

Posted by Mallory Williams Governmental Affairs Intern

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