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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 29members who each serve a two-year term. The candidates include:


District 2          Brent Knutson, Deirdre Jenkins


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?

Brent Knutson

I am Combat veteran, worked for Nestle health science 21 years, worked at Triniteam half way house, and now a small business owner (Chickadees family restaurant). At Nestle I negotiated prices on parts and supplies, dealt with contractors and strict deadlines. Working for Triniteam I was in charge of felons just being released fro prison, we helped find them jobs and got them back into society. Being a small business owner I understand the difficulties small businesses are facing.

Deirdre Jenkins

I have been a caregiver for 42 years both by fate and by choice. Presently, I work with the aging population and end of life. I have had the privilege and opportunity to learn a lot from people about what matters to them, what they need and what makes a life well lived when looking back. I am also an educated musician. Listening and collaborating will be the skills I lead with if elected to the County Board.

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

Brent Knutson

Aside from Mayo being overwhelmed with the HSHS customers trying to find new providers. We are losing one of the only mental health providers and drug and alcohol abuse facilities. The county needs to find more counselors and make drug and alcohol programs readily available.

Deirdre Jenkins

This crisis will impact us in so many ways, on so many levels - from loss of services, jobs, and access, to the burden of how we will collectively compensate for all of these things. I believe that the county will be working with this issue for quite some time, that there is not a clear and easy solution at the moment. It will take creativity and commitment to find our way through, as a community.

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

Brent Knutson

We need to make our Community attractive to perspective companies looking to open companies, factories, and small businesses. Tax breaks to companies that that guarantee to hire large groups of our residents. We have to keep our younger generation here. Good paying jobs will do that.

Deirdre Jenkins

I have witnessed so much positive growth in Eau Claire in the past 10 years, and I believe that the county plays a role in that. I am committed to our city’s pledge for carbon neutrality and considerate use of resources for moving into the uncertainty of the future in a way that both courageous and innovative.

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

Brent Knutson

Our court system is broke. We have criminals walking the streets that have severe charges. The counties court system can’t keep up with the crime level. Eau Claire county doesn’t have enough Public Defenders. Criminals are walking the streets with charges that are 4-5 years old. This is unacceptable, and threatens our counties safety. The police officer’s are doing their job but once they hit the court house they are released. These people need to be held accountable for their actions.

Deirdre Jenkins

To me, we are strong as a community when we work together for the common good of the people and the place that we inhabit together. When there are opportunities to collaborate, I believe it is wise to do so. Working together to ensure that we have resources for future generations, that we leave behind a legacy of a healthy, vibrant place and members of the community, is a promise worth making to each other. We can achieve so much together, if we decide to do so. I remain hopeful that we will.

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?

Brent Knutson

As far as the homeless issues we are facing we need to “ Empower the homeless instead of enabling” We need more programs to get these people back on their feet. We should get information on these individuals- past work history- job skills-etc. set up a database the business owners could call and request the individuals and offer them jobs. As far as mental health, I have hired and presently employ individuals with cognitive issues and physical limitations. Employers need to hire these individuals. With mentoring, positive reinforcement, and patience these individuals find a sense of self worth and pride. People need to give these people a chance. They can be some of the most loyal employees you could ask for.

Deirdre Jenkins

At no fault of their own, many are struggling and suffering. We all deserve to thrive and complete our lives at peace. I believe healthcare is a right, and directly connected to the pursuit of happiness. There are solutions. Healthcare for all, is possible. If we think out further, caring for our young generations with quality education, staffed by teachers and support staff that are well compensated, and quality nutrition… these are the building blocks of a healthy life. We can respond to the needs of today and we can create a better future.


Posted by Mallory Williams Governmental Affairs Intern

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