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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 10          Nancy Coffey (Incumbent), Keith Stearns


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?

Nancy Coffey

I want to continue to serve my community in a positive & comprehensive manner. District 10 residents elected me for the last three consecutive terms. My County Board colleagues elected me as Chair. I’m proud of the respectful communication & healthy debate that has transpired under my leadership as Chair. As chair of both the Board & the Committee on Administration, I have helped build a strong fiscal position and vital partnerships to work toward innovative county solutions.
I have been an engaged District 10 resident with my husband & family for nearly 40 years. I volunteer for Feed My People Food Bank & Market Match at the Downtown Farmers Market. I started my career as a public school teacher. I retired after working over 25 years for ECC Extension in community development. My career gave me with valuable county government operations experience & the skills to bring diverse groups of community members together to build successful programs within a limited budget.

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

Nancy Coffey

If the 1,400 newly jobless can’t secure area employment, it will likely reduce the county property tax base, net new construction & sales tax revenue. Services ECC lost: mental health/detox, Birth-3, & emergency response services. Mental health services provided at local hospitals invoice private insurance or Medicaid, not ECC. Services & transportation to Winnebago Mental Hospital are $1,700/day plus travel; they will direct bill ECC. These mandated services aren’t covered. ECC is determining the medical closures impact to involved departments. Then we will decide whether to delay capital projects & filling staff vacancies to cover the shortfall. Unexpected events support the need for prudent fund balance management. I’m grateful to CV Chamber of Commerce for starting a HSHS/Prevea Recovery Task Force. I serve on it’s Government Advisory Group. Groups will work toward sustainable healthcare & economic, short & long term recovery. Legislators will be informed about needed assistance.

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

Nancy Coffey

ECC’s promotion of business & public/private partnerships facilitate economic growth. ECC continues to pursue coordinated city, county & regional partnerships to strengthen community efforts. Such alliances include city/county partnerships like our City-County Health Dept, environmental sustainability initiatives, county/town government cooperation & comprehensive development plans. Improving ECC rural broadband is vital. Using ARPA funds, ECC has partnered with towns to increase connectivity. By year end, 98% of ECC homes & businesses will have broadband coverage. ECC & seven surrounding counties have written a Rural Partners Network grant to construct an expansive recreation & marketing plan. Eau Claire works with others to solve issues-it’s the fabric of our resilience. With great public schools, CV Technical College & UW Eau Claire, regional medical services, businesses, a strong infrastructure, parks, waterways & entertainment; ECC is a vibrant place to live & raise a family.

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

Nancy Coffey

ECC & the City need to increase collaboration:
*with the Sheriff, City Police and ECC Human Services social workers to improve mental health outcomes & jail deflection.
* on homelessness, helping the unsheltered to secure safe spaces, housing and jobs. When we don’t take care of the problem, there are more unsheltered citizens in front of businesses, in parking ramps, and in our jails.
*on water quality/quantity & carbon neutrality initiatives to increase impact. ECC Groundwater Advisory Committee has submitted an Army Corp of Engineers proposal to develop a groundwater flow map to be utilized to make sound development decisions. Using ECC American Recovery Plan funds, a UWEC professor & students are randomly testing private ECC residential wells. These tests should provide data to identify any pockets of a variety of contaminants so they can be addressed. ECC is developing a Community Climate Action & Resilience Plan toward achievement of 100% renewable energy by 2050.

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?

Nancy Coffey

ECC, City & schools face consequences of substance abuse & mental health issues. The City-County Health Dept, County Sheriff & Dept of Human Services obtained a grant to implement an evidence-based jail deflection program. Using a peer support model will reduce jail costs & improve outcomes. ECC Opioid Task Force works to curtail substance abuse with available Narcan units & fentanyl test strips, medication treatment maintenance while individuals are incarcerated, support of a public health specialist & substance abuse peer support training. These City-County efforts are a start. We need to work upstream to curb drug abuse & mental health issues before we’re in crisis mode. This includes: increased early education programs, affordable childcare, increased school & private counseling, and innovative efforts to help troubled youth. We need a united community effort in mental health & homeless/affordable housing issues.


Posted by Mallory Williams Governmental Affairs Intern

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