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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 18          James Dunning (Incumbent), Jacob Hackbarth


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?

James Dunning

Being a County Supervisor is a learning experience and after 18 years of service, I have a knowledge that can be beneficial to the employees and the residents of Eau Claire County. My Budget Committee and Planning and Development Committee experiences have improved with additional years of service. My environmental engineering background provides a level of expertise to protect our groundwater, to incorporate the sustainability program that the County has committed to, and to help implement a rail transportation program that is being promoted. My engineering background also helps me to evaluate zoning and construction issues. It also helped me in my latest project as chairperson of the building committee that is providing a next generation highway maintenance shop. There is a need for my experience.

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

James Dunning

The County has very little direct influence in this healthcare crisis, but it is needed to look at all the subsequent problems that the closure creates. It needs to be a voice in the solutions. There will be a need to assist in the placement of the mental health patients currently at the hospital and to assist in future cases. Issues of increased unemployment and family crisis problems will also be part of the County’s responsibility.

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

James Dunning

The County has a role in providing a community of fair taxes, of creating an atmosphere to promote growth. This can be done by planning for the increase in labor required and supporting needed infrastructure changes.

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

James Dunning

The County needs to work with the villages and townships in the areas of broadband, land use, emergency response, groundwater protection, waste management and healthcare. This will require the various departments to reach out to the governmental units to include them in grant applications, program design, and various zoning issues.

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?

James Dunning

The DHS can assist the city and other municipalities by establishing programs to reach out to families that have mental health problems. They can make connections with local and state agencies. The unhoused population is more difficult since the County does not have sufficient resources to provide actual residential locations. It can work with programs that assist a person leaving a judicial program with options to reduce homelessness.


Posted by Mallory Williams Governmental Affairs Intern

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