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Good Government Council: Eau Claire County Board Questionnaire District 1

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 1 Caleb Aichele*, Todd Meyer (Registered write-in candidate)
* indicated candidate did not respond to questionnaire

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?

Todd Meyer

I am the incumbent representative of Eau Claire County District 1 running as a write-in candidate. I was elected 1st Vice Chair of the county board last year, while still in my first term. In this capacity, I work closely with Chair Coffey and serve on the committee on administration. I am the chair of the county broadband committee, a member of the Planning & Development committee, a member of the county EMS study committee, and serve on the Eau Claire Lake District board as well as the Eau Claire Housing board overseeing the expansion of the Fairchild Senior Living apartments. I was also chair of the Town of Fairchild board for many years. Professionally, I am an instructor at Chippewa Valley Technical College; prior, I owned and operated a design studio and retail business in Fairchild specializing in decorative architectural restoration and garden art. I have degrees in Fine Art and Political Science.

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

Todd Meyer 

The HSHS/Prevea closure is a potentially drastic blow to the entire region's healthcare infrastructure - loss of rural clinics and treatment facilities, loss of needed healthcare workers, a shortage of ER capacity, and a cascade of other effects. Losing so many local psychiatric care beds alone could be staggering because sending adult Chapter 51 (involuntary commitment) patients to the state facility at Winnebago is not covered by Medicaid so the county would be covering the entire cost. The county board is actively investigating options as this situation develops, and as vice chair of the board I meet weekly with the chair and administrator to consider how we might help find solutions or alternatives as information becomes available. We are grateful to the Chamber for forming the recovery task force so that the region's stakeholder groups can work in concert to address short term issues and find a path to recovery.

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

Todd Meyer

As the cities of Eau Claire and Altoona grow, new business siting and urban housing costs are become concerns on the west side of the county. In the meantime, our rural communities on the east side dwindle and the average ages of their residents increase. I believe that one of the keys to halting and reversing this trend is high-quality rural broadband. In an excellent example of fostering public/private partnerships, the county board wisely allocated a portion of its ARPA funds to broadband infrastructure development and digital equity/access. As chair of the county broadband committee, I have worked with our county staff, town boards and ISPs to extend service to the greatest possible number of rural sites. Our committee has partnered on multiple successful grant applications which have brought millions in state funds to lay fiber optic cable to 98% of our homes and businesses by the end of this year. But this job is 2% not done, and I would like the chance to finish it.

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

Todd Meyer

As the Eau Claire River Watershed Coalition grows, we have the opportunity to work with the region's districts, associations, and municipalities in a coordinated way to maintain our lakes and ponds while also gaining the data necessary to improve surface water quality throughout the system. The dams along the Eau Claire River were originally built for flood control, a function that is likely to become increasingly important now, but the bodies formed by these dams have also become valuable assets to the entire Chippewa Valley. Another area where the county and the municipalities can work together to improve is rural service awareness and provision. For example, I sit on the county EMS study committee exploring the feasibility of providing some sort of countywide EMS service. This is a complex problem involving all levels of government, and I am determined to see that any approach attempted will be fair to our small towns and villages.

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?

Todd Meyer 

The county needs to continue to be proactive and address root causes, identify and connect those in need with services, and prevent escalations that result in avoidable detentions. Our county recently secured a grant to develop a peer support-based jail deflection program coordinated by the DHS, the Sheriff's office, and the City/County Health Dept. County staff will be critical in extending this program out to rural areas. Our Opioid Task Force is working to make lifesaving overdose treatment available across the county. The county board will also soon consider a proposal from Supervisor Geboy for a day center to connect our area's unhoused with service providers. These are all examples of steps in the right direction, but the HSHS/Prevea closure creates a situation where the necessity for the county's involvement becomes even more acute. The board must now also work closely with partners to replace the essential services we stand to lose in the near future.

Posted by Leah Brawdy Governmental Affairs Intern

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