The midterm elections are over, and you have chosen your statewide officials. But another election is looming, this one touching more local issues—your home, your parks, your job, and, perhaps above all, your children’s education. The Eau Claire and Altoona City Councils, as well as the Eau Claire and Altoona School Boards, have seats that will be up at the April 2 election. This means you have a chance to influence the direction of those bodies, and, by extension, the direction of the policies that matter most.
You can do more than just vote. In fact, you can run for office yourself, or you can convince a friend to undertake that challenge instead.
Given the wide range of points of view and experience among citizens in the community, it's valuable to everyone to have those with business experience participate in the process because of their practical knowledge of the economic environment and the impact of government regulations, taxes and other governmental policies. When working with educational policies, employers know which skills are necessary for practical success in the workplace, and can evaluate which programs will cultivate those skills most effectively in our students.
In whatever way you wish to participate, we at the Chamber urge you to get involved, and we have provided information to do so below.
Eau Claire City Council
Six positions on the Eau Claire City Council will be up for grabs this spring. The Council has eleven members overall, five at-large representatives, five elected from districts, and the City Council President. The current holders of the district seats were elected at the 2018 election for three years and are not on the ballot next spring.
Perhaps most prominent, the remainder of the City Council President's term will be open. Andrew Werthmann, who represents District 5, currently serves as the Acting President, a position for which he was chosen by the Council after former Council President Kerry Kincaid, whose term was scheduled to run to 2020, resigned last spring. One year remains in the presidential term, and Werthmann has announced that he will run for it. To run, one must submit a minimum of 200 and maximum of 400 signatures to the City Clerk's office by January 2. Forms for those signatures are available there as well. Contact information for the office is provided below.
If the presidency doesn't suit you, five at large seats will be open as well. At-large representatives serve for three years, and are accountable to the whole city, not just a district. Their work is vital to solving important issues facing the community. These seats also give their occupants a unique opportunity to develop a deep knowledge of a diverse set of issues. To run for an at-large seat, one must submit 100-200 signatures to the City Clerk's office by January 2.
The at-large representatives whose seats will be up for election in the Spring include Kate Beaton, Catherine Emmanuelle, David Strobel, Terry Weld and Michael Xiong. If an incumbent decides not to seek re-election, he or she must submit a non-candidacy form, which is due before the end of December.
To run for an of these positions, an Eau Claire resident must pick up a signature form from the City Clerk's office. It's currently located at the temporary City Hall at 2020 Prairie Lane. A packet is available for potential candidates which includes all required information and forms. If you have questions, call (715) 839-4912. The office is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, except December 24 and 25, and January 1.
Altoona City Council
On the Altoona City Council, three of its district seats—Districts 4, 5 and 6—will be open, each term lasting two years. Altoona's City Council has six members overall, with the elections for each district alternating each year. Altoona also has a Mayor, who is elected to a two-year term in even numbered years.
Here are the names of the incumbents from those district seats up in 2019:
Incumbents are required to submit a non-candidacy form if they do not wish to run again.
To run for one of these positions, an Altoona resident must pick up a signature form from the City Clerk's office and submit 20-40 signatures to that office by January 2. The address for the office is 1303 Lynn Ave and the phone numberis (715) 839-6092.
Eau Claire School Board
A position on the school board gives you a direct avenue toward effecting policies for our community's educational system.
The terms run for three years, and three positions will be open in the spring. The incumbents are Chris Hambuch-Boyle, Aaron Harder and Eric Torres. Overall, the School Board has seven members.
To run, you must turn in 100-200 signatures to the Administrative Building (500 Main Street) by January 2. If you have questions about the process, you can reach the office at (715) 852-3000.
Altoona School Board
Two positions will be up for election to determine who sits on the board for the next three years. The incumbents are Bradley Poquette and David Rowe. Overall, there are five members of the Altoona School Board.
Running in this election requires 20-100 signatures, all of which you must submit to the School District Clerk's office by January 2. The address of that office is 1903 Bartlett Avenue, and its phone number is (715) 839-6032.
Questions or connections needed?
If you have questions about the process or simply want to touch base about considering a candidacy, contact Scott Rogers, the Chamber's Governmental Affairs & Workforce Director, at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 715-858-0616.
Posted by Nate Kane, Legislative Intern
Eau Claire Chamber
The Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce has more than 1,200 members.