Call for city council contestants concluded

Tom Giffey |

Like action movie heroes sliding to safety just before the giant doors of doom snap shut in their paths, a host of hopefuls have completed the first leg of the quest to join the Eau Claire City Council.

As of 5pm Wednesday – the deadline for would-be council members to file their nomination paperwork – 10 candidates had emerged for five at-large council seats. Two of them are incumbents: Mark Olson, 1628 Aylmer Court, who was first elected in 2010, and Catherine Emmanuelle, 130 Hudson St., who was appointed to the council in September.

The other eight names on the April 2 ballot will be Eric Getten, 2214 Deblene Lane; Luke Hoppe, 414 1/2 Water St.; Steven Judd, 1929 Second St.; Eric Larsen, 128 E. Grant Ave.; Monica Lewis, 2030 Welsh Drive; David Strobel, 1210 Barland St.; Michael Turner, 1017 1/2 E. Grand Ave.; and Michael Moua Xiong, 913 E. Tyler Ave.

Because three incumbent council members – Larry Balow, Jackie Pavelski and Thomas Vue – won’t be seeking re-election, at least three of these newcomers will join the council. (Barring a write-in campaign, of course.)

To the uninitiated, the make-up of the Eau Claire City Council can be confusing. Here’s a quick primer: The council is divided between five at-large seats (these candidates can be from anywhere in the city and all eligible voters in the city can cast ballots for them) and five district seats (these candidates only seek the votes of those who reside in the same aldermanic districts). A separately elected council president brings the total number of council members to 11. This year residents elect the at-large members; last spring, they elected members for district seats; and next year, they will vote for council president. All council members serve three-year terms. (We said it could be confusing.)

Keep an eye on Volume One for more information on the candidates and important community issues as the election nears. In the mean time, to learn more about how and where to vote in the city of Eau Claire, check out this website.