Student voters important in local elections

Story by Breann Schossow

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Catherine Emmanuelle

Why run?
Emmanuelle said she is running for City Council because she thinks the city will be stronger if more people are civically involved.

Most important issue in upcoming election: Emmanuelle said the budget is an issue of importance, especially because of tough economic times.

“We’ll need to be creative and positive partners in our community to know how to do more with less,” she said.

Why should students vote?
“Local policy certainly affects their lives,” she said. Emmanuelle said student access to bike trails and parking challenges are some issues that would concern students.

Allen Myren

Most important issue in upcoming election: Myren said the jail expansion is a major issue.

Why should students vote?
In addition to the jail expansion, Myren said transit is another problem that affects students.

“I’m looking for student input, too,” he said. “I would love to sit down with students and find out what we could do to help them make their experience at
Eau Claire better.”

Mark Olson

Most important issue in upcoming election: Olson said he thinks taxes are one of the biggest issues in the election and for the city of Eau Claire.

Why should students vote?
“I feel that anything the council does has an effect the on students,” Olson said.

Students have the opportunity to get a lot out of the community, he said, so it’s important that they’re involved. “Hopefully this will help keep students as a part of the community,” he added.

Larry Balow

Why run?
Balow, an incumbent, said he decided to seek re-election because he would like to continue his work on projects that he has been involved in as a member of City Council.

Most important issue in upcoming election: Balow said balancing city services with shrinking revenue is a top priority.

Why should students vote?
“Local government can affect people very quickly. The thing is that people have got to remember is that’s the only voice you’ve really got – get out and vote.”

Allan Hofland

Why run?
Hofland, who has served as City Council president in the past, said he’s running because of his concern over the lack of cooperation between the city and the county.

Most important issue in upcoming election:
Finances – the state budget will be tight in the next year.
Why should students vote?

A tighter budget will affect student’s tuition, and UW-Eau Claire students will already see an increase in tuition, he said. Also, some students directly, or indirectly, pay property taxes through their rent.

Dana Wachs

Why run?
Wachs was appointed to the City Council in September and said he is running because of his concern for the city.

“I’m doing this because I care about the city very much,” he said.

Most important issue in upcoming election:
Wachs said the decreased revenue sharing from the national and state governments and the location of the jail are two major issues that he’s concerned with.

Why should students vote?
“These people (students) belong to the community while they are there (at school),” he said. “They are fully-functioning adult residents and citizens of the community. They have a right to have a say in it.”

Jackie Pavelski
Why run?

Pavelski said she’s running for re-elections because she would like to advance additional ideas and workable solutions.

Most important issue in upcoming election: Pavelski said important issues facing the City Council in the future, including transportation and, most importantly, a high speed passenger rail service to Eau Claire and the Chippewa Valley.

Why should students vote?
Students should vote because they’re also a part of the community. However, she said students should mobilize around issues that hit home for them.

Brett Stapper

Why run?
Stapper said he decided to run to get something done instead of complaining about it.

Most important issue in upcoming election: Wachs said the jail location is an important issue for the city.

Why should students vote?
“I think they should vote just to be a part of their community.”

Thomas Vue

Why run?
Vue, an incumbent running for his fourth term on City Council, said his main reasons for running again are to support new and existing businesses, especially in the downtown area, and to increase the quality of the streets and sidewalks of the city.

Why should students vote?
Vue encourages students to vote in the upcoming election. He said there are several issues at hand that could affect students, including changes in public transportation, improvements to city roads, sidewalks and recreational trails, and the possibility of a high-speed train being routed through Eau Claire.

For an in-depth profile on each candidate, visit

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