Tuesday’s ballot will include more than presidential candidates

Local leaders vie for a spot on City Council

Kate+Beaton%2C+left%2C+Tim+Tewalt+and+Catherine+Emmanuelle+attend+a+question-and-answer+forum+Student+Senate+hosted+on+campus+last+week.

Photo by Stephanie Kuski

Kate Beaton, left, Tim Tewalt and Catherine Emmanuelle attend a question-and-answer forum Student Senate hosted on campus last week.

The ballot for Tuesday’s election will include not only presidential candidates, but also five at-large City Council seats and one District 1 seat.

Five candidates are running for the at-large seats, who will represent the entire city of Eau Claire for a three-year term. Two candidates are running for a District 1 seat, which covers the Northeast portion of Eau Claire.

In preparation for the April 5 election, the Good Government Council sent all candidates a questionnaire about their stances on various issues.

Based on that questionnaire, here’s what the candidates are all about:

 

City Council candidates, at-large

Kate Beaton

A newcomer to the City Council ballot, Beaton graduated from UW-Eau Claire in 2014 with a degree in social work and environmental science. Beaton currently works for UW-Extension promoting local food. As a student, Beaton started Market Match as a social work intern, a food access program hosted at the farmer’s market. For every dollar FoodShare participants spend, Market Match gives them an additional dollar, up to $10 per week.

Beaton emphasized the importance of local food and sustainability, as well as enhancing alternative transportation networks and targeting poverty issues within the city.

As a newly graduated student, Beaton also noted her willingness to listen to student voices. She advocates for landlord licensing and increasing accountability of landlords to protect students in off-campus housing.

“As a City Councilwoman, my main priority will be to reach out to the people of Eau Claire, listen to them and react to what they have to say,” Beaton said in the GGC questionnaire.

 

Catherine Emmanuelle

A City Council member incumbent who serves on several local committees, Emmanuelle supports exploring the state of poverty, building community for all people and advocating for meaningful civic engagement, according to the GCC questionnaire .

Emmanuelle graduated with a degree in women’s studies and a minor in economics from UW-Eau Claire. She is a teacher at UW-Extension and works with leadership development for immigrant communities. Emmanuelle advocates for a diverse community that increases outreach efforts across demographics.

“I support efforts to make Eau Claire a regional food hub, a winter park on Eau Claire’s northside, a new pickleball facility, music and cultural arts, revitalizing neighborhoods, city-wide public transportation, creation of new business improvement districts and increased public financing tools that transcend Downtown borders,” Emmanuelle said in the GCC questionnaire.

 

Eric Larsen

A retired Deputy Chief of Police from the Eau Claire Police Department, Larsen is an incumbent running for a second term as an at-large City Council member. Larsen said the council needs to create a quality of life in Eau Claire that is attractive to the future workforce. Collaborating with stakeholders such as UW-Eau Claire, Chippewa Valley Technical College and Mayo and Marshfield Clinics will help reach this goal.

Larsen is currently working on making the Cannery District an attractive area for mixed-use development, advocating for a grant application which will fund a feasibility study for a public market in the district. Larsen also lead the effort to review the city’s special event application and approval process, hoping to improve other areas of customer service in city government.

 

David Strobel

An incumbent from Antigo, Wisconsin, Strobel has served as an Eau Claire City Council member for the past three years. Strobel graduated from UW-Eau Claire with a finance degree and owns Strobel Insurance.

Strobel’s focus is on creating a “strong and vibrant” downtown that encourages companies to locate in the city. Strong infrastructure, a safe environment and quality workforce will enable economic developments downtown and elsewhere in the city, Strobel said in the GCC questionnaire.

“I have many years of public service, plus business and property ownership and a strong interest in neighborhoods and the downtown, which will allow me to offer that experience as a representative for the citizens of Eau Claire on the city council,” Strobel said in the questionnaire.

 

Michael Xiong

Serving on the Eau Claire City Council for the past three years, Xiong is an incumbent who is employed as a Social Work Case Manager for Eau Claire County. Xiong is also the Commissioner for the Transit commission, Affirmative Action and the Eau Claire City Housing Authority.

Xiong supports redevelopment to attract tourism and new business owners by collaborating with private sectors to support city programs and maintaining and expanding Gateway Business Park. Xiong also advocates for a new transit center to be built in downtown Eau Claire.

“I have a passion for working with people,” Xiong said in the questionnaire. “I am running for re-election because I believe in strong city and business development efforts and to build a stronger, safer Eau Claire for the benefit of future generations.

 

City Council candidates, District 1

 

Heather DeLuka

A newcomer challenging Tim Tewalt for the District 1 seat, DeLuka is a Blugold alumna and a retired Chippewa Valley High School teacher. DeLuka is the president of a neighborhood association, Special Registration Deputy and a committee member for Downtown Eau Claire, Inc.

DeLuka said city development should focus on a three tier system: neighborhoods, local and regional amenities. DeLuka’s three top priorities include reinvesting and improving infrastructure for housing the aging, city budget and Smart Growth, a program that enhances local economy and preserves neighborhoods without overburdening city services.

 

Tim Tewalt

An incumbent who has served on the District 1 City Council for the past nine months, Tewalt teaches the Industrial Mechanics Program at CVTC. Tewalt endorses expanding parks and access to waterfront, accessible transit for all ages and the development of indoor and outdoor activities.

“My collaborative skills are conducive to working with Council members and city employees,” Tewalt said in the questionnaire. “I am a listener, fair-minded and see the big picture, and believe in being a wise steward of resources to help Eau Claire stay prosperous.”