Newcomers win the day in two contested city council races
Voters in the School District of the Menomonie Area gave a solid thumbs up to both referendum questions on the ballot. Receiving 2,295 yes votes, Question 1 approves borrowing $25 million to address district-wide maintenance issues in all buildings. A total of 1,133 voters opposed the referendum.
At a slightly slimmer margin of 2,081 for and 1,538 against, the second question calls for an additional $11 million to more fully renovate Menomonie High School.
“I was ecstatic that both questions passed on Tuesday evening,” said Chris Stratton, district administrator. “I was very hopeful that we had communicated the need to the community and that would feel able to support the work.”
In addition to improving the environment in the buildings, the district’s budget will benefit from energy savings.
“The result is especially significant to Menomonie High School,” Stratton noted. “The ability to more fully renovate MHS while making infrastructure changes has given us the ability to create a functional and modern high school environment that will serve as the flagship for this district.”
Construction projects, including a new gymnasium and library-media center, are slated to begin in April 2014.
David Styer’s will be the new face on the Menomonie School Board, joined by incumbents Jay Fahl and Jessica Bryan. With 2,123 nods, Fahl was the top vote getter in the race, while Styer came in second with 1,798 and Bryan third with 1,313 votes. Fourth place finisher Bob Salt garnered 1,287 votes, edging out incumbent Brian Kieffer with 1,278 votes. Challenger Julie McFadden wasn’t far behind with 1,248 votes.
Incumbent Timothy Sempf retained his seat on the board of the Boyceville Community School Board. With a tally of 467 to 284, Jeremy Mittelstadt won the day over fellow newcomer Ellen Carlson for one open seat.
In Colfax, school board incumbents Joel Hilson and Todd Kragness ran unopposed as did Loren Hanson and Kyle Jenson in Elk Mound.
In the city
In the only two contested races for Menomonie City Council seats, a pair of political newcomers emerged triumphant, albeit by relatively slim margins.
In a 141-130 vote, Jeff Luther overcame incumbent Clark “Ed” Smith to represent Ward 1. Meanwhile, in the Ward 3 race, Eric Sutherland narrowly defeated former mayor – and Meadow Hill Drive neighbor – Dennis Kropp, 36 to 33. Unopposed, incumbents Paul Riedel (Ward 5), Leslie Brown (Ward 7), Hector Cruz (Ward 9), and Andrew Mercil (Ward 11) will each return to serve another two-year term.
Supreme Court results
In the Supreme Court race, Dunn County voters came out nearly two to one for incumbent Tony Evers over challenger Don Pridemore in the race for Wisconsin’s Superintendent of Public Instruction. Although Supreme Court Justice Pat Roggensack was reelected for another 10-year term by an overwhelming margin throughout the state, the results in Dunn County saw her defeat Ed Fallone by just over 200 votes. With no opposition, Lisa K. Stark was elected to the Third District Court of Appeals.