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Hayden Frey set to serve on Chippewa Falls city council at only age 26
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Hayden Frey set to serve on Chippewa Falls city council at only age 26

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Hayden Frey is set to become one of the youngest Chippewa Falls council members in recent memory.

Frey, 26, is the first person to file nomination papers for the vacant 5th Ward council seat, which covers the city’s East Hill. Frey graduated from Regis High School in 2013, and he just moved to his home in September with his wife, Nicole, and their children: 6-year-old Molly and 1-year-old Andrew.

“It’s our first home. We were looking around the area,” Frey said. “As a homeowner, I just wanted to be more involved. And I saw no one is running, so I just stepped in.”

Incumbent Paul Olson announced in early December he wasn’t planning to seek re-election. Olson, 61, has held the seat since he was appointed in 2014. Anyone else who plans to file for the seat, and run against Frey, has until 5 p.m. Friday to return their nomination papers.

Chippewa Falls Mayor Greg Hoffman, who was initially elected to the City Council 20 years ago, said he doesn’t recall anyone younger than Frey serving on the council in the past two decades.

“I appreciate he’s willing to step up,” Hoffman said. “I’m looking forward to working with him. It’s good to get some new blood in. I’m glad we don’t have to appoint.”

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Frey works at Employers Benefit Group in Altoona, and his wife works at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital. They previously lived in rural Eau Claire.

“I’ve always been interested in politics,” Frey said. “I don’t know a ton of hot-button issues here in Chippewa.”

With Frey filing for the seat, there is now one candidate in each race in the city for the April election.

Incumbents Hoffman, along with council members John Monarski (1st Ward) and Jason Hiess (7th Ward) filed their declarations of candidacy to return, while Christopher Gilliam is the lone candidate so far in the 3rd Ward; incumbent CW King isn’t seeking re-election.

City council members earn $3,000 annually, with the council president receiving an additional $500 a year. The mayor earns $10,000 annually.

Anyone interested in running for the seat should contact City Clerk Bridget Givens at 715-726-2719.

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