Three people are running for mayor in the city’s April 5 election.
Incumbent Don Morgan is being challenged by Alderman Jack Spierings and by Holly Martin.
Martin is running as a write-in candidate after the number of signatures needed on her nomination papers fell short by four signatures.
A minimum of 50 signatures was required for those filing nomination papers for the candidacy of mayor. The deadline to file those papers was 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 4.
“What happens is a person can only sign one nomination paper per position (per) race,” said Sheryl Scheuermann, the city’s administrator and clerk. “We had several that had signed all three and several who had signed a couple of them. So, we looked at the date of the signatures. The earliest gets the signature.”
She said that unfortunately, after the signatures were checked, Martin, who had 53 signatures, ended up with 46 signatures after losing seven signatures.
Spierings had 60 signatures when they started the process, and Morgan had 89 signatures. Both Spierings and Morgan also lost two signatures, Scheuermann said.
Those signing the nomination papers may not have been aware of this requirement, which is part of the state’s election laws.
“It clearly states at the top of the nomination papers that when you sign, you have to be a valid voter and that you can’t sign more than one,” she said.
Scheuermann said the city always has to check the signatures – first to make sure that they are of valid city voters and then that no one signed the papers of more than one candidate in a particular race.
In her five years with the city, this is the first contested race she has seen.
And, while three people are running for mayor, there will not be a February primary.
The names of Morgan and Spierings will be on the April ballot, but Martin’s will not. Those who want to vote for Martin will have to write in her name, Scheuermann said.
This April will mark the completion of 19 years of service for Morgan.
Fifteen of those 19 years he served as an alderman, including five years in the 1970s. Morgan has been Weyauwega’s mayor the last four years.
Born and raised in Poy Sippi, he and his wife, Beverly, moved to Weyauwega in 1967.
Morgan retired in July 2007. Prior to retirement, he had a Sinclair bulk petroleum route. In 1966, he bought the service station at Sunset Curve. His daughter and son-in-law, Shelia and Mike Dorsett, run it today.
Morgan was elected to his first term on the Waupaca County Board last April and says that he is seeking another two-year term as Weyauwega’s mayor for several reasons. Those reasons include wanting to work toward the completion of the reorganization of the city’s police department, pushing for the completion of a city website and continuing communication between the city and county.
The biggest challenge he sees the city facing this year is revenue caps while city costs continue to escalate and growth is minor due to the present economic conditions.
Spierings is seeking his first term as mayor. Last April, he was elected to his third term on the common council.
A native of Little Chute, Spierings attended the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh for three years, where he studied business administration.
In 1965, he was drafted into the Vietnam War. He served in the U.S. Army during his two years of service.
A resident of Weyauwega since 1978, Spierings was the manager of the former Ace Manufacturing for 17 years and then drove truck for Larsen Co-op.
He is retired and continues to drive part time for the co-op.
Spierings said he has been thinking about running for mayor for at least one year.
“I’d like to see amicable solutions to the police department issue,” he said. “I’d like to push our industrial parks.”
In addition, Spierings would like to see the city move forward with a modernization of the public works department and the filling of more storefronts downtown.
Martin is also seeking her first term as mayor.
Born in San Francisco, she was 12 years old when her family moved to the Chicago area. She has lived in Wisconsin since 1979.
“My mother’s family always vacationed in Waupaca, so that’s where the connection is,” she said.
Martin received a bachelor’s degree in education from UW-Stevens Point in 1985 and has been retired for about a year.
When asked why she is running for mayor, she said, “I’ve been talking about it for awhile, and I absolutely adore Weyauwega.”
The first time she brought her children to the community was in 1972. She remembers Weyauwega being a “cute” community and said she has watched it stagnate.
“It’s perfectly positioned. It’s a beautiful little town,” she said.
Martin is a member of the Weyauwega Lake Association board, also serving as its secretary, and said her previous jobs have always involved problem solving.
The biggest challenge she sees the city facing this year is the momentum to move forward. She wants to see a city website, and more businesses and industries coming to the community.
Martin says she is happy to be a write-in candidate.