Voters will see contested races in the April 2 Waupaca Common Council election.for Districts 1 and 4.
In Aldermanic District 1, Lisa Funk and Jillian Petersen are both seeking their first term on the Waupaca Common Council.
Ald. Paul Lehman is not seeking re-election in that district.
In Aldermanic District 4, incumbent John Lockwood is being challenged by Lori Chesnut, who represented that district for a couple years in the 1990s.
The deadline for candidates to file their nomination papers was 5 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 2.
A graduate of Waupaca High School, Funk was born in Waupaca and grew up here.
After high school, she attended the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
She has lived in the city since 2004.
Funk recently decided to return to school and is a full-time student at UW-Stevens Point, taking courses online, while also working as a massage therapist at Cirle of Life Healing Arts.
A nationally certified massage therapist, she has worked in that field for 16 years.
She expects to graduate from UW-Stevens Point in 2014, with a degree in health and wellness management.
“I want my four-year degree. I chose to have my family first,” she said.
Her three children are getting older, making it the perfect time for her to return to school.
When asked why she decided to run for a seat on the Common Council,” Funk said, “Part of it is school.”
Her studies have included learning how to affect change and also about the various levels of government.
Those are among the reasons why she is seeking a seat on the council.
“I thought it would also be nice to have more women on the council, since there is only one woman on it,” Funk said.
She said she offers a different point of view, including those of a single mother.
As for the biggest challenges she sees the city facing during the next two years, Funk said, “I think just making sure that everything is being addressed in the way it needs to be addressed.”
Better times are ahead for the city, Funk said, and that means it is time for the city to think about how to best use its funds to serve the city and its residents.
In addition, Funk wants to help people become more aware of what is going on in their community.
Petersen is a native of Grand Rapids, Mich.
After she graduated from high school, she went to college for one year, before moving to North Carolina, where she worked for a car dealership.
She and her husband, Todd, met while she was living and working in North Carolina.
He is a native of Waupaca, and they decided to move to Waupaca.
Petersen has lived in the city for seven years.
Her professional experience since moving here included working five years for Print & Press, where she was a commercial print sales manager.
Petersen is currently a stay-at-home mother to the couple’s 3-year-old and 1 1/2-year-old sons.
There are several reasons why she is running for a seat on the Common Council.
“I’ve always been interested in politics,” she said.
In particular, Petersen has been interested in running for Common Council.
“We just moved to a new district, and the seat was open here,” she said of her decision to run this year.
As a stay-at-home mother, she believes she has time to serve on the council.
She sees it as being the perfect time and opportunity to seek a seat.
Petersen said she is always looking for ways to see things run more efficiently.
She would take the same approach in local government.
In regard to what she believes are the biggest challenges facing Waupaca in the next two years, Petersen said, “My biggest thing is to figure out how our city can run more fiscally responsible.”
She said the city needs to get a little more back to the basics.
Lockwood was born in Waupaca and grew up just outside the city.
After graduating from Waupaca High School, he went to the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, where he graduated with a bachelor of science degree in exercise and sports science.
His intention was to work as a strengthening and conditioning coach with a professional sports team. During an internship at an Olympic training center in San Diego, he realized it was not the type of job he wanted.
However, his college degree resulted in other opportunities, which took him to various parts of the country, before he returned to the area in 2000.
In 2003, he moved into the city, and two years later, he started working in real estate.
In December 2010, Lockwood made a career change and began working in banking. He is currently a relationship manager/business banking officer at First State Bank, in Waupaca.
He and his wife Rachel have a 5-year-old son – Colin – and are expecting their second child in March.
Lockwood was appointed to a District 4 seat on the council on Oct. 21, 2008, after Ald. Laura Iverson passed away.
In April 2009, he was elected to his first, two-year-term on the council. He was re-elected in April of 2011.
When asked why he is seeking re-election this spring, Lockwood said, “I feel like this community has given me so much. I want to give back.”
He wants to see the city continue to grow and succeed.
His four-plus years of experience on the council means he feels comfortable with the process.
Lockwood wants to continue to be involved in the direction the council wants to go and and to make the right decisions.
He said he takes both his job as alderman and the responsibility to his constitutents seriously.
Lockwood sees Waupaca facing several challenges during the next two years.
“In 2013, the city still needs to be conscious of budget limitations and make sure the departments stay on budget and that they set themselves up for the future. Also, the important thing this year is to find the right people for the department head positions, which are open, especially the economic development director position,” he said. “If we do are due diligence now and find the right person, we can set ourselves up for a good 2014 and beyond.”
He does not want the city’s budget to place any hardship on city residents and pointed to the fact that there was not a city tax increase the past three years, in the midst of an economic downturn.
“The city has been able to manage its budget and provide the services citizens want but without raising taxes,” Lockwood said.
Chesnut is a native of Rhinelander and graduate of Rhinelander Union High School.
After high school, she moved to Fond du Lac, where she lived and worked for several years.
In 1973, she moved to Waupaca with her family.
She took some time to get to know the community and became involved with the Waupaca Area Chamber of Commerce in 1980.
From 1988 until 1996, she worked at Waupaca Publishing Company.
Then, she joined her husband, Jack, in his business, Chesnut Sales.
In 2000, Chesnut began working for Waupaca County. She works in the Department of Health and Human Services’ Youth and Family Unit as a parent aide and juvenile tracker.
Her husband passed away in 2005, and she moved back into the city’s Aldermanic District 4 last September.
Chesnut previously served on the Common Council.
She was appointed to a District 4 seat on the council on Jan. 21, 1997, following the resignation of Ald. Lisa Porrey.
Chesnut represented the district through March 1999, when she resigned from the council after moving outside of the city.
She explained why she decided to run this April for a seat in that same district.
“I really feel like I’m in a very good place in my life now,” Chesnut said. “I have four kids, seven grandchildren and work at a job I love. I have no desire to retire.”
Since moving back into the city last September, Chesnut said she received encouragement from residents to run for council.
“I love this community,” she said.
Chesnut, who travels throughout the county as part of her job, said Waupaca has a sense of community.
“It’s probably one of the most giving communities I’ve ever been in,” she said.
She is excited about the possibility of serving on the council again.
“When I’m doing something, I want it to have my attention,” Chesnut said.
Saying she has time to commit to the position, Chesnut said she would be as dedicated to her seat on the council as she is to her job with Waupaca County.
The biggest challenges she sees the city facing during the next two years are the completion of the South Park renovation project, finding space for the city’s Public Works Department and budgeting.
Budgets at every level of government were tough the past several years, she said..
“I’m really looking forward to things getting a little easier so they can deal with things,” Chesnut said of the city’s future budgets.
districts 2, 3 and 5
Seeking re-election on April 2 are incumbents Paul T. Hagen in Aldermanic District 2, Scott Purchatzke in Aldermanic District 3 and Steve Hackett in Aldermanic District 5.
All three are running unopposed.