The city of Weyauwega has a new mayor.
Mike Kempf was elected to the position in the April 2 election after receiving 150 votes to incumbent Don Morgan’s 131 votes.
“I knew it was going to be close,” Kempf said. “It was a matter of whether the city of Weyauwega residents were ready for a change. Change can be hard, but sometimes change can be good.”
Kempf said as mayor, he will be open with the community.
“I want to make sure everyone in the city knows what’s happening,” he said.
In addition to communication, Kempf said another goal he has for his first term is to work with the city administrator and Common Council on watching spending.
“We need to look at maintaining, not always buying,” he said.
This was the first time Kempf ran for mayor, and he was also up for re-election this spring in the city’s Ward 3.
A member of the Common Council since 1994, Kempf won the Ward 3 seat as well.
He received 55 votes, while Johanna Edwards, who ran as a write-in candidate, received 33 votes.
Since Kempf won both the mayor and Ward 3 races, he gets to choose which position he wants.
He said he is choosing the mayoral position and will be sworn in during the council’s Tuesday, April 16, meeting.
While the Common Council typically meets on the third Monday of the month, State Statutes dictate the new Common Council meet for the first time on the third Tuesday in April.
The regular council meeting will be held first on Tuesday, followed by the reorganizational meeting of the new council.
Because Kempf won both the mayor and alderman positions, he must officially accept one and decline the other, City Administrator Patrick Wetzel said.
“I don’t know if they’ve ever had this happen, have someone elected to both,” Wetzel said.
Since Kempf said he is choosing the mayoral position, after he is sworn in as mayor, the Ward 3 seat he currently holds will then be vacant.
The Common Council will have to discuss how to fill that vacant seat.
“My recommendation will be to open up the process and advertise that position as open,” Wetzel said.
The Common Council will approve the appointment, he said.
A total of 289 city residents voted in the April 2 election.
Deputy City Clerk Becky Loehrke said the total number of registered voters in the city is 928, so voter turnout in last week’s election was 31 percent.
In 2011, when there was also a contested race for mayor, 330 people voted, she said.
In addition to Kempf, Ald. James Zandrow was re-elected to a two-year term in Ward 1, and Nick Gunderson was elected alderman in Ward 2.
Both were unopposed.
Gunderson previously served on the council and will replace Amy DeSantis, who did not seek re-election this year.
Kempf said he has received many congratulatory telephone calls from not only city residents but from people who live throughout the area and know him.
He is the Waupaca branch lead at Charter Fuels.
Among those who called him and congratulated him on election night was Morgan.
“I told him I learned a lot from him and wished him and Bev the best. I told him it’s time for them to get in their motorhome and see the country,” Kempf said.
Kempf is looking forward to continuing to serve the city.
“I’m happy. My family’s happy. I’m ready and eager to get going,” he said. “I would like to thank all the residents that came out and voted. Whether you voted for me or voted for Don Morgan, at least you participated in voting. I believe everyone needs to get out and vote. I thank all the city residents who supported me through my campaign and also voted for me.”