Randy Thern is running as a write-in candidate in the April 1 election for the 1st Aldermanic District seat on the Waupaca Common Council.
Ald. Dave Shambeau is not seeking re-election this spring, and no one filed nomination papers by the Jan. 7 deadline to be a candidate for the district he represents.
As a result, there will not be any names on the April 1 ballot for the 1st Aldermanic District.
Thern is introducing himself to district residents by walking door to door and handing out flyers.
“I had a group of friends who encouraged me to do it,” he said of his decision to run as a write-in candidate. “I took a couple days to think about it. It was something I could see myself doing at some point.”
This is the first time Thern is running for a public office but not his first time being involved in the community.
“Most of my community involvement was with WAYHA (Waupaca Area Youth Hockey Association). My son played hockey there from the time he was 4 until he graduated from high school,” he said. “I was on the WAYHA board of directors for multiple terms, including one term as president.”
Born in Madison, Thern lived in Oshkosh and attended the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.
He moved to the Waupaca area in 1978 to work with his father, Richard, at Thern Design Center, in Waupaca.
In 1987, Thern began working in numismatics ad sales at Krause Publications, in Iola. In 1997, he became the Numismatic Catalog director.
Thern, who started collecting coins when he was 14, worked at the company until 2008.
An accident in June 2009 “changed my life a bit for a while. I spent the better part of four years with rehabilitative surgery, but I have recovered fairly well,” he said.
Since 1998, Thern has had a hobby and business of buying and selling autographs, manuscripts, documents and Hollywood collectibles.
A resident of the city since October 2010, he is divorced and the father of four children – three daughters and one son. His oldest daughter is a senior at St. Norbert College. His son is a freshman at Marquette University. His youngest daughters are in eighth and fifth grades, respectively.
Thern describes himself as “fiscally conservative,” and said, “When money is spent, it comes out of my pocket, too. I have no preconceptions about the job (on the council). I have no hidden agenda.”
He enjoys living in the community and said the city of Waupaca always needs to make improvements to be attractive to people considering a move here.
“We need to do it reasonably and logically,” Thern said.
If elected, he will work to make good use of the city’s tax dollars, he said.
“I really want to learn how the city government works. I want to listen to my neighbors and find out what their wants and needs are, because they’re the people that are paying for it. People are welcome to contact me if they have any questions,” Thern said.