A former Weyauwega alderman will face a current alderman in the city’s mayoral race.
Both Jack Spierings and Nick Gunderson filed nomination papers to be candidates for mayor in the April 7 election.
However, they did so under different deadlines.
Spierings filed his nomination papers before the original deadline of 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 6.
Gunderson filed his papers before the extended filing deadline, which was Friday, Jan. 9.
While the filing deadline for the spring election was Jan. 6, the city had to extend the filing deadline another 72 hours for the mayoral race.
That was because Mike Kempf, the city’s current mayor, filed his declaration of non-candidacy after the deadline to do so, which was Friday, Dec. 26.
“After the public found out that Mike decided not to run, I had calls from several people asking me to run,” Spierings said about his decision to seek the office.
In addition, Spierings said he has concerns about micromanaging by a council member.
He misses being on the council and said the city will face many issues in the future, including expansion at Agropur and the city’s wastewater treatment plant, as well as the remodeling and expansion of city hall and the police department.
The Little Chute native attended the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and is a Vietnam-era veteran who served two years in the U.S. Army.
A resident of Weyauwega since 1978, Spierings was the manager of the former Ace Manufacturing for 17 years and then drove truck for Larsen Cooperative.
He is retired and continues to drive part time for the co-op.
Spierings previously served on the common council for 5 1/2 years, resigning from his Ward 1 seat after moving into Ward 2.
Last April, he ran against Shani Appleby for the open Ward 2 seat. She won.
Spierings was elected to his first term on the Waupaca County Board last April and sees his decision to run for mayor as complementing his position on the county board.
Gunderson is seeking his first term as mayor.
He said residents encouraged him to run for mayor.
A native of Appleton, Gunderson served four years of active duty in the U.S. Army and then a couple years in the Reserves.
He and his wife Chris bought their home in Weyauwega in 1988 and raised four children there, all of them going through the Weyauwega-Fremont school system.
Gunderson works at Waupaca Foundry. He has worked there for 20 years and is currently the Plant 1 mill room safety trainer.
He and Chris also own the Coffee Klatsch, in downtown Weyauwega. They opened it in June of 2002.
Gunderson has been an alderman for five years and is a past member of the city’s plan commission.
“When we moved here in ‘88, downtown was full. It was a busy, lively community,” he said. “Through the years, the businesses and events diminshed. I have a commitment to the community. I’d like to revitalize the community and bring back the community participation we used to have.”
With the remodeling and expansion of city hall set to begin, Gunderson looks forward to the community center aspect of the project, saying it will be a place for people of all ages and a place to hold community events.
Gunderson is also up for re-election this spring in Ward 2.
Unopposed in that race, if Gunderson were to win both positions, he would decide which one he wants.
While Kempf is not seeking another term as mayor, the former alderman is running for a seat on the council again.
He and Timothy Edwards are the two candidates for the city’s Ward 3 seat.
Edwards’ wife Johanna currently holds that seat, is serving her first term on the council and filed a declaration of non-candidacy on Dec. 26.
Kempf served on Weyauwega’s council from 1994 to 2013, which is when he was elected for his first term as mayor.
There is one other seat up for election in the spring.
It is the Ward 1 seat currently held by Keith Najdowski.
He is running unopposed.
Last November, the council appointed Najdowski to fill that seat, which was vacant following the Oct. 4 death of Ald. Jim Zandrow.