Time running out to file for local office

By Patrick Lynn

The deadline for returning completed candidacy paperwork for the spring municipal election in Stevens Point is fast approaching, but few offices have any challengers.

Stevens Point voters will elect five city council members on April 7—all even-numbered districts—as well as a municipal court judge.

Erik McFarland was sworn in as Stevens Point/Plover Joint Municipal Court Judge in July, filling the position on an interim basis when Judge Mike McKenna resigned. McFarland, a criminal defense attorney who operates a private practice in Stevens Point, said he intends to run for a full term in April.

Districts 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 are also up for election in April. According to City Clerk Paul Piotrowski, UWSP Professor Thomas Leek has filed his candidacy paperwork to run in District 8. The seat is currently held by second-term Councilwoman Cathy Dugan, who has said she does not intend to run again.

Two candidates have come forward for the District 10 seat. Keely Fishler and Corey Nagel competed last week to serve out the remainder of Alderman Mike Phillip’s term, with Fishler winning the council’s vote by 5-4. Phillips resigned from his position in November. Both Fishler and Nagel will appear on the spring ballot for a full term.

Alderman Jeremy Slowsinski has returned the paperwork to run again in District 6, a role he’s held since 2006. In September, he said in a Metro Wire interview he was stepping down for similar reasons as Phillips, adding the city council “isn’t headed in a direction that is beneficial to the taxpayers,” but has since reversed his decision.

Alderman David Shorr has returned his candidacy paperwork to run for a third term in District 2. Shorr has held the seat since 2016 and wrote the motion that made bicycle lanes on Stanley St. a reality.

Freshman Councilwoman Mykeerah Zarazua, a social worker by trade, will seek a full term in the 4th District after being elected by the council in May as an interim councilmember. Zarazua took over for former Councilwoman Heidi Oberstadt, who resigned in January.

Anyone interested in running in the spring election needs to return candidacy paperwork by 5 p.m. on Jan. 7, 2020.

The municipal court judge salary, which is a part-time position, was $16,000 annually for the 2016-20 term.

City council members are paid $5,300 annually and are expected to attend monthly council meetings, and serve on various committees.

Candidacy paperwork can be picked up from the city clerk’s office, 1515 Strongs Ave.. or downloaded from the State of Wisconsin’s Election Commission website at elections.wi.gov.

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