With Clemons out, newcomers explore runs for Appleton council

Though candidates have until Wednesday to file paperwork, several council races came into focus Friday.

Clemons

Clemons

The biggest news came when Alderman Jim Clemons filed paperwork this week signaling he would not seek re-election on April 2.

First elected in 1992, Clemons is the most senior member on the council. He said he decided to end his tenure because of time constraints and is ready for a break.

As an outspoken member on the council sometimes criticized for his bluster, Clemons said the council makeup has been frustrating at times.

“I prided myself on leading with my chin on issues, but I did my homework,” Clemons told The Post-Crescent. “I would do everything possible to have the discussion on the council floor, to leave a trail chair for those who come after you. There’s been a lack of that recently and it’s intolerable. They need to have discussions instead of playing politics.”

Without Clemons, the most seasoned veteran on the council would be Ed Baranowski, elected in 2001, followed by Curt Konetzke (2003).

Kyle Lobner, will be on the ballot for District 13 and saw Clemons resignation as a boost to his campaign.

“Serving on the council can be a challenging and often thankless job, and the fact that (Clemons) has been doing it for 20 years shows a truly admirable level of dedication to making Appleton a great place to live,” Lobner posted on his campaign blog.

Another departure from the council will be District 1 where Christoph Wahl will not seek to retain his seat. Due to redistricting, Ald. Teege Mettille lives in that district, and filed his signatures to run.

In other races, incumbents Peter Stueck, Patti Coenen and Jeff Jirschele filed their nomination papers.

The only contested race will be Konetzke against Appleton resident Mark Priddis, unless more candidates file this week.

Because Clemons missed the filing deadline for his non-candidacy, City Clerk Char Peterson extended the north side District 13 deadline to Friday, Jan. 4.

— Nick Penzenstadler: 920-996-7226, or npenzenstadler@postcrescent.com; on Twitter @npenzenstadler

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