April Council Election Sees Only One Contest

Kimberly Wethal, Editor-in-Chief

Incumbent James All faces opposition for the councilmember-at-large seat from Brienne Diebolt-Brown in the Common Council Tuesday, April 3 election.

While the voters in City of Whitewater Districts 2 and 4 won’t have a pool of candidates to select from as their Common Council representative on Tuesday, April 3, they’ll still have a chance to vote for one of their councilmember-at large.

Allen, the incumbent, faces opposition for the At-large seat from Brienne Diebolt-Brown.

The year 2018 brings to an end the term for Alds. Jimmy Schulgit (Dist. 2), who was appointed by the council in 2017 to serve the vacancy left by former University of Wisconsin-Whitewater student Ald. James Langnes, Lynn Binnie (Dist. 4) and Allen (At-large). Schulgit and Binnie filed paperwork to run for their seats, and are doing so unopposed.

No primaries will be held for the Common Council races, but Walworth and Jefferson Counties will have a primary election on Feb. 20 in the nonpartisan race for Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice between attorney Tim Burns, Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Rebecca Dallet and Sauk County Circuit Court Judge Michael Screnock. The top two vote-getters in the primary will move on to the April 3 general election.

Incumbent Justice Michael Gableman is not seeking reelection.

Schulgit vs. Nobody

Schulgit, a full-time University of Wisconsin-Whitewater senior earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, is running for his seat because he enjoys representing the community.

Schulgit is running for his seat unopposed.

The “vast majority” of his district is comprised of students – it’s why Schulgit says it’s important to have a full-time student on the Council.

I decided to run for my seat because I believe it is important to have a full time student on the council.  Having a full time student gives additional perspective to the council,” Schulgit said in an email to The Royal Purple.

Schulgit said upcoming issues for the council will include the dredging of the city’s lakes, as the amount of algae and invasive species continues to grow. The relationship between the city and the university will also need to continue to be managed, and parking – rather, the lack thereof – will need to be addressed.

“We have to make sure that if you pay taxes to maintain the streets you should be able to park there,” Schulgit said.

Binnie vs. Nobody

In his next term, Binnie hopes to see a grocery store come to Whitewater.

It’s the biggest concern he hears from constituents in District 2.

Binnie is running for his seat unopposed.

He says he’s running again after 10 years on the council because he believes it’s important to have a mix of experienced and newer members.

I do my homework, I make solid contributions to discussions, and I enjoy the responsibility almost all the time. I believe it’s healthy to have a balance of tenured members and new blood,” Binnie said.

Issues facing the city include the lack of a grocery store, a lack of Rescue Squad volunteers and decreasing support from the state of Wisconsin.

Unfortunately the city’s current situation severely limits any financial assistance we might be able to offer,” Binnie said. “I am most grateful for the hard work of the co-op group, and believe that may be our best hope.”

Binnie encourages voters to be prepared for voting day by gathering necessary documentation to change their addresses and having their Photo ID ready.

Allen vs. Diebolt-Brown

Neither candidate submitted a response to The Royal Purple by press time. The Royal Purple will continue to update this story online as the candidates get back to us.

Allen, the incumbent, is re-running for his seat on the Council. He’s being opposed by Diebolt-Brown, an associate lecturer at UW-Whitewater and the program director for the Whitewater Community Foundation. She’s played a role in bringing a grocery store to Whitewater after the Sentry, 1260 W. Main St., closed in December 2015.

The seat, classified as At-large, is a seat that all City of Whitewater residents are eligible to vote for.