{{CFirstName}}, you are receiving this e-newsletter because you are on our list of Chamber investors that have shown interest in public policy issues.  If you don't want to receive these emails, click the following link:


Volume 4 , Issue 46, Apr 4, 2022
 Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce


Coming up:


Eggs & Issues - "State of Altoona"
  • Thursday, April 21, 7:00-8:30 a.m., River Prairie Center

Altoona Mayor Brendan Pratt and City Administrator Mike Golat lead a presentation highlighting the accomplishments of the City during the past year, and its priorities for the rest of 2022.
Click here for details and to register

News in this issue:

 • Vote on Tuesday: City Council, School Board, County Board

 • Chamber Public Employee of the Year Awards to Schmidt, Solberg

 • EC Plan Commission discussion Monday on short-term rentals

 • Local leaders discuss housing supply and affordability

 • Local input sought: Child care survey

 • Wisconsin Legislative maps still up in the air

 • Friday's jobs report: Strong hiring numbers, falling unemployment
 • COVID-19 updates 

 • Mark your calendar
 • Public meetings
Note on article links: A subscription is required for those marked with "$"
Publications known to have article limits for non-subscribers are marked with "+"


Vote Tuesday: City Council, School Board, County Board

Contested races, retirements will lead to turnover in seats

   Wisconsin voters go to the polls on Tuesday, April 5, in a non-partisan election to select members of City Councils, Town Boards, School Boards, County Board, and Judgeships.

   In Eau Claire County, we'll see new faces in many of these offices, since a large number of incumbents are not seeking election. Voters will make choices in contested races for five at-large seats on the Eau Claire City Council, three seats on the Eau Claire Board of Education, and 21 of 29 district seats on the Eau Claire County Board of Supervisors.

Click this link to find your polling place and who is on your ballot


Where do candidates stand on key business issues?

   The Eau Claire Chamber does not endorse candidates, but provides voter education to help investors and the public make informed choices. Our Good Government Council develops questionnaires for candidates to provide them an opportunity to convey their thoughts on issues of importance to the business community. 

Click here for a recap of local races and links to candidate questionnaires


• Tuesday, April 5, polls open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

   To find your polling place and what's on your ballot: MyVoteWi.gov


Chamber Public Employee of the Year Awards go to City of Eau Claire's Dave Solberg, UWEC's James Schmidt

  The City of Eau Claire's Interim City Manager Dave Solberg and UW-Eau Claire Chancellor James Schmidt were named the winners of the Public Employee of the Year Award at the Chamber's 107th Annual Meeting, "Eau What A Night," last Thursday evening at The Florian Gardens.

   Schmidt, who has been Chancellor at UWEC since 2013, has led the institution as it has met numerous challenges, positioned itself for the future, and forged a close partnership with the Eau Claire Community. 

   Solberg, the City Engineer, has been filling the City Manager job on an interim basis since Dale Peters retired in October 2020. He was recognized for the heart for the community shown through his work to keep all aspects of the City functioning.

   Other awards presented at the event included:
   Outstanding Young Professional of the Chippewa Valley: Cory Knutson, Huebsch Services 
   Glassbrenner – Klinkhammer Spirit Award: Brooke Petska, Marawood Construction Services 
   Outstanding Chamber Volunteer of the Year: Wesley Escondo, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Wisconsin 
   Woman of Achievement: Judy Clark, WEAU 13 News

   Over 500 people attended the event, which also included a recap of the Chamber's work in navigating the past two years. Click the link below for more.

More information:

Video: 2021-22 Annual Report presented by the Chamber Staff (YouTube, 15:13)

Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce hosts 107th ‘Eau What a Night’ (WEAU 13 News)


EC Plan Commission meets Monday

Agenda includes 15 lot subdivision, discussion of short-term rentals

   The City of Eau Claire Plan Commission meets Monday evening. Among items on its agenda are a final plat for a 15-lot subdivision on property owned by the Cliff Family Trust on 35 acres on the west side of Talmadge Rd in the Town of Washington, within the City's extraterritorial jurisdiction (see pages 3-6 of the Agenda Packet linked below), an adjustment to the condo plat for the Boyd School Condominium Homes at 1105 Main St., utility easements for TDS Telecom's plans to install a fiber optic network, and a site plan for a building addition for Club's Choice at 3421 Truax Court. 
   Also on the agenda is a continued discussion of the City's approach to regulating short-term rentals, such as those listed on Airbnb (see pages 26-66 for background information). 
More information:
Eau Claire Plan Commission
 • Monday, Apr 4 Agenda Packet (66 pages); City Hall Council Chambers

Eau Claire planning count of short-term rentals in city (Leader-Telegram $)


Local leaders discuss housing supply and affordability along with public and private cooperation

  The Chamber’s March 18th edition of Eggs & Issues featured a discussion about housing, particularly housing supply shortages, challenges regarding housing in the region, and public and private cooperation to address housing concerns. 

Click here to continue reading...


Child Care Task Force looking for input on local needs

Survey for employers and decision makers 

   The Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce is part of a regional child care task force intending to address child care needs in Chippewa and Eau Claire Counties. That group has created a survey intended for key decision makers in the two counties to help determine how the child care issues in our area are affecting businesses. This data will support attempts to obtain much needed grant funding related to child care solutions for our area.

   You may also receive this survey from other partners on the task force. It is the same survey and only needs to be filled out once per organization. Thank you in advance for your support in our efforts to improve child care in Chippewa and Eau Claire Counties.

Click here to complete survey

More information: 

To learn more about the child care crisis in Wisconsin and how to get involved? Check out the Project Growth website or email the United Way of the Greater Chippewa Valley.


More local news:


City of Eau Claire 2022 construction projects (City of Eau Claire)


UW-EC, Mayo partnership aims to add jobs, improve health in rural areas (Leader-Telegram $)


Northern Wis State Fair has raised about 80 percent of more than $6 million needed for barn project (WEAU 13 News)


Regional campuses receive water quality grants totaling nearly $700,000 (Leader-Telegram $)


LEAVING ON A JET PLANE: SkyWest Wants to Drop Service to Eau Claire (Volume One)


Wisconsin Legislative maps still up in the air

State Supreme Court rejects Evers motion to supply more legislative maps evidence

   A week after the US Supreme Court rejected legislative district maps adopted by the Wisconsin Supreme Court, the latter on Friday denied a motion by Gov. Tony Evers to provide more evidence in support of the maps he submitted. The US Supreme Court sent the maps back to Wisconsin after a Republican lawsuit challenged whether Assembly districts in Milwaukee complied with the federal Voting Rights Act. Now the state court must address those issues and appears likely to do so with with maps and evidence it already has. The time is short, given candidates are expected to be able to begin circulating nominating petitions in mid-April for the August 9 Primary Election. 

More information: 

Wisconsin Supreme Court rejects Gov. Tony Evers' bid to submit evidence to support his maps (Wisconsin State Journal +)


More state and regional news: 


Gov. Tony Evers vetoes bill that would have enhanced penalties for rioters (Wisconsin State Journal +)


Gov. Evers Takes Action on 13 Bills (Office of the Governor)


Tommy Thompson meeting with Donald Trump as he mulls gubernatorial bid (Wisconsin State Journal +)


Plenty of space between top 2 Republican AG hopefuls (AP)


Karen Mueller of Chippewa Falls enters Wisconsin AG race (AP)


Wisconsin Democrats built a winning machine. Now comes its greatest test. (Politico)


Wisconsin Republicans fracture over how to find their best candidates in a GOP year (Journal-Sentinel $)


Most Wisconsin students can't vote. As school board elections near, they're finding other ways to be heard. (WPR)


Judge holds Robin Vos in contempt over election review records (The Cap Times)


Burlington wants state to reconsider 'ridiculous' limits on liquor licenses (Racine Journal-Times +)


Fatal crashes on the rise in Wisconsin (WTMJ)


Wisconsin’s economic growth among the slowest in the country in 2021 (BizTimes)


Strong March jobs report: 431,000 added in March

Unemployment drops to 3.6%, Labor force participation rate increases

   US employers added about 431,000 jobs in March the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported last Friday. The labor force participation rate increased to 62.4 percent and the national unemployment rate dropped to 3.6 percent.

  March is the eleventh straight month that employers added more than 400,000 jobs, bringing the total number of employed workers to 1.6 million fewer than February 2020, after an initial pandemic-related drop of 22 million. 

  The data now shows there are 11.3 million job openings at the end of February, which is 1.8 openings for for each unemployed person. 

   "The labor market is extremely tight,” Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell said in a recent speech. “Significantly tighter than the very strong job market just before the pandemic.”

   The March numbers show employers are increasing wages, with average hourly earnings up 5.6 percent over last year, but those hikes don't keep up with inflation, with the Personal Consumption Expenditures Price Index was up 6.4 percent over last year in February.

  Leisure and hospitality was among the strongest sectors in March, adding 112,000 jobs and a 14.9 percent increase in wages. Transportation and warehousing saw wage increases of 11.1 percent.

More information:

Employment Situation Summary (US Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Unemployment rate (Federal Reserve)

Economy added 431,000 jobs in March despite worries over slowing growth (CNBC)

Inflation slams west-central Wisconsin food bank (Leader-Telegram $)

GDP grew at a 6.9% pace to close out 2021, stronger than expected despite omicron spread (CNBC)


More national news:


Biden orders up oil from US reserves to fight gas price hike (News Nation)


U.S. to Make 35,000 More H-2B Visas Available for Seasonal Workers (Wall Street Journal $)


Gallagher, Spanberger Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Combat America’s Truck Driver Shortage, Supply Chain Challenges (News Release)


Senate Judiciary Committee Completes Confirmation Hearing on Supreme Court Nominee Jackson (National Law Review)


House passes marijuana legalization bill (again), but with no clear path forward (Politico)


COVID-19 Updates 

COVID-19 deaths plunge in region in March (Leader-Telegram $)

FDA authorizes second COVID boosters to 50 and up, others at risk (AP)

Mayo Clinic doctors: Communities need to be vigilant as subvariant becomes more prevalent in Wisconsin (WPR)


COVID-19 Resources: 
COVID-19 Symptoms & Testing (EC City-County Health Department)
Local COVID-19 Testing Sites (EC City-County Health Department)
Interactive COVID Data Tracker (CDC)
COVID-19: Staying Safe in Your Community (EC City-County Health Dept.)
Eau Claire County COVID-19 Information Hub 
Eau Claire weekly COVID Situation Report 
Eau Claire County COVID-19 Vaccination Page 
Metrics Dashboard
Chippewa Valley COVID-19 Economic Recovery Task Force


Mark your calendar:


2022 Human Resource Conference

 • Wednesday, April 6, The Florian Gardens


Chamber/UW-Eau Claire Business Community Breakfast

 • Wednesday, April 20, UWEC Davies Center


Eggs & Issues: "State of Altoona"

 • Thursday, April 21, River Prairie Center


Eau What A Night: The Chamber's 108th Annual Meeting

• Wednesday, January 25, 2023, Pablo Center


Next up on the public calendar:


Wisconsin Political Calendar (WisPolitics.com)


Spring Non-Partisan General Election
Local City and Town Councils, School Boards, County Boards, Judges
 • Tuesday, April 5


Partisan Primary
US Senate (Tammy Baldwin seat), Congress, State Senate (odd # districts) Assembly, Governor , Attorney General, State Treasurer, Secretary of State, County Sherriff, County Clerk of Court
 • Tuesday, Aug 9


General Election
 • Tuesday, November 8


City of Altoona City calendar (with links to agendas)
Meeting and video links
Mayor and City Council Members

 • Monday, Apr 11, 6 p.m. Parks and Recreation Committee

 • Tuesday, Apr 12, 1 p.m. Altoona Housing Authority

 • Tuesday, Apr 12, 5:30 p.m. Plan Commission

 • Tuesday, Apr 12, 5:30 p.m. Public hearing

 • Thursday, Apr 14, 6 p.m. City Council

 • Tuesday, Apr 19, 6 p.m. City Council


City of Eau Claire Full calendar  
City Council Members (City of Eau Claire)
Link to video recordings of city meetings (City of Eau Claire)

 • Monday, Apr 4, 7 p.m. Plan Commission

 • Monday, Apr 11, 7 p.m. City Council Public Hearing

 • Tuesday, Apr 12, 4 p.m. City Council Legislative Session

 • Wednesday, Apr 13, 5 .m. Housing Opportunities Commission

 • Monday, Apr 18, 7 p.m. Plan Commission

 • Wednesday, Apr 20, 7:30 a.m. Redevelopment Authority

 • Wednesday, Apr 20, 3:30 p.m. Sustainability Advisory Committee

 • Wednesday, Apr 20 6 p.m. Transit Commission


City of Augusta
City website
Village of Fall Creek
Village Board


Town of Washington
Town website
Altoona School District
Altoona School Board
Eau Claire Area School District
Board of Education
 • Monday, Apr 4, 7 p.m.


Augusta School District 
Augusta School Board


Fall Creek School District 
School Board


Chippewa Valley Technical College
District Board


Eau Claire County Full calendar
Click here to find your County Board Representative (interactive map)

 • Wednesday, Apr 6, 2 p.m. Highway Building Committee

 • Wednesday, Apr 6, 6:30 p.m. Committee on Administration

 • Wednesday, Apr 6, 7 p.m. County Board of Supervisors

 • Monday, Apr 11, 3 p.m. ADRC Board

 • Monday, Apr 11, 5 p.m. Committee on Parks & Forest

 • Tuesday, Apr 12, 2:30 p.m. Committee on Administration

 • Tuesday, Apr 12, 7 p.m. Committee on Planning and Development

 • Monday, Apr 18, 5 p.m. Housing Authority Board

 • Monday, Apr 18, 6 p.m. Public Hearing-Chippewa Valley Regional Airport Commission

 • Wednesday, Apr 20, 7:30 p.m. Chippewa Valley Regional Airport-Airport Commission


Thanks for reading this issue of Business Advocate. If you have comments or questions, contact Scott Rogers, Vice President Governmental Affairs, at 715-858-0616 or rogers@eauclairechamber.org 

This email was sent on behalf of {{TCDisplayName}} located at {{TCADDRAddress1}}{{TCADDRAddress2}}{{TCADDRCity}}{{TCADDRStateProvince}} {{TCADDRPostalCode}}To unsubscribe click here. If you have questions or comments concerning this email contact {{TCDisplayName}} at {{TCEmailAddress}}.