PLATTEVILLE, Wis. — A new Platteville Common Council member was appointed Tuesday night.
By a 4-2 vote, council members selected Jason Artz to fill a seat vacated earlier this year.
“Especially within a city and village and smaller governments, I feel like those are places where more impact can be made,” Artz said following the decision. “You can work closer with community members. … That’s been important for me throughout my life — public service.”
Artz, who is a mental health counselor at University of Wisconsin-Platteville, will fill the at-large seat vacated by Cena Sharp, who resigned July 11. The term runs through April 2021.
Five candidates applied for the position, and council members interviewed them earlier this month.
Artz’s appointment was backed by Robin Cline, Eileen Nickels, Barb Daus and Isaac Shanley. Ken Kilian and Barb Stockhausen voted for another applicant, Shanshan Thompson.
The council’s appointment followed a split vote in which Daus initially supported Thompson’s candidacy.
To resolve the impasse, council members explained their support.
Nickels recalled Artz’s interview.
“His comment was that the City of Platteville has so many good things going for it,” she said. “What he wants is to continue that. To continue to move that forward. That just struck me. That is exactly how I feel about the city of Platteville.”
Stockhausen supported Thompson, pointing out that the candidate serves on the Commission on Aging and volunteers at Mining & Rollo Jamison Museums. Stockhausen observed that Thompson is from China and would add diversity to the council.
“I think that’s very important in our community because we are a cosmopolitan type of environment,” Stockhausen said.
Council President Daus said she was “thrilled” by the level of interest expressed by the citizens of Platteville in applying for the position.
“Five very diverse candidates, and that’s very good, too,” she said.
The three other candidates — Ben Behlke, student body president at UW-P; Michael Denn, a former council member; and Staci Strobl, a member of the city Plan Commission and Community Development Board — applied for the position, but council members did not nominate them for final consideration.
Artz will take his oath of office at the council’s Oct. 8 meeting.