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MEQUON - The city is working to fill two common council seats and the common council, meeting as committee of the whole, recommended former District 7 Alderman Andrew Nerbun to fill the District 8 seat.

Both Nerbun and resident Kim Steinbrenner were interviewed publicly for the position at the April 3 meeting. Nerbun won the vote 4-2.

The common council will meet April 11 to finalize the decision.

The District 8 seat was made available following the death of Alderwoman Pam Adams on Feb. 28. Nerbun, who happened to be moving to District 8, had planned to resign from the council since he was leaving his district. He announced his intent to leave his position at the council's March meeting.

During the meeting where the council interviewed potential candidates, Nerbun said if the opportunity hadn't arisen due to the unique set of circumstances, he would have been bidding the council farewell as a member.

"I've really become quite fond of serving, it's one of the most humbling opportunities of my life and I really enjoy giving back to the community in this way," Nerbun said.

Council comments at committee meeting

The vote was split among council members, however, with most saying both candidates were qualified in different ways.

Alderman John Wirth voiced his support for Nerbun, saying he is bringing a lot of experience back to the council. He also spoke to having the District 7 seat to fill as well as a new member in the District 2 seat following Alderwoman Connie Pukaite's decision not to run in the April election.

Alderman Mark Gierl voiced support for Steinbrenner, stating the residents do like her and she knows the issues. Speaking of Nerbun, Gierl said he agreed with his approach to economic development and "he just enjoys being an alderman," adding that it was a tough decision.

Regarding who is most qualified, Alderman Dale Mayr said that would be Nerbun. However, he said Steinbrenner has her finger on "the pulse of the district." Mayr eventually went with Nerbun, saying in this case experience won out.

Alderman John Hawkins called them both "strong candidates." He said the April 2018 election will be "the will of the people" and wished them both luck in that election. For now, however, Hawkins said it makes sense to bring in Nerbun for the unfulfilled term due to his experience.

In her last meeting, Pukaite said there is stability on the council no matter who is chosen. She spoke to experience being a factor as well as a fresh perspective.

"I'd kind of like to see some new perspective on the council," Pukaite said, adding it was one of the reasons she chose not to run.

Pukaite noted Steinbrenner's comment during the interview process to learn the issues, informing the public, and then "vote for what is right" which led Pukaite to support her for the position.

Alderman Robert Strzelczyk followed that up, saying Adams had a great love for the city and that both candidates have that quality. Deciding to support Nerbun, Strzelczyk said due to Nerbun's experience, communication would be a little more seamless.

"I do come back, personally, to experience in the role," he said, adding that it was very close.

The District 8 seat will be up for election in April 2018, which is when Adams' term would have expired.

A similar process of requesting a letter of interest and resume from residents followed by interviews during a public meeting is likely to be used to fill Nerbun's former District 7 seat.

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