By Jacob Mathias
A new alderman was officially sworn into the Wisconsin Rapids Common Council Tuesday night.
District 1 Alderman Lee Thao was officially sworn into the Common Council at its meeting on December 15. Thao takes the position of former Alderman Chad Wirl who resigned from his post effective November 30 citing family, business opportunities and health as reasons for his resignation.
“I’m getting the hang of it, being here and trying to make a difference in the community,” said Thao. “I think that going forward with more information being available to me, my decisions will make the community a better place for everybody.”
Thao is a 26-year Wisconsin Rapids resident. He sits on the board of the Hmong Association of Wood County and is a leader of the Hmong 18 Council of Wisconsin representing the Thao clan in Wisconsin Rapids. He works as a bookkeeper at Paper City Savings bank.
Thao was appointed to take over Wirl’s role by the council on November 17 and assumed his duties December 1. Thao’s appointed term is only until April when he will have to be elected by the residents of his district in the regular election.
He plans to run for re-election in April and will soon turn in the require candidacy paperwork and signatures required to run for the office.
Other alders whose terms end in April are Todd Ferkey, Thomas Rayome, Gregg Hepp and Terry Dolan. Those who are are interested in becoming an alderman can still contact the City Clerk’s office for candidacy paperwork.
Wirl will receive recognition by the council at its meeting on January 19 at 6:00 PM in City Hall.