By Jacob Mathias
District 1 Alderman Chad Wirl has resigned from his office effective November 30.
Wirl has served as an alderman since 2009 and recently announced he’d be stepping down from his position for reasons of family, business opportunities and health.
“I am very proud of what the city has accomplished during my time as an alderperson and prouder still to have been involved in several projects that have made our city a better place both today and for tomorrow,” said Wirl.
In his term as alderman, Wirl was instrumental in his district’s neighborhood clean-up initiative as well as the neighborhood watch program, both of which he credits to the residents of his district. He said he hopes those initiatives will be carried out city-wide.
“He’s really elevated the challenges in his district,” said Mayor Zachary Vruwink. “He’s been a great partner in terms of getting things going in the last number of years that I’ve been able to work with him.”
Wirl received a round of applause from fellow alderman and city staff at Monday’s meeting.
“I think we should take a moment to thank him for his service to his district and the city,” said District 5 Alderman Steve Koth.
Wirl’s term was set to end in April 2017. At its meeting on November 17, the council selected Lee Thao to fill Wirl’s position until April of 2016 when a special election will be held for the office of District 1 Alderman.
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.
“I would be honored if I would be able to get the position,” said Thao.
Those living in District 1 who are are interested in becoming an alderman can contact the City Clerk’s office for candidacy paperwork beginning December 1.
The next meeting of the Common Council is December 15 at 6:00 PM in the council chambers at City Hall.