Spring Election Preview

Ben Meyer

Two seats on the Sturgeon Bay City Council are contested. Ben Meyer (I) is challenged by Dan Wiegand, and James Michaud (I) is challenged by John Lodl.

District 1

Ben Meyer

725 Georgia Street, Sturgeon Bay


[email protected]

Family: Wife, Lori and daughter

Age: 32

Education: Marshfield Senior High School, Marshfield WI (1995); Lawrence University, B.A. Double Major in Music (education and performance) and Theatre, Appleton WI (2000)

Occupation: Employed by Bjorklunden, Baileys Harbor, since 2001; Sturgeon Bay Public Schools substitute teacher (2003 – 2007); In 2007 I started my job on the City Council and 2008 I was elected to the County Board of Supervisors.

Previous Elected Office (if any): Sturgeon Bay City Council (2007 – present); Door County Board of Supervisors (2008 – present)

Relevant Experience/ Civic involvement: In 2002 I helped found Isadoora Theatre Company. In 2004 I led the volunteer “Get Out the Vote” effort in Door County. Since being elected in 2007 I’ve worked with the Boys and Girls Club, Habitat for Humanity, the Door County Humane Society, Safe Routes to School, Lakeshore CAP, and other organizations to make our community better.

Why are you the best choice for city council?

Since 2007 I have worked hard to raise expectations of our local elected officials. Since elected, I’ve sent regular summaries of our City Council agendas BEFORE the meetings, giving over 300 homes a chance to weigh-in on issues before decisions are made. And, having personally distributed my contact information throughout our district five times, I have worked hard to make our district the most informed throughout the City. These efforts, along with input from city staff and other experts, have allowed me to make the best possible decisions for the City of Sturgeon Bay. Join the conversation at [email protected].

What is the number one issue facing the city and what is your position on it?

National and global economic forces are having an even greater impact on our community. Maintaining jobs and diversifying our local economy are critical to our city’s future. Finding a balance of tourism, manufacturing, and service industries is as important as developing new jobs supported by expanding our communications connectivity to the rest of the world. We have a beautiful and safe place to live and that will help attract new employers. But, without timely and responsible infrastructure investment we will lose new jobs to other communities.

What perspective and skills do you bring to the city council?

My insistence to solve problems comprehensively and my willingness to give new ideas a chance are needed assets to successful governing on the City Council. For example, I was the only alderperson to suggest any cut in the 2009 budget. I suggested that paving under bleachers should be put off at least a year because the price of asphalt is too high and the city should lead the way in reducing impervious surfaces. Impervious surfaces (roofs, parking lots, roads, etc.) are the main culprit in our storm-water management issues throughout the city. The city will eventually need to spend millions of tax dollars in order to properly manage our storm-water. Pursuing every way to reduce impervious surfaces can save us money now, save us from expensive future investments, and ultimately protect the quality of our surface waters.

So, for me, it’s not about disliking asphalt, bleachers or the people sitting in them. Too often we seek the simple solution to complex problems, which leads to more complications and expense. By considering all the consequences of our actions and working towards comprehensive solutions we can save more money and do more good than the more simplistic and reactive approach so popular now.

What other issue or issues are a high priority for the city in the term ahead?

LITTLE LAKE: After a dozen years of inaction we will finally see progress at Little Lake. However, the project may not be completed this year. Persistent support is needed to reach a sustainable solution. Funding to remove contaminated sediment on the bottom of Little Lake must be acquired. It is equally critical to continue to inform citizens how we can help by installing rain barrels, rain gardens and keeping fertilizers, waste, and other contaminants out of storm-sewers that contribute to Little Lake.

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN: It is critical to adopt a comprehensive plan that truly prepares Sturgeon Bay for a complicated and uncertain future. Striking a balance of responsible growth, protecting current public investments, and making our community more sustainable are all critical.

ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS: As a parent, I am deeply committed to maintaining the health of our natural environment for future generations. Conserving energy, protecting our water supply, and investing in proven “green” infrastructure are no longer options – we must address these needs – and we can save money, too! My perspective as a young family man does not allow me to turn-away from these issues. For example, we can save our citizens money by promoting walking and biking because they’ll help reduce healthcare costs.

Dan Wiegand

Repeated attempts were made to contact Dan Wiegand; however at the time of press, he did not respond to our questionnaire. Should information become available, it will be posted at