Write-in candidates for county board
They hope voters fill in blank ballot spaces
By Robert Cloud
Although many local ballots while have blank spaces for seats on the Waupaca County Board, half a dozen have filed to run as write-in candidates.
Voters can write the names of these candidates on ballots in districts where they are seeking office.
Jodi Ketchum is a write-in candidate for District 8.
A 1993 graduate of Waupaca High School, Ketchum attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, where she lived for five years.
Ketchum then lived in California for 15 years, where she attended the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine and operated a wellness center in San Diego for 13 years.
“I learned a lot about business,” Ketchum said, regarding her career in fashion. “But I am more of a nurturing kind of person.”
In 2017, Ketchum sold the wellness center and started a travel business.
She moved to Iola in 2019 and continued to run her travel agency.
“Then Covid happened,” she said.
Ketchum said she read that nobody had filed to represent the District 8 seat.
She said she spoke to two other county supervisors who encouraged her to run for the seat.
“I want to educate people on local elections,” Ketchum said. “I have talked to people who don’t even know there is a county board.”
She said she believes residents should be more involved in local government and, if elected, would encourage them to “bring their concerns to me so that I can bring them to the board.”
In speaking with potential constituents, Ketchum has learned that one of their top concerns is access to day care.
“I don’t know how I can change that, but I want to learn,” Ketchum said.
Noting her volunteer work with children, especially those with disabilities, while living in San Diego, Ketchum said she hopes to “bring some of those ideas here.”
“A lot of people complain about what’s happening in the county, but they don’t get involved,” Ketchum said. “We should try to make change instead of complaining about what’s happening.”
Lila A. Malvik-Shower is a write-in candidate in District 8.
She grew up in Iola, graduated from Iola Scandinavia High School, then earned a bachelor’s degree from Lakeland College (now University) near Sheboygan in 1983. Malvik-Shower majored in business administration, with a minor in finance,
She moved to Milwaukee and lived and worked there for 10 years.
In 1994, Malvik-Shower moved back to Iola and started working at Central Wisconsin Electric Cooperative (CWEC).
“I started out as the accountant in 1994 and now I am the VP of accounting and finance,” Malvik-Shower said. “My vast accounting experience will help with the many budgetary and financials issues that the Waupaca County Board addresses.”
Malvik-Shower was a student in Leadership Waupaca County from June 2004 to May 2005.
“This class focused on different companies in Waupaca County, the many areas of agribusiness and also politics at a local level for Waupaca County,” she said. “I learned how our government works locally and assists the vast diversity in our community. Between its agriculture,
manufacturing and tourism industries, Waupaca County has a robust commerce.
“I feel the tools I learned in Leadership Waupaca County will help me serve on the Waupaca County Board,” Malvik-Shower said.
As a member of the Wisconsin Electric Cooperative Association (WECA) Legislative Committee, Malvik-Shower has gone to Washington, D.C., on several occasions to lobby congressional representatives regarding issues specific to cooperatives.
She has been on the Iola Village Library Board of Directors for 20 years, serving as president for the last 15 years. Malvik-Shower also has served on the Iola Living Assistance Board of Directors for the past four years and on the Church Council for Hitterdahl Lutheran Church, currently as president.
“My experience on the Legislative Committee along with the diverse boards I have served on, has taught me many skills,” she said. “It has shown me how to work together with people who may have different opinions to implement necessary changes to help improve our community.”
Tom Johnson is running as a write-in candidate to represent District 11 on the Waupaca County Board.
“The County Board became more relevant when the District Attorney’s office and the Sheriff’s Office both turned to the board for relief,” Johnson said when asked why he was running for the seat. “I called to find out who my representative on the board was and found out that my present representative, Joyce Boyer, was not running and no one else was either. I decided to step into the breach.”
Johnson said that the time had expired to get on the ballot, so he registered as a write in candidate.
“I have no agenda to promote on the board,” Johnson said. “I want to begin by learning and contributing when I can.“
A 1972 Waupaca High School graduate, Johnson earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and economics from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in 1976. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1985.
He has been active in Trinity Lutheran Church in Waupaca, serving two terms as president of the Church Council. Johnson also served on the Board of Directors of Riverside Medical Center for 11 years.
He belongs to the Rotary Club in New London and have served as president. He was active in the Waupaca Jaycees until aging out and served as chairman of the Red Cross in Waupaca.
“As any county, Waupaca County faces challenges of a changing population, industrialization and balancing recreational needs,” Johnson said. “Waupaca County is blessed with an assortment of natural beauty, an educated populace and central location. Together we should be able to forge a very successful future.”
Charles (Chuck) Dinkel is a registered write-in candidate for Waupaca County Supervisor in District 18.
“I am running because I would like help solve issues facing Waupaca County such as farmland preservation and comprehensive planning with appropriate zoning for the county,” Dinkel said.
As a retired pharmacist, Dinkel believes his experience in the health care field can help him connect county government with the community to promote and protect the health of the environment and the wellness of residents.
After serving two years in the U.S. Marine Corps and reaching the rank of corporal during the Vietnam War, Dinkel returned to college at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and in 1973 graduated with a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy.
He opened his own pharmacy in Oshkosh in 1979 and operated it for 22 years before selling it to Walgreens in 2001.
“During the time I owned my own business, I was appointed by Gov. Tommy Thompson to the Pharmacy Examining Board, where I served for nine years and was chairman of the board for one year,” Dinkel said.
Also during that time, he was elected as a supervisor on the Algoma Town Board, where Dinkel served six years.
Dinkel and his wife and moved from just outside Oshkosh to the town of Royalton seven years ago to build a retirement home on the South Branch of the Little Wolf River.
“Probably the biggest challenge facing Waupaca County is the 2030 Comprehensive Plan developed and adopted by the county,” Dinkel said. “Following this plan will require a great amount of attention so things will go forward smoothly.”
Dinkel said, “The opportunities I see for Waupaca County are to develop into a very prosperous future that will still maintain its rural features and entice people to live here.”
Jake Timm is a write-in candidate for the District 27 seat on the Waupaca County Board.
“First and foremost, I read that no one was running in our district and I wanted to make sure that our community had representation,” he said. “Since then, I learned that Supervisor Craig has decided to run as a write-in as well. I have always had an interest in serving and I think it’s time for more people from our generation to get involved.”
Timm went to high school in Manawa and graduated in 2004. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in radio, TV and film.
Timm works for the city of Oshkosh as the media services coordinator.
“I live in Manawa and have three daughters, ages 9, 8 and 7, that always keep me on my toes,” Timm said. “Part of my motivation to be involved in things like the county board is that I want our community to be a great place for them growing up like it was for me.”
Timm has served on the Manawa Common Council and St. Paul Lutheran School (Manawa) Board of Education. He helps coach Manawa youth sports in the summer and is a member of the Manawa Lions Club.
Among Waupaca County’s top challenges, Timm noted, “Infrastructure, building and operating costs are on the rise, so that’s always going to present a challenge. That is not unique to Waupaca County, but it can’t go unsaid.
“I know the county has a five-year capital improvement plan, so we’re doing a good job of trying to plan out big projects for the future,” he said. “We just have to be ready to be flexible as costs fluctuate.
“Attracting, hiring and holding onto talented people is another challenge facing local governments today,” he said. “We have a lot to offer in Waupaca County, but there are a lot of jobs out there right now and not enough people to fill them. We need to get creative in how we can recruit talent.”
When asked about what opportunities he saw for the future of Waupaca County, Timm said, “We know this is a great place to live and raise our families, I’ve lived here for most of my life and I am proud to say that. I think that can be a big help when we talk about attracting people and businesses here. We may be made up of a few ‘small’ towns, but we have great people and great opportunities for those wise enough to give us a look.”
Incumbent County Supervisor Mary Craig, who earlier announced her intention to retire from the board, decided to run for re-election after “nobody else came forward as a candidate to fill the district (27) seat.”
“I didn’t want to see it vacant until someone could be appointed,” Craig said. “This happened a few years ago and there was no representation for the district for several months. So, I filled out my papers to be a write-in.”
Craig has served on the Manawa City Council and Sturm Memorial Library Board, as secretary for the Royalton Cemetery Association, charter president of the Manawa Area Woman’s Club, chairperson of the Little Wolf River Trails in Manawa and as a member of the Manawa Revitalization Committee.
“I was also a guardian for residents from Waupaca County after I retired from Lakeview Manor Weyauwega, where I worked in the Activities Department,” Craig said.
“I would like to be on more committees on the board,” Craig said. “The committees are where the decisions are made and brought to the board for approval or no approval. I was only on one committee – Parks and Recreation Committee – which I thoroughly enjoyed and the TIF district of Manawa. The parks and recreation committee meets monthly, the TIF meets once a year.
“I would like to be on a few more committees if elected, to really see the workings of the board before I can say what do I want to accomplish,” she said. “As a whole, the county board works very well together.”
CORRECTION: In last week’s article about county board candidates, Jodi Ketchum’s first name was misspelled.