What a difference a few weeks can make. March began with three positions village trustee positions open on the ballot with no declared candidates. This week, three more write-in candidates have declared their interest in civic service – Kim Pettit and Steven Welter and Ed Block.
Kim Pettit, 61, moved to Gays Mills nine years ago. She is married to Mike Pettit, owner of Appleland Sports. They live at 48536 Appleland Drive.
Pettit has three grown children – James Paradiso, John Paradiso, and Jessica Dreier – who live in Dubuque, Iowa, her hometown.
Pettit is the manager of Hartig Drug in Prairie du Chien. She attended Area 1 Vocational School, now renamed Northeast Iowa Community College, where she studied business.
Pettit has been a member of the Women of the Moose, the womens auxiliary of the fraternal Order of the Moose service organization, for 40 years. She served for several years on the organization’s Grand Council, the policy making board.
“This is something that I have thought about doing off and on,” Pettit said of running for the board. “I would like to do something for the community. It is a chance to learn, change, and grow with the village.”
Pettit said she has fallen in love with the village that is now her home.
Steven Welter, 31, moved to Gays Mills two years ago. He lives at 47990 Highway 131. A single father, Welter has shared custody of his three children – Laila, 6, Autumn, 5, and Cecelia, 2.
Welter is a technical product support manager at Building Automation Supply, Inc. (BAPI), where he provides customer with technical support and helps resolve quality issues that arise in the field.
Born and raised in New Lisbon, Welter attended Western Technical College where he earned an associates degree in electrical engineering technologies. While at WTC, he served in student government. Welter is currently a member of BAPI’s leadership team.
“Serving on the board would allow me to become closer to the community, to be more involved with the village,” Welter said.
Welter sees service on the board as a natural outgrowth of his interests and an opportunity to learn more about his new home.
Ed Block, 65, is currently serving as a trustee. He was appointed to the position last spring. He moved to the area 10½ years ago and lives at 49833 Old Gays Road.
Block has an Associates of Arts degree and has continued to take non degree classes over the years, primarily in art and horticulture.
Block is a member of the Village Stewards, a volunteer group creating and maintaining community gardens in the village. He has served on the boards of the Kickapoo Exchange Food Co-op and Kickapoo Cultural Exchange, as well as on committees for Driftless Wisconsin Grown. He is currently consulting with the city of Boscobel to create a farmers market.
“Over the years, I have seem people who do nothing or who hold things back, saying they won’t work,” Block said. “I’m not that kind of person. I think positive changes can occur. I have been involved in getting new street lighting and curbs downtown, it getting gardens installed. I’ll give it another couple of years if people will have me.”
Gays Mills now has five write in-candidates for three trustee seats and one write-in challenge for the position of village president.
Trustee John Johnson is challenging current president Harry Heisz, who will appear on the ballot.
Joining Kim Pettit, Steven Welter and Ed Block as candidates are Craig Anderson and Paul ‘Jim’ Lomas.