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Alderman Erik Helgestad is the only candidate on the ballot in Waukesha's 11th district.

But less than two weeks before the April 5 general election, another candidate has launched a write-in campaign for his downtown seat.

Joe Glatzel announced on Wednesday, March 23, that he is running as a write-in candidate.

He said he made the decision two days after attending Monday's Ordinance and License Committee meeting in which a five-person panel made up of five aldermen, including Helgestad, discussed a proposed fee increase for street closures and special events.

How a fee increase specifically pertains to the Friday Night Live weekly summer music series got the attention of Glatzel and many others interested in the downtown event who feared it might be priced out.

"I listened as the discussion continued to focus on charging higher fees for event organizers that bring a higher quality of life to Waukesha," Glatzel said. "I did not sense that the wishes and concerns of the District 11 residents were accurately represented in this discussion."

The ordinance changes, which have not been implemented and still have to come before the common council for approval, have been discussed at length at two Ordinance and License Committee meetings on March 14 and 21.

Helgestad took a cautious approach when discussing the issue during a later portion of the March 21 meeting, while adding no one wants to get rid of an event like Friday Night Live.

“Most of us are trying to wrap our hands around a big subject in the city,” he said about the ordinances. “Not just Friday Night Live, but more than that. I don’t think anyone here wants to see those events go away. I haven’t heard that language ever been used. I don’t want to get the notion in anyone’s heads that that’s what is happening.”

Helgestad said he has heard from people all over the spectrum on the issue. 

“We’re not in any rush,” Helgestad said about any ordinance changes. “We don’t need to fly through this and I don’t think there is any intent to fly through this.”

Helgestad later wrote in a Facebook post on Wednesday, March 23, that "I think it's agreeable to keep the fee (a $150 seasonal fee instead of charging a group up to $350 each time they close the street for a recurring event like Friday Night Live) as it is at this time as well, and I think that's something many can support."

Helgestad was appointed to the District 11 seat in October. He replaced Roger Patton, who died on Oct. 11 after resigning a month earlier for health reasons.

Glatzel added "he will support the growth and continuation of events like Waukesha's Friday Night (Live), Farmer's Market, runs/walks, parades and other events."

Helgestad, also a frequent attendee of downtown events, initially spoke in favor of having the Waukesha Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department take over the Waukesha Farmers Market from the Waukesha Downtown Business Association in February.

But when the item came before the common council last month, he voted against the Parks Department taking over the market.

To view a map of District 11 see bit.ly/District11Waukesha.

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