In the only contested race across Waukesha, the incumbent Peter Bartels retained his seat on the common council Tuesday night.

With about 56 percent of the vote, Bartels defeated challenger Mike Volpano, 611-457, to earn a three-year term on the common council. The seat represents residents on Waukesha's northwest side.

"I'm very excited and happy about the results so we can continue to make more progress over the next three years," Bartels said.

Bartels, 47, an operations manager at a metal fabrication company, was appointed to the council during the summer of 2013 after longtime alderman and former Common Council President Paul Ybarra stepped down.

Bartels ran unchallenged for the seat in 2014. That year, Volpano looked at becoming the city's mayor. Volpano, 65, was eliminated in the primary round after finishing with the fewest votes of the four candidates.

But Volpano said the urge to serve the city in some capacity never left him.

He said his goal was to be an active voice for his district and all of Waukesha. He said many people he talked with felt that they weren't getting their issues addressed.

To Bartels, however, Tuesday's results show that the people in District 5 approve of the job he is doing.

Bartels has been a member of the plan commission and finance committee, two panels that he called "the most important for the city," for the last two years.

"Those are a lot of responsibility, because, with the finance committee, that's where all of the dollars get vetted," Bartels said.

At the plan commission level, Bartels is part of a panel that reviews and recommends building developments before they are sent to the common council.

He said he has already made a request to Mayor Shawn Reilly to retain his spot on both of those committees.

"We have tried to make sure we spend money wisely and not use unnecessary expenditures over the last few years," Bartels said. "People in Waukesha pay attention to that."

Other seats

While the other eight aldermanic seats on the ballot this spring were uncontested, there will be one new member to the council.

Bill Boyle, a member of the city's water utility commission and board of review, is the new alderman in District 14, which covers sections of the west and northwest sides of Waukesha.

Boyle was the only candidate to run for a seat that Joan Francoeur has held for 13 years. Francoeur announced last year that she would not seek re-election.

Other aldermen who earned three-year terms to the council after going uncontested on Tuesday are Erik Helgestad, Vance Skinner, Kathleen Cummings, Cory Payne, Joe Pieper, Aaron Perry and Terry Thieme.

Helgestad maintains seat

However, Helgestad, who represents the downtown area in District 11, had to fend off a late write-in campaign over the last couple of weeks.

Joe Glatzel announced on Wednesday, March 23, less than two weeks before the election, that he was running as a write-in candidate.

He said he made the decision two days after attending an 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.

No decision has been made yet about the street closure and special events ordinance.

In the end, Glatzel's late efforts weren't enough. Helgestad received 667 of the 797 votes cast or 83.7 percent. There were 130 write-in votes.


Peter Bartels (inc.) 611

Mike Volpano 457

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