After working in the City Council for the first term three years ago, Mark Olson knows that he needs to be in the office for the second term. Olson has worked in the fire department for 24 years before retiring when he got elected in City Council.
“I didn’t feel the council had a real awareness of labor issues,” Olson said when asked about his reason for running for City Council.
During his time in office, Olson has developed a façade program for the strip malls to help with improving the looks especially in areas that they are redeveloping. They also are giving loans to others for improving their building’s outside appearance.
Working with the fire department’s negotiating team gave Olson a good working knowledge when he started on the City Council budget process. He had several years of experience working the budget process and felt there could be improvement that needs to be done to fine money and to make it more transparent to the general public. Olson also introduced a resolution to provide insurance for same sex domestic couples within the city this summer.
Olson said labor issues is the main factor for him running for City Council. He feels that the council has a better understanding of labor issues now. Olson wants to make sure the employees get a fair share when setting up the new rules for the work guide.
“Eau Claire possibly could have a shortage of a work force in five to eight years because of the age of our community,” Olson said and hopes to create more jobs in our community. He would like to bring and keep the entrepreneurs in and improve the quality life of the community. He adds that the university and tech school should have programs available for students to take that the companies are looking for in their work force.
Junior Geraldine Tong in the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire agrees that Eau Claire is a city that is mostly comprised of the elder generation and feels that graduated students should be involved to improve the work force in Eau Claire.
“I hope that with jobs offered in the community, it would lead to a bigger and better future for both the newly graduated students as well as Eau Claire.” Tong said.
Olson has three main goals that he wants to achieve when elected as City Council member. The first would be getting the work rule set up correctly. The second is figuring out the Confluence Project and whether it is financially feasible and can sustain itself. Lastly, the economic development of Eau Claire by creating more occupations for the community.
By I-May Choo
Edited by Koreen Greenhow