Kim Smith.

Former incumbent alderperson Kim Smith is facing a challenge from database developer Greg Luce in the 3rd District Onalaska Common Council seat that’s up for election on April 3.

Incumbent Harvey Bertrand is not seeking reelection, which created an opening for Smith to try and reclaim the seat she held for three terms before resigning to take a job outside the area in 2013.

An Onalaska High School graduate who holds a science degree from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Smith currently works at City Brewery as Quality Control Coordinator. She touts her previous experience on the city council and what she says is her ability to keep an open mind and listen to different points of view.

“My greatest quality is my passion for our community,” Smith said in a statement. “I have a lot of positive energy and determination to get things done. I have strong connections to the community, I am a lifelong resident and have raised a family here. It is important to me that Onalaska continues to be a great place to live, work and prosper.”

Smith’s opponent Greg Luce grew up in Adams Friendship and studied computer science at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. He said he’s lived in the area for the past eight years.

Luce said he was running to “restore some integrity” to Onalaska’s city government, which in his view has been tarnished by recent controversies. He cites the issues with the city’s municipal court as one example. An audit of the court raised concerns oversight and management of the court but no evidence of fraud.

“Our city government does some things pretty well like roads and water/sewer,” Luce said in a statement. “I would like to see us focus on continuing this and not getting into more boondoggles like the Great River Landing and its new program of public art, police drone programs and other non-essential things. My goal is keep our city government modest so that our taxes do not increase or could even decrease in the future.”

The spring election for the 3rd district seat is Tuesday, April 3. In-office absentee voting begins Monday, March 19.

There’s a contested primary election on Tuesday, Feb. 20, for the Onalaska Common Council 2nd District seat that’s being vacated Bob Muth. The candidates in the primary are Diane Wulf, Kevin Hintz and Dan Stevens. In the 1st District, there will be a contested general election on April 3 between incumbent Jim Olson and challenger Joe Etten.

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