Teege Mettille, assistant director of admissions at Lawrence, was elected alderman for Appleton’s 11th District and will be sworn in April 19 at City Hall in downtown Appleton.
High water bills, the near-elimination of Appleton’s Diversity Coordinator position and the recent union bargaining rights controversy in Madison inspired Mettille to enter the race for alderman.
In his new position, Mettille will represent 5,000-6,000 constituents living in Appleton on City Council. Mettille noted, “Currently that includes Kohler Hall, but I expect that after redistricting that may not be the case.”
Mettille sees his work at Lawrence’s admissions office as fitting in seamlessly with his new position on Appleton’s City Council. He clarified that his job entails traveling around the country and encouraging students to move to Appleton.
“My work at Lawrence has helped me see Appleton not just through an insider’s position but as someone who loves the city and as someone trying to convince people to move here,” Mettille said.
Director of Conservatory Admissions Nathan Ament described himself as a “sounding board for Teege” as Mettille navigated the local political landscape in his campaign. Ament commented on his colleague’s victory, saying, “To put it mildly, I was ecstatic and overjoyed when Teege called me on election night.”
On April 5, Mettille defeated incumbent Earl Brooker, who had served on Appleton’s City Council for 12 years. “I had to overcome a large name recognition disadvantage,” explained Mettille. “And then I had to overcome the fact that once people learned my name, no one knew how to pronounce it,” he joked.
Ament called Mettille’s defeat of Brooker “no small feat” and praised Mettille’s decisions throughout his campaign. Said Ament, “Teege structured and operated his campaign at a higher level than I believe has ever been seen before in an alderman race. I believe he has set the bar for future alderman elections in Appleton.”
Mettille described his campaign as “very much a door-to-door grassroots effort.” During the campaign, Mettille visited the houses of people in his district and found that the residents were interested in talking to him about city issues.
He noted, “I was surprised at how open people were to hearing a new voice… It was really encouraging to hear all the different ideas that people had.”
When asked about his opinion about Lawrence’s relationship with the Appleton community, Mettille stated, “Overall, people that I’ve talked to around the city had a pretty positive view about Lawrence and what it does for the city.”
However, he admitted that he was interested in finding more ways to reach out to community members and build awareness about the services that Lawrence has to offer Appleton residents.
Ament noted, “I think Teege will move Lawrence’s relationship with Appleton in a positive and new direction… As with anything, there is always room for improvement and Teege will bring a unique perspective to the City Council given his insight into the Lawrence community.”
Both Mettille and Ament explained that Appleton’s City Council will soon address questions about the safety of the College Avenue crosswalks on Lawrence’s campus, something that obviously affects the daily lives of Lawrence students, faculty and staff and Appleton residents alike.
Excited about the voice that Mettille will bring to Appleton’s City Council, Ament stated, “I believe Teege has the ability to synthesize the perspectives of District 11 and effectively communicate these to the City Council.”