By Buck Traxler, I-O Editor
New alderman Ron Widhalm, age 56, is ready to serve the city where he has been a Main Street business owner for over 22 years.
Born and raised in Valier, he graduated from Valier High School in 1973.
Widhalm has been a Conrad resident for 36 years and owner of Conrad Tire Company for 22 years, where he and his wife Bev were named the Conrad Area Chamber of Commerce Business Leader(s) of the Year in 2002.
With that he tells the I-O, “I know most of the people in town and the surrounding area and have heard their concerns over the years.”
He is also a long-time member of the Conrad Lions Club, the Moose Lodge and is retired from the Conrad Volunteer Fire Department after serving for 20 years.
Widhalm has never run for an elected office and of his appointment to the city council, he says, “I feel it is time to try and give something back to the community that has helped us and our business all these years.”
Asked what is strengths are, he says, “I am open minded and eager to learn the processes of the city government.’ His weakness, he notes is “I try to please everyone.”
He has no specific plans for changes, but hopes to play a part in pursuing new business opportunities for the Conrad area.”
He feels one of the biggest problems is getting businesses to come to and stay in Conrad. And adds, “I’m sure I will find more in the coming months.”
When he has the time, he likes to go camping, hit the lanes at the bowling alley and sneak in a round of golf or two.
He and Bev have two children, Christy Widhalm Kulpas and Casey and two grandchildren, Jarrett and Cierra Kulpas.
Widhalm is quick to add, “I am brand new to the government arena but have a great mayor, council and city staff to guide me through this initial step.”
As an alderman, he hopes to “keep Conrad a place where people can raise a family, work and enjoy life in their town as I have been blessed, and been able to do for the last 36 years.”
“I welcome the citizens of Conrad to bring in their concerns and I will do my utmost to get them the attention they deserve.”
Widhalm takes his seat for his first full council meeting April 18, 7:30 p.m. in city hall at 411-1/2 S. Main Street.
The public is always welcome and encouraged to attend council meetings and view their government at action.