The Janesville City Council has seven members who are elected on a nonpartisan basis and represent the city as a whole. Councilmembers serve two-year, overlapping terms and are nonsalaried.
2019 - 2020 Janesville City Council
Pictured: Standing, from left - City Manager Mark Freitag, Councilmember Sue Conley, Councilmember Doug Marklein. Councilmember Paul Benson Sitting, from left - Councilmember Jim Farrell, Council Vice President Tom Wolfe, Council President Rich Gruber, and Councilmember Paul Williams.
To contact any of the Janesville City Councilmembers, please click here.
Richard Gruber, Council President
First appointed in 2015. Term expires in 2020.
"Prior to my retirement, I served as a vice president for Mercy Health System since 2002. In my role I had responsibilities for community advocacy, government relations at the federal, state and local levels, relationship management with regional private not-for-profit health related agencies, community services development, pastoral care and outreach, the Mercy Association of Volunteers and the Mercy Foundation.
I remain active in the community as a past Chair and member of the Forward Janesville Board of Directors, past President of the Rock County Historical Society, and past Chair and member of the Southwest Wisconsin Workforce Development Board. I have also served as a member of the Board of Healthnet of Rock County, the Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin, and past President and member of the Janesville Noon Lions.
I have also been active with the international education program at the School District of Janesville including founding and development roles with the Janesville Academy of International Studies and the award winning Rock University High School, one of only three Charter schools in Wisconsin dedicated to advanced studies in twenty-first century techniques to enable students to advance at their pace and their vision for success!
I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and History as well as a Master of Public Administration degree. Prior to joining Mercy, I enjoyed a career in local government management and administration spanning more than 20 years.
My wife, Lee, and I are proud to celebrate more than 40 years of marriage with two children, Alex, who works with Deloitte, and Lauren, an Advanced Practice Nurse Practitioner with a pediatric practice in Fort Atkinson."
Tom Wolfe, Council Vice President
First elected in 2017. Term expires in 2021.
“I was born and raised in Janesville with my five brothers and sisters and graduated from Parker High School. Between my wife and I we have four children and 10 grandchildren. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater and attended the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Prior to my retirement in 2015, I worked in the banking industry for more than 30 years.
I am passionate about giving back to the Janesville community and have served in many volunteer roles, including: the School District of Janesville Board of Education; the Janesville Zoning Board of Appeals; the Janesville Morning Rotary Club; the Janesville Performing Arts Center Board; the YMCA of North Rock County Board; and as a Forward Janesville Government Relations Committee Member and Goodwill Ambassador.
As a Janesville City Councilmember, I will work hard to represent the interests of all citizens. Thank you, Janesville residents, for the opportunity to serve."
Appointed in 2019. Term expires in 2020.
"I was born and raised in Janesville. I graduated from Oakhill Christian School in 2004 and then earned my bachelors degree from Silver Lake College. I earned my law degree from Arizona State University in 2011. I spent the first six years of my career practicing in Phoenix. In 2017, my wife and I moved back to Janesville. We now have two young boys. My legal practice is focused on injury litigation. I represent regular people throughout southern Wisconsin. Currently, I am the incoming president of the Janesville Morning Rotary Club. I’m excited to serve on the Council."
First elected in 2017. Term expires in 2021.
“I moved to Janesville from Galesburg, IL in 1971 as a child and have been an active volunteer in the community ever since. My parents were great role models as volunteers themselves.
I retired from the Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin in 2014 after serving as the executive director for 12 years. My previous work experience includes several positions at the YWCA Rock County including Executive Director and a branch manager of a bank in Janesville.
I have been an active nonprofit board leader since 1984 serving on many local boards including Janesville League of Women Voters, Women’s Fund, Janesville Education Foundation, Janesville Multicultural Teachers Scholarship Fund, Janesville Community Alliance Network, Janesville Performing Arts Center, United Way of North Rock County, Leadership Development Academy, Zonta Club of Janesville, Theatre Unlimited, Bower City Theatre Company, St. Mary School, Friends of JATV, Janesville Crimestoppers, and the YWCA Rock County.
Since retiring I have served as a consultant to local nonprofits providing tools and best practices to help nonprofits create good governance structures to better position them to advance their organization’s mission.
I believe I have skills that will benefit the City Council and the community and I look forward to serving on the Council.
I am married to Jim Conley and have three grown children.”
First elected in 2017. Term expires in 2021.
"I am a native of Kenosha, Wisconsin but have lived in Janesville with my wife, Judy, for 20 years. I have a degree in finance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation. My professional experience includes many positions in accounting management, specifically in the manufacturing industry. Today, I am retired and stay very active in the Janesville community. I currently serve on the Rock County Council on Aging and the Friends of Hedberg Public Library Board, and have volunteered at Roosevelt School, the Meals on Wheels program, the Literacy Connection, the noon Kiwanis Club, and many other great organizations and programs in the community.
I previously served on the City Council from 2012 to 2016 and am pleased to have been elected again to serve the citizens of Janesville. This is a very exciting time for Janesville in terms of economic growth, the development of downtown, and the transformation of the General Motors site. As Councilmember, I will make sure the City continues to move forward, that its financial health continues to be strong, and that the taxes and fees paid by our citizens stay level.”
First elected in 2013. Term expires in 2021.
"I have resided in Janesville since I was two years old. Started working for the family owned home building business since I was 5 sweeping and cleaning up. I graduated from UW-Madison with a degree in Construction Administration with a Real Estate emphasis in 1979. I became involved with the South Central Wisconsin Builders Association, eventually becoming their President in 1997. I have been a member of the Janesville Zoning Board of Appeals and currently a member of the Plan Commission. I was asked to serve on several Rock County Committees relating to Land Use and Farmland Preservation representing the interests of the Development community.
It is my wish to serve the citizens of Janesville to the best of my ability fairly and impartially. I have appeared many times before the council, and I will not forget the nervousness I felt at that moment. I believe in listening to the community and communicating back to the citizens in an open and honest manner.
My wife, Jean, and myself have raised two wonderful daughters who are now embarking on their own life journeys as caring professionals."
First elected in 2016. Terms expires in 2020.
"I have been a resident of Janesville all of my life. My immediate family includes my wife, Mary; two sons and their wives; two stepsons and their wives; two grandsons; twin step- grandsons; and a step-granddaughter.
My parents owned a towing service. I have been towing vehicles since I got my driver’s license 50 years ago. For 20 of those years, I also worked as a legal assistant in Mary’s law office. I am currently a full-time employee of Janesville’s Wurtz Service Center, Inc., and its Wurtz Towing.
My love of Janesville and its citizens led to a strong interest in city government about 25 years ago. In 1999 former Janesville City Manager Steve Sheiffer convinced me to run for city council. I served on the council from 2000 to 2008—vice-president for the 2002- 2003 term and president for the 2003-2004 term. I was on numerous committees and commissions during my tenure. I did not run for reelection because of plans, later aborted, to move closer to a historic restoration project.
I was re-elected to the council in 2016. The ARISE plan, along with the Monterey dam removal and new businesses moving into the city have increased public interest and involvement in city government. I am honored to be a part of the rebirth of Janesville. I hope my hometown values, my daily interaction with the public, my passion for researching council issues, and my council experience will continue to guide my judgment for the benefit of the community."