City Council

PORTraits by Lynne

Meet Your Council Members

Mayor Tom Stiehm was elected in 2006 as mayor of Austin.  He served two 2-year terms and is now serving his second 4-year term, upon the City Charter amendment in 2010 amending the mayoral terms.  His current term expires in December 2020.

As mayor, Tom Stiehm sits on the Law Enforcement Center Committee and is active with Vision 2020.  He is also a director on the Mower County Senior Center Board.

Mayor Stiehm spent his career in law enforcement.  He began with the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department, and in 1976 he became a police officer for the City of Austin.  He was promoted to Detective Sergeant in 1989 and was assigned to the Southeastern Minnesota Drug Task Force in 1990.  He retired in 2006.

A Minnesota native, Mayor Stiehm and his family moved to Milwaukee when he was three.  After graduating from high school in 1970, he served our country for three years in the Marine Corps.  He was stationed in California, Okinawa and Quantico, Virginia.  While in Okinawa, he was on a Westpac Battalion Landing Team that was in Vietnam for their elections in 1971.

Mayor Stiehm is married to Sarah.  They have three children and six grandchildren.  In their spare time, he and his wife enjoy motorcycling and camping.

To contact Mayor:

Mayor Tom Stiehm
City of Austin
500 Fourth Avenue NE
Austin, MN 55912-3773
Phone:(507) 437-9965

Jeff Austin

Council Member Jeff Austin was elected to the Austin City Council in November of 2006 and is currently serving his third term as council member in the First Ward.  He is proud to serve the residents of the First Ward and all citizens of Austin.

As a senior council member, Austin sits on several boards including the Austin/Mower County Homeownership Board, Park & Recreation Board, Austin Port Authority, and the Blazing Star Joint Powers Board.

Council Member Austin is a lifelong resident of Austin. He is an Assistant Store Leader for Kwik Trip in Austin. 

Council Member Austin has two daughters, two sons, and five grandchildren. 

To contact Council Member Austin:

Jeff Austin
1008 6th Avenue NW
Austin, Mn 55912

Steve King

Council Member Steve King was first elected to the City Council in November 2008 and is currently serving his third term in office.

Council Member King is very active in the Austin community.  He serves on the Discover Austin Board, Family Connections, Mower County Community Health Board, Mower County Water Management Committee, One Watershed One Plan Advisory Committee, Smart Transit Authority, and the Area Drug Taskforce.

Council Member King has served as director of Mower County Corrections since January of 2005.  Prior to his current position, King was a long time employee with the Minnesota Department of Corrections based in St. Paul. During his tenure King held various positions including work release agent, probation and parole officer, enhanced sex offender agent, intensive supervised release agent, and community notification coordinator for level 3 sex offenders. He is active in the Minnesota Association of County Probation Officers, having recently served as president.  Council Member King was recently elected to serve as Minnesota Corrections Association vice president.

Council Member King is an Austin native.  He serves as a trustee for Pacelli Catholic Schools and is an active parishioner at St. Augustine Church where he lectures and volunteers.

Council Member King holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from St. Mary’s University in Winona.

He is married to Shelley, and they are the proud parents of Carter and Sam.

To contact Council Member King:

Home 507-433-2777
Cell 507-438-0599
Office 507-437-9453

Laura Helle

An Iowa farm girl by birth, Laura Helle works at the Austin Area Commission for the Arts. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Iowa State University in Graphic Design with a minor in Journalism/Mass Communication. She is the mother of an 8-year-old daughter who attends Sumner Elementary and is married to teacher Matt Stobaugh.  Helle came to Austin in 2001 and has volunteered for many community organizations including a term on the City Planning and Zoning Commission. Her hobbies include reading, baking and practicing yoga.

To contact Council Member Helle:

Laura Helle
1009 8th Street NW
Austin, Mn 55912

Paul Fischer

Third Ward Council Member Paul Fischer

Council Member Paul Fischer was elected to the Austin City Council in November 2016.  He serves on the Salvation Army Public Relations Board, the Austin/Mower County Homeownership Board, Vision 2020 Business Friendly Committee, and the Sustainability Taskforce. 

He is employed by Fairway Outdoor Marketing.

An Austin native, Council Member Fischer states he ran for public office due to his previous experience serving on the Brownsdale City Council and because of his knowledge of the City of Austin.  He believes citizens should be involved in whatever way they can to improve their community on a daily basis.

Paul Fischer has two children, Evan and Katara.  He and his family are members of the YMCA and St. Augustine Church.

To contact Council Member Fischer:

Paul Fischer
2003 2nd Avenue SE
Austin, Mn 55912

Rebecca Waller

Rebecca Waller was elected to the City Council in 2019.   She graduated from Winona State University in 2005 a bachelor’s degree in marketing.  She has worked for Kwik Trip since 2007 and is a certified training store leader.

Rebecca and her family have lived in Austin since 2007.  Her husband, Bernard, is employed with the Mower County Sheriff’s department.  They have two beautiful daughters, Isabelle and Sydney, and the family enjoys many outdoor activities including the numerous bike trails Austin offers.

She believes Austin is a great community with great neighbors and a small town feeling.

To contact Council Member Waller:

Rebecca Waller
706 11th Avenue NW

Austin, Mn 55912
Phone:  507-398-6682

Jason Baskin

Council Member Jason Baskin was elected to the City Council in November 2018 and is currently serving his first term.

Baskin has been an active leader in the community, serving as Chair of the Human Rights Commission prior to his election, and currently as a member of APEX Austin and as a volunteer youth soccer coach. He is a graduate of Leadership Austin.

Council Member Baskin grew up in Austin, graduating High Distinction from Austin High School, where he was the Minnesota State Champion in Lincoln-Douglas Debate. He went on to receive a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota-Carlson School of Management and an MBA from the University of Minnesota-Duluth, gradating Beta Gamma Sigma. He works in Marketing.

Council Member Baskin is married to Katie, and they are the proud parents of Ava and Olivia.

To contact Council Member Baskin:

Jason Baskin
2902 7th Ave SW
Austin, Mn 55912
Phone: 507-440-1729

Joyce Poshusta

Joyce and her husband have made Austin their home since 2000.  They have raised 3 boys and are both employed in Austin.  

For most of Joyce’s career, she has worked in housing and currently manages the Twin Towers.  She has been employed through the HRA since 2015.

Joyce has served on several boards throughout the years, including Apple Lane, Rachel’s Hope and the Austin HRA.  She enjoys being involved in the community and is proud to be serving on the City Council.

To contact Council Member Poshusta:

Joyce Poshusta
201 17th Avenue NE
Austin, Mn 55912
Phone:  507-279-7510


 Who are my city council representatives?

  1. Find your home on the map. (Precinct Ward Boundaries)
  2. Identify the ward(w) you live in.
  3. Contact information of that ward’s two Council Members is above.  The Council Member-at-Large also represents the entire City.

Please call 437-9940 if you need assistance in determining your Council Members.

Austin, MN Code of Ordinances

The elective officers of said council shall be the mayor and seven council members. All officers shall be residents and qualified voters in said city.

Each ward shall elect two council members, each of whom shall be a resident and qualified voter within the ward for which he or she is elected. There shall also be elected within and for said city one council member-at-large who shall be a resident of said city.

Section 3.03 TERMS OF OFFICE.
The official term of all elective officers under the provisions of the Charter shall commence on the first business day in January next succeeding their election, and all officers to be appointed to elective offices by the city council as hereinafter provided shall enter upon the duties of their respective offices at the time specified by the city council. All ward council members shall serve a term of four years.  Council members-at-large elected prior to November 1, 2014 shall serve terms of two years.  Council members-at-large elected after November 1, 2014 shall serve terms of four years.  Mayors elected prior to November 1, 2012 shall serve terms of two years.  Mayors elected after November 1, 2012 shall serve terms of four years.  All officers will serve until their successors are elected and qualified.

Vision Statement and City Council Goals

Please note that any correspondence, such as e-mail or letters, sent to city officials or staff becomes public record and is available for public/media review.

Citizen Involvement
Every Council meeting has an allocated time at the end of each meeting for citizens to address the Council with questions or concerns they may have. If at all possible, if you do wish to appear before the council, please schedule your appearance in advance with Ann Kasel at (507) 437-9943. Agendas for all council meetings are available the Friday before at the City Administration Office, 500 Fourth Avenue NE. All meetings are open to the public with the exception of closed sessions.

When the Council Meets
PUBLIC MEETINGS. The Austin City Council convenes the first and third Monday of each month, at 5:30 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chambers, to study agenda issues and take action on items such as allocation of funds, award of bids, contracts, leases and agreements, public hearings on budget, zoning and planning issues, bond expenditures and various public hearings.

City council meetings are aired on cable channel 180 at 11:00 am on Saturdays and Sundays. They are also shown on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 8:00 pm.

All meetings are conducted in strict compliance with the Open Meeting Law of the State of Minnesota.

If you as a citizen feel your questions or concerns have not been answered by a department or elected official, you are welcome to report the situation to City Hall at 437-9940, and we will do our best to assist you.