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Durfee resigns at Wells

By Staff | May 20, 2012

Anyone not totally convinced a Wells councilman living in another city can legally hold office doesn’t have to wonder any longer.

Jim Durfee did not attend Monday’s meeting and submitted his letter of resignation to Mayor Ron Gaines.

Durfee says he recently sold most of his household property and will now be living in Minnesota Lake.

“It is not fair to the city or you to take up any newspaper space for anything, but good information about Wells,” he says.

“Keep striving for positive objectives; as a group we have made a lot of good progress. Overcoming the past has been a tough sell, but we were getting there,” he adds.

The next question facing the council was how to fill the four-year term seat, which has two years remaining.

Council members turned to City Attorney David Frundt for advice.

Frundt says interviews could be conducted or the council may appoint someone to serve through the end of the year.

Gaines says because the city faces a lot of issues in coming months, having a quorum will be important.

So, he decided to contact potential candidates who would be interested in serving.

Gaines says former councilman Jay Corbin is interested in filling the vacancy.

Councilwoman Ann Marie Schuster says she served with Corbin and believes his knowledge of how city government works would be beneficial.

Corbin says he was on the council for eight years and didn’t seek re-election because it was time to give others a chance.

“I had no idea of serving again, until I got the phone call,” he says. “I hestitated and thought about it because I wondered if I’d be able to dedicate the time needed.”

Council members voted unanimously to appoint Corbin.

“I just trying to help the city out and filling in the blank. There’s no ryhme nor reason on why I said yes,” he says.

The issue of Durfee’s residency came to light in December when Gaines confronted him during a council meeting.

Durfee owned a home in Wells, but lived with his wife in Minnesota Lake.

Last January, Frundt told the council there wasn’t any evidence indicating Durfee is not a resident of Wells. Therefore, he was meeting the residency requirement to be on the council.

Corbin says he doesn’t plan to run for election in November for the remaining two years.

Also up for election will be Gaines and council members Ashley Seedorf and Steve Burns.

The mayor’s position is a two-year term, while the council seats are four years.