Who will be the next mayor of Delavan?
Who becomes the next mayor of Delavan next January is anybody’s guess.
That’s because residents will not have anyone to vote for in the November general election.
No one filed for the two-year term position, including incumbent Kevin Walker.
“I just told them I didn’t want the position,” he says.
Walker did not want to give his reason for not seeking re-election.
Councilman Dan Haugh speculates a combination of Walker’s job and his work as mayor on the grain elevator expansion may have taken a toll.
“The project ate up tons of his time. In the first three months after WFS announced they were building it, I would guess we had more than 25 special council meetings,” he says.
Haugh is completing his second year of a four-year term.
He says while the big project has been completed, there’s plenty of other issues that need to be addressed.
And, that will require strong leadership from whomever is mayor.
“I’m pretty confident a group of people will get together and there will be a push for a write-in candidate,” he says.
Walker isn’t the only incumbent not re-filing. Councilwoman Kathy Johnson chose not to run again.
But, Councilman Butch Ottesen is seeking another two years and Lowell Borgos also is running unopposed for one of two seats.
Ottesen has served at least 10 years on the council, with more than half of that time as mayor.
Deciding whether to seek re-election may have been a matter of principle for Ottesen.
For 35 years he taught social studies and government to students in Delavan and Albert Lea.
“Someone has to serve on the council. It’s my civic duty,” he says. “Besides, you better practice what you preach.”
Haugh says he’d like to see the council appoint Ottesen as mayor because of his experience and then fill that council seat.
Walker says he hasn’t decided what he would do if he’s elected as a write-in candidate.
Ottesen is taking a “wait-and-see” approach.
“There’s some scuttle-butt about writing someone in. We’ll have to see what happens in November,” he says.
“Yeah, I’d consider being mayor if asked. But, hopefully the election takes care of things,” he adds.