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…W’bago looks for one

By Staff | Nov 16, 2014

The Winnebago City Council will have to figure out what to do in order to fill out the rest of their council seats.

There were two seats open and only one candidate was on the ballot for one of those seats.

Incumbent Scott Robertson will be returning to the council. However, Jonathan Weerts did not file for re-election, leaving one seat which did not get filled.

There was an individual who received a majority of the write-in votes, however, he declined the position.

Jesse Haugh received 13 write-in votes out of the 64 write-in votes cast.

“I had told several people before the election that I?would not accept this position,” Haugh said. “I said I was not a potential candidate don’t vote for me.”

City administrator Chris Ziegler said there were more than 30 different names submitted as write-in votes. “That is probably the highest number of different write-in candidates we could have had,” he said.

However, since Haugh will not be taking the position on the council, the current members discussed a plan of action.

“I?recommend the council declares a vacancy on the council, beginning Jan. 1, 2015,” Ziegler said.

Once a vacancy is declare, they can advertise for applications for the council position. The current members will then conduct interviews.

“We can accept applications from Nov. 17 to Dec. 1 and hopefully have an appointment made at the Dec. 9 meeting,”?he added.

Council member Scott Robertson asked if a four-person council is required.

“I think it’s kind of odd we haven’t had someone come forward when a few years ago there were several people trying to get on the council,”?Robertson said.

Ziegler encouraged the council go forth with declaring a vacancy so they can make sure to find a qualified individual to fill the opening.

“I checked with several sources including peers, the Faribault County Auditor’s office and the League of Minnesota Cities and all confirmed that this would be the proper course of action,” Ziegler said.

The council passed a motion declaring a vacancy on the council and to move forward with the appointment process.

The next council meeting will be held on Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. which will also include the public hearing for truth in taxation.