•Click here to read an archived story about the five candidates for the Elk River City Council.
by Joni Astrup
The Elk River City Council seat vacated by Nick Zerwas after he was elected to the Minnesota Legislature could be filled by Feb. 18.
Five people are seeking to be appointed to fill out the remainder of Zerwas’ Ward 1 term, which runs through Dec. 31, 2014. The five are Brett Dexheimer, Nick Freitag, Barbara Olsen, Bernard Ruppert and Stewart Wilson. The city accepted applications from candidates through Jan. 15.
The City Council will make the appointment. During a work session Tuesday, Jan. 22, the council approved a timeline proposed by City Administrator Cal Portner. Here’s how the process will unfold.
•Wednesday, Jan. 23: Mail postcards to all Ward 1 households, informing residents that a candidate forum will take place from 9-11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 9. Residents are invited to attend, submit questions and provide public comment about their preferred candidate.
•Tuesday, Feb. 5: City Council interviews candidates. The council will have 20-30 minutes with each candidate.
•Saturday, Feb. 9: Candidate forum at Elk River City Hall, 13065 Orono Parkway. The Elk River Area Citizens League will be asked to facilitate the forum. Each candidate will answer questions from a predetermined list. As a follow-up, residents will be invited to ask questions as well. The forum will also be televised live over ERtV Channel 12.
•Monday, Feb. 11: City Council selects appointee.
•Tuesday, Feb. 19: Official appointment and swearing-in.
While the City Council intends to make the appointment, if there is a tie the appointment will be decided by Mayor John Dietz.