Howard Lake Herald, September 28, 1998

Voters may place another name on city ballot for mayor


"It is a very sad day for Howard Lake," said Mayor Mark Custer, Thursday, at an emergency meeting of the city council.

The death of Councilman Al LePage Wednesday wsa a big loss for the city, he said.

LePage was the only candidate who filed for the position of mayor, and this leaves the city with a problem, said Custer.

City Attorney Charles Paschke investigated the state laws that govern this kind of thing and found that a petition signed by 75 voters from the city could place another name on the ballot for mayor.

The catch is, it needs to be done by Wednesday at 4:30; otherwise the mayor's position will go to the person with the most write-in votes, if that person will accept the position.

Paschke said the petition needs to have the official language on it.

A petition will be available at city hall for anyone who wants one.

The ballots are at the printers, but "They are on hold," said City Administrator Christina Frankenfield told the council that they will not be printed until Wednesday

They can't be put out in time for the Oct. 2 voting date for absentee ballots, but they will be mailed at a later date,she said.

No one in the county has ever encountered a situation like this, she said, so there was very little help from that area.

"Without Al on the ballot, we need someone to step up to the plate and volunteer," said Custer.

The council also addressed the problem of his empty place right now on the council.

Said Custer, "There are three things we can do. We can appoint someone now for a couple of months, or we can leave the post vacant.

"The third choice is to appoint whoever wins the election for the council seat right away in November, and he could take over his regular term in January."

Councilpersons Jean Schmidt and Shelly Reddemann felt the council works well enough together, that it doesn't need an appointee at this time.

They both said they felt the winner of the November election could take over right away.

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