Herald JournalHerald Journal, Feb. 7, 2005

Appointed HL councilman declines seat

By Ryan Gueningsman
Staff Writer

With little fanfare or discussion, Howard Lake City Council voted 3-1 Tuesday night to fill its vacant council seat with Vern Kleve who, Wednesday, gave a letter to the city saying that he will not accept the position.

The seat was open due to Terry Ostgulen being elected as mayor in November’s election.

The council acted on a motion made by Council Member Jan Gilmer to appoint Kleve to the remainder of Ostgulen’s seat, which is set to expire in 2006. Reddemann voted against the appointment.

Kleve gave a letter to City Administrator Kelly Bahn Wednesday afternoon saying that he is declining the appointment.

Bahn said Wednesday the council will more than likely appoint one of the other two applicants, Al Munson or Ray Fern, to the seat at its meeting Tuesday, Feb. 15.

None of the three applicants were present at the meeting, which disappointed Council Member Shelly Reddemann.

“It would have been nice to have the three applicants here tonight,” he said.

Bahn said Minnesota state statute is pretty vague when it comes to council appointments, and that “there is no policy on how the council needs to do this.”

As for the parks commission, the council received three applications for the four spots available. All three applicants, Mike Mitchell, Tim Horst, and Jean Schmidt, were unanimously approved by the council.

Ostgulen said that the city will solicit for one more member for the commission, and that meetings are scheduled for the fourth Tuesday of each month.

Resolving a technicality, Ostgulen asked that the city eliminate the parks committee, and function with the parks commission.

The council also determined that a vacancy had occurred on the planning commission when former mayor Gerry Smith did not get re-elected. Smith had been appointed as an interim member of the planning commission in 2001.

Smith indicated that he would continue to serve on the commission, but declined to fill out an application as he was already a member of the commission. Fran Wren of Howard Lake did fill out an application for a position on the commission.

The council decided to approve Wren to the commission on a 3-1 vote, since Wren was the only one who had filled out an application. Reddemann voted against the motion, asking Wren about some negativity issues he has had in the past.

“You can’t find me too negative about town,” Wren said, responding to Reddemann’s comments, although Wren did admit to some negativity with the bike path.

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