Herald Journal, June 20, 2005
Nordschow gets Montrose council appointment despite objections
By Dave Cox
Filling a vacant council seat on the Montrose City Council led to dissension amongst the council and some audience members last Monday.
A motion to appoint Dave Nordschow to fill the seat vacated by Jeff Mattson passed 3-1 with Jeff Petersen, Sharon Knodel and Charlie Nelson in favor and Cindy Beaton opposed.
The issue started with the resignation of Council Member Jeff Mattson, which was announced at the May 23 council meeting.
During that meeting, Council Member Cindy Beaton made a motion to appoint the candidate who had the next highest vote total in the last election to fill the vacancy, which is Keith Roseen. The motion failed due to a lack of a second.
Council Member Sharon Knodel made a motion to accept applications to fill the vacancy. This motion also failed due to a lack of a second.
The issue was tabled until Monday’s meeting.
During Monday’s meeting, it was noted that the council received a letter from former council member Dave Nordschow asking that he be considered for the vacancy because of his 18 years of experience on the council.
“The people voted him out. I don’t think we should consider him,” Council Member Cindy Beaton said.
According to 2004 election results, Roseen had the highest vote total with 369 votes, not counting candidates who successfully ran. Jeff Trout received 333 votes, and Nordschow had 271.
Mayor Charlie Nelson stated that according to Minnesota statute, the council may appoint any qualified candidate to fill a vacancy.
Roseen, who was present at the meeting, argued that the issue was tabled at the last meeting and no application process had been started.
Nelson said that this was a council decision, and did not accept comments from the audience.
Beaton said that the council should appoint the person with the next highest number of votes.
Council Member Jeff Petersen made a motion to appoint Nordschow to fill the vacancy.
Nelson stated that the council’s responsibility is to fill the vacancy as soon as possible.
Council Member Sharon Knodel said that she believes Nordschow is qualified, but questioned his availability due to his work schedule.
Nelson said that during Nordschow’s last term his attendance had been better than in the past.
Beaton pointed out that in the last election, Nordschow received fewer votes than any other candidate for the open council position.
Nelson said the council should appoint the person best qualified to serve the residents of Montrose.