By Lynda Jensen
Voters will make decisions about many things at the ballot box Tuesday, including:
• the fate of the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted Middle School, which needs repairs and of which proponents want to build a new facility adjacent to the new high school. Voters will be asked to approve bonds for the $8.4 million project.
• electing a new president, vice president, US senate seat and state representative seats.
• electing judges for the Minnesota Supreme Court and Court of Appeals, as well as settling races for district court judges in Wright and the district that includes both McLeod and Carver counties.
• deciding whether to change the state constitution with something called the Minnesota Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment, which will increase the sales tax by 3/8 percent, with those funds designated funds for natural resources, arts, and entertainment.
• filling a long list of local candidates featured on the ballot. All the council seats listed are for four-year terms, unless otherwise noted. Mayor seats are two-year terms, except in the case of Montrose, which features a four-year mayor seat, which is also up this year.
School board seats open
Six out of seven board positions are open for Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted (all except for Jamie Wiech). Those seats up are: Lori Custer, Al Doering, Michelle Heuer, Dan Schaible, Charles Weber, and Paul Weibel. Two of these positions are two-year terms because they were appointed positions (Heuer and Weibel). The other seats for HLWW are four-year terms.
Seven people have filed for HLWW seats. For the four-year seat, incumbents Paul Weibel, Michelle Heuer and Charlie Weber filed, as well as newcomers Fred Yerke and Jesse Tintes. For the two-year terms, incumbents Dan Schaible and Al Doering have filed.
For the Lester Prairie School District, three seats are left open, being vacated by Jeff Hecksel, Melissa Williams and the position served by Karla Heigl (left open by Bob Carlson). All three of these positions are four-year terms, despite the fact that Carlson resigned early, since he nearly completed his term.
Four filed for Lester Prairie School Board, incumbent Karla Heigl, Joe Miller (the former superintendent), Rollie Radtke, and Corbey Hentges.
City council seats open
Other city council filings include:
• Howard Lake Four out of five council positions are up for grabs at the City of Howard Lake, with incumbents only on the ballot. The city council positions are four-year seats, except for Mike Mitchell’s position, which is a two-year spot, since he was appointed to fill out Al Munson’s seat when Munson vacated it previously.
Incumbents Rick Lammers has filed for mayor, and Mike Mitchell for the two-year council seat. For the four-year council seats, incumbents Tom Kutz and Jan Gilmer filed.
• Waverly Two city council seats and the mayor position are up in Waverly, with five candidates filling the ballot. Council seats up are those served by Gary Olson and Deb Hausladen; the latter of whom did not re-file. Ken Antil filed for mayor (he is serving the council currently). Mayor Ken Hausladen did not re-file.
For council, incumbent Gary Olson re-filed, along with newcomers Keith Harris, Connie Holmes, and Charlie Brown.
• Winsted Three incumbents filed for three open seats on the council. Incumbent Steve Stotko has filed for mayor, and council members Bonnie Quast and Tom Ollig are featured on the ballot.
• Montrose Ten people have filed so far in Montrose, three for the mayor spot, and seven for city council. The mayor position served by Charlie Nelson is open. Council positions are up that are served by Jeff Peterson and Cindy Beaton. Nelson and Beaton did not re-file.
For mayor, there is a three-way race amongst Andy Kauffman (who currently sits on the council), Tim Hackenmiller, and Lloyd Johnson.
For Montrose council, there are seven candidates Jeff Peterson, who currently serves on the council, and newcomers Mary McCarty, Joe DeBauche, Georgina Woidyla, Scott Jensen, Lisa Ellwoods, and Jason Simmons.
• City of Lester Prairie There are four spots open, three council and the mayor position vacated by Eric Angvall. For council, two of the three seats open are four-year terms, and the mayor position is a two-year term. When Angvall left, Andy Heimerl was appointed as acting mayor, which left a vacant council position since he was already on the council. The vacant council seat was filled by Bob Messer. This makes Messer’s seat a two-year term.
Other council seats are up that are being served by Ron Foust and Art Mallak. These are four-year terms. Two have filed for mayor, Heimerl, and Stan Ehrke. For council, five have filed in Lester Prairie. For the four-year council positions, four have filed; incumbent Art Mallak, as well as Darvin Heldt, Messer, and Travis Schlangen.
For the two-year position open in Lester Prairie, one person has filed; that being Ron Foust, who currently serves on the council.
• New Germany Four seats are up, with incumbents only on the ballot. Three council seats are open, that of Marc Trujillo and Shirley Jaeger (both seats feature four-year terms), and Jim Paul, who was appointed to fill the council seat left open by Chip Purcell, who resigned in June. As a result, the position served by Paul is a two-year term.
Incumbent Pete Peterson filed for mayor.
• Mayer Six people have filed for two four-year council seats in Mayer; along with Mayor Chris Capaul, who is running unopposed. Council seats that are open are those served by Ron Haag and Jim Stanley.
For Mayer council, the following people have filed: Erick Boder, Bruce Osborn, Tim Masters, Allen Pedersen, Bryan Geruntho, and Etienne (Tice) Stieve-McPadden.
The election also features numerous state representatives, county commissioner seats, as well as big ticket positions such as US senate, US vice president and president.
Two county commissioner seats are open in Wright County this year, the position currently served by Jack Russek of Delano (District 3), and the position served by Karla Heeter of Silver Creek Township, which is District 1 (primarily the Annandale area). Heeter has said she will not re-file and has taken a job elsewhere. In this race, Annandale Mayor Sam Harmoning and Rose Thelen of Clearwater are featured.
Russek and Matt Walker of Buffalo are running in District 3.
Another seat to be filled is that of commissioner for District 3 in McLeod County, which is being vacated by Chairman Grant Knutson, who was at the center of a controversial firing of former longtime county administrator Nan Crary. Two candidates will square off, Paul Wright and Becky Felling, both of Hutchinson.
Two other commissioner seats up in the fall for McLeod include the seat served by Ray Bayerl in District 1, and the seat served by Bev Wangerin in District 5, with Wangerin being challenged by Milan Plath of Hutchinson. Bayerl is running against a write-in attempt by Craig Schultz of Silver Lake.
Two positions are up in Carver County, those served by Tim Lynch of Mayer (District 4) and Tom Workman of Chanhassen (District 1). Lynch is being challenged by Paul Neumann of Waconia. Workman is running unopposed.
State representative seats open in the fall as well
This year also features several state representative seats open. For state representative in District 18A, DFLer Eric Angvall of Lester Prairie is challenging incumbent Ron Shimanski of Silver Lake. District 18A includes all of McLeod County, plus Collinwood Township, Cedar Mills, and Cedar Mills Township in Meeker County.
In District 18B, Democrat David Detert of Litchfield is challenging incumbent Dean Urdahl of Grove City. District 18B includes the cities of Annandale, Cokato, Howard Lake, and South Haven, and the townships of Cokato, Corinna, French Lake, Middleville, Stockholm, and Southside in Wright County, and extends west into Meeker County.
The seat being served by Republican Tom Emmer of Delano is also up (District 19B), with two candidates, Emmer and Christine Brazelton of Delano. District 19B consists of communities in eastern Wright County and a small portion of western Hennepin County. These include the cities of Albertville, Delano, Hanover, Montrose, Otsego, Rockford, St. Michael, Waverly; and townships Franklin, Rockford, Victor, and Woodland.
In District 19A, incumbent State Rep. Bruce Anderson of Buffalo is running against DFLer Jim Bakula of Monticello. District 19A includes: the townships Albion, Buffalo, Chatham, Clearwater, Maple Lake, Marysville, Monticello, and Silver Creek; and the towns Buffalo, Clearwater, Maple Lake, Monticello, and Silver Creek.
The seat served by State Rep. Paul Kohls is also up (District 34A). Democrat Marcia Krueger of Norwood Young America is challenging Kohls in that race. District 34A consists of Hollywood Township and the City of New Germany.
Congressional seats open
All three congressional seats that represent the area are up for election, those served by John Kline (District 2), Michele Bachmann (District 6), and Collin Peterson (District 7).
Democrat Steve Sarvi of Eagan is challenging Kline, who is a Republican. Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District spans the width of the entire southern metro area that includes Carver County.
For District 7, Republican Glen Menze of Starbuck is challenging Peterson. District 7 encompasses a huge chunk of area that is west of the Twin Cities. At its eastern end, it includes voters in Meeker and McLeod counties.
For District 6, Michele Bachmann is running against Democrat El Tinklenberg. US District 6 includes a huge chunk of area that is northwest of the Twin Cities. At its southern end, it includes Wright County.
Townships are also ready for the election
Camden, Hollywood, Winsted and Bergen townships all feature the clerk and at least one supervisor position on Tuesday's ballot.
Hollywood In Hollywood, there are two seats open, the clerk position served by Becky Burns, and a supervisor position served by Kent Kassulker. Kassulker and Burns re-filed.
Camden In Camden, two spots are open; a supervisor position served by Virgil Stender (a four-year term), and the clerk position served by Roger Sauerbrey. Incumbent Virgil Stender and newcomer Stan Werner have filed for supervisor. For Camden clerk, Roger Sauerbrey re-filed for this position.
Winsted three seats are open, two supervisor positions served by Mike Laxen and Gary Wessling, and the treasurer position served by Nina Stifter. Two filed for supervisor, Tony Hausladen and Brian Anderson. Stifter refiled for treasurer.
Bergen three positions are up in Bergen, the clerk position served by Anita Bahr, and supervisor seats served by Albert Teubert and Sheldon Ehrke. Albert Teubert and Sheldon Ehrke have re-filed. Anita Bahr did not re-file. No one filed for clerk.