By Kristen Miller
DARWIN, MN Nineteen years ago, Orlan Cervin ran for Darwin City Council because he wanted to get involved in the community a bit more.
“I thought it would be kind of interesting,” Cervin said, noting his wife was city clerk at that time.
Two years later, even before his council term was up, Cervin was asked to be a write-in candidate for mayor, and won. The current mayor at the time, Chris Hansen, was moving out of town and could no longer represent the City of Darwin.
Now, after 17 years as mayor, Cervin’s job as a public official for the City of Darwin has come to a close. He will swear in the newly elected mayor, Josh Johnson, at the first meeting of the year, Tuesday, Jan. 4 at 7 p.m.
Among Cervin’s goals as mayor was to try and make the city grow, though he quickly found out how hard it was to draw business into town. He does note the expansion of a few businesses in his time, including Precast and Hanson Storage, and also noted more housing developments have been built within the city.
Another goal was to upgrade the city’s electrical system. Though his intentions weren’t to sell the utility in 2008 to Meeker Cooperative Light and Power, it simply wasn’t cost efficient for the city to keep the electrical system.
Cervin would have liked to see the water and sewer project go through, but said it looks like another two years before any upgrades may take place.
Also during his time as mayor, the municipal liquor store was remodeled in an effort to attract more business and increase sales.
The city also hired a full-time public works director for the first time, and purchased a building for the city shop, Cervin said.
Though some may disagree, he said, Cervin sees all of these as improvements to the town of Darwin.
“You have to go ahead; you can’t sit still,” he said.
With a combination of experience and new ideas, Cervin has confidence in the incoming council and said it’s time for some new leadership.
“I think we have a couple new [members] coming on that will keep the city up,” Cervin said, noting that he has enjoyed his time serving the citizens.
Mark Smith was elected to the council in November, and Lee Peterson was re-elected.
As far as future plans, Cervin said he is just going to enjoy himself and have more time to work on his 27-year-old welding and metal fabricating business, Cervin Metal Works.