Longtime Crookston City Council Member Keith Mykleseth announced Monday that he's accepted a position with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in Bemidji and that he and his family will be moving to Bemidji this summer.
Mykleseth, who's also the vice mayor and serves on many boards and committees for the city and other entities, will start his new job as the DNR's Ecological and Water Resources assistant regional manager for the Northwest Region on April 22. He's planning to officially step down from the council in early summer.
Mykleseth a long time ago was the City of Crookston Water Department superintendent. From there, he went to work for The Nature Conservancy throughout its prairie restoration project east of Crookston that became the Glacial Ridge Wildlife Refuge. As part of that position, it was understood that Mykleseth's job would phase out once the prairie restoration project was completed, and that phase-out recently took place.
Mykleseth said he'll be responsible for 23 counties in his new position.
He was re-elected to another term on the council in ward three last November, defeating challenger Gary Willhite. Mayor Dave Genereux said Monday that other council members are going to need to step up and fill Mykleseth's many roles, and eventually a process of appointing a successor to finish out his term will commence.
Mykleseth said it's a bittersweet time for him and his family.
"I definitely have mixed emotions, but it's a great opportunity," he told the Times Monday afternoon.
Several council members congratulated Mykleseth at Monday night's council meeting and wished him the best.