After over 90 minutes of deliberation Monday, the Ward 6 Advisory Committee will recommend Chris Plante to fill the vacant City Council seat. The other two people that interviewed for the Ward 6 spot were Patty Dillabough and Dylane Klatt.
During the interviews, committee members, which included current City Council members Jake Fee, Bobby Baird, Steve Erickson, Don Cavalier, Tom Vedbraaten, Clayton Briggs and interim mayor Dale Stainbrook, plus City Attorney Corky Reynolds, and Ward 6 reps Dennis Martin and Preston Hoiseth, had an opportunity to ask specific questions they wanted answers for like Vedbraaten’s inquiry wondering if the candidates had any “pre-conceived” feelings about City Administrator Shannon Stassen or Crookston Housing & Economic Development Authority Executive Director Craig Hoiseth, or Cavalier’s wanting to know how each candidate turned a conflict they’ve had into a resolution.
Candidates were also asked what they might bring to the table as a council member that would differ from others and what they thought were some positives about Crookston, plus what areas they thought could be worked on.
After the interviews, committee members went back and forth listing the candidates' strengths and weaknesses.
During their first vote around the table listing each committee member’s top two choices, Klatt stood above the others yet there was a tie between Plante and Dillabough. Later, in a similar vote with each person listing their number one choice out of the three, and after more discussion, it came down to a tie between Plante and Dillabough leaving out the previous frontrunner, Klatt.
The City Council makes the ultimate decision in who to appoint and, after having their memories refreshed by Reynolds that the Council could only pass a resolution with five votes, another round of pros and cons were listed around the room. Two council members voted for Dillabough and four council members voted for Plante.
Soon thereafter, Councilman Briggs changed his vote from Dillabough to Plante and the decision was made that the committee would recommend Plante.
Reminding the group that the official vote by the Council for Plante would happen at the upcoming October 14 meeting, Stainbrook vocalized that he hoped there wouldn't be any "drama" when it came down to the final vote.
During Monday's discussion, the mayoral vacancy also came up and it was said that a declaration for that vacancy will be announced, as well, on October 14 and the council has the right to either have an open process with interviews or they can appoint someone. Dillabough’s name was mentioned as someone who might be a good representation of Crookston as she also expressed interest in “some day” becoming Mayor during her interview that night. Dillabough ran for Mayor in the 2017 special process and lost to Wayne Melbye, who did not run again in the next regular election.