Interview committee now has a sufficient number of members

    With two days before the filing deadline put in place by the City of Crookston, the field of Ward 6 residents who’d like to be appointed to fill that ward’s seat on the Crookston City Council is starting to look familiar.

    Chris Plante, who came one vote short of being appointed by the shorthanded council – a vote that spurred a second, modified effort to fill the seat vacant since this past fall when Cindy Gjerswold resigned – wrote the requested letter to the City expressing his continued interest in being appointed. He was joined on Friday by Ward 6 resident Dylane Klatt, who, like Plante, also pursued the appointment the first time around. Patty Dillabough was the third ward resident to be considered the first time around, but as of press time on Jan. 13, she had not refiled.

    This time around, council members are staying out of the candidate interview process. Instead, in a letter sent recently by the City to all Ward 6 residents, ward residents interested in having a say in who will be appointed were asked to serve on an interview committee that will be comprised of only ward residents and no council members, unlike the first time around. Although there was initial talk of the council agreeing beforehand to vote in favor of whomever the committee recommended for appointment, City Attorney Charles “Corky” Reynolds advised the council and presiding Mayor Dale Stainbrook that ceding council authority in that fashion would go against the city charter. So, even though the council is letting a Ward 6 interview committee vet the interested candidates, the council will still have the final say on who, if anyone, is appointed.

    Stainbrook and the council wanted to make sure the committee was of significant size, so they set a minimum number of members at 11. Late last week, only four Ward 6 residents had stepped forward saying they’d serve on the committee, but as of Monday, City Administrative Assistant Tina Trostad said the number had since jumped to 11. There is no maximum number, however, so more ward residents are welcome to step forward.

    The deadline for Ward 6 residents to express their interest in being appointed to the council seat or serving on the interview committee is 4 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 15. The council’s hope is to appoint someone in February.