Apparently there is a lot of interest in the community to serve on the city council. After a nearly monthlong application process, 18 people applied to fill the council seat vacated by Kurt Bills.
Bills, who was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives, leaves with two years left on his term.
The following are the people who applied to serve on the council: Jamal Abdulahi, Gloria Jorgenson, Joseph K. Kurle, Dennis Winsor, Robert Leuth,
Patrick Staley, Maila C. Ellefson, Matthew J. Kearney, David J. Ganfield, Denise Lyn Bednar, Pamela L. VanderWiel, Sharon E. Peterson, Tim Judy, William Olson, Paul Ness, Ryan Johnson, Jeanne Schwartz and Shawn Mulhern.
Council members will be paid $6,396.30 next year. The term will run through Dec. 31, 2012.
Judy, Kurle, Winsor and Ellefson were all candidates in the 2010 election. Winsor and Ellefson were eliminated in a preliminary election. Judy finished just behind Mark DeBettignies for the second of two available council seats.
The city council approved procedures to fill the vacancy in November and took applications for the seat until Dec. 30. The procedures are modeled on the way the council makes appointments each year to its advisory commissions according to the city's web site.
The current council members will conduct public interviews of the applicants at evening meetings starting Jan. 11. Interviews are currently scheduled to take place starting at 6 p.m. Jan. 11 and 12 and at 9 a.m. Jan. 15. All interviews will take place at city hall and are open to the public. The council discussed its options further at its Tuesday night meeting.