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Council members are looking for experience

The person who takes on Kurt Bills' council seat will have a short learning curve. The two years left on the seat is usually what it takes for a new council member to start feeling comfortable. The benefit of time is not on their side.

"Whoever it is, is going to have to figure things out fast," said mayor Bill Droste.

During their Dec. 7 meeting the council laid out the process to appoint a new member to replace Bills, who will take over in January as State Representative in District 37B.

Droste said he hopes the council can replace Bills with someone with experience and knowledge of city government.

"It will all depend on who applies," said Droste. "Hopefully we can find someone with knowledge of the city, especially budgeting and planning."

Council member Mark DeBettignies said whoever is selected will have to have a strong desire to serve the public.

"The person that we pick needs to understand policy and procedures as well," said DeBettignies.

Both men said it will be interesting to see who applies for the position. Both know of people in the community who have expressed interest.

Citing frugality and time concerns the council opted to appoint a fifth member rather than hold a special election. A special election could have cost the city as much as $10,000. The city started taking application for the seat Dec. 8 and will accept them through Dec. 30.

On Jan. 11 and 12 the four council members will interview each of the applicants. The council has set aside two days for interviews just in case there is a lot of interest. The council will make the decision at a meeting after that and will swear the new person in sometime in February or March.

Council members have said they want to keep the process as transparent as possible so the applications and interviews will be open to the public. City administrator Dwight Johnson said staff will work hard to ensure residents are informed throughout the process.

"I can't think of any part of it that won't be open to the public," said Johnson.

The person appointed must be a resident of Rosemount for at least 30 days, eligible to vote, and be 21 years of age. Council members are paid $6,396.30 a year.

Candidates can fill out an application and send it to the city clerk via e-mail, fax, or regular mail. Applications are available at city hall or on the web site. Applicants can submit a resume as well but it is not required. Applications must be received by 4:30 p.m. Dec. 30.

Any questions should be directed to Amy Domeier, the city clerk. She can be reached at 651-423-4411 or Applications can be mailed to 2875 145th St. W.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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