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Special meeting seats new mayor and commissioner in Newell

May 5, 2018

NEWELL — In a special meeting Thursday, the Newell City Commission met to swear in new Mayor Ken Wetz. Later in the meeting, Chad Erk was chosen and sworn in as a new commissioner to fill a vacant seat.

Commission President Don Adams opened the meeting, and the motion was made to approve the agenda. The first item was the oath of office for Wetz.

Wetz has served in the role of mayor twice before in the past, and when he took over the meeting, he made a brief statement thanking those gathered for their support. He also touched on the topic of an agenda item for the regular monthly meeting on May 14, that of citywide cleanup.

“I think we have a lot of tree branches that need to be disposed of, and I would like to ask for volunteers (residents) to help out in that way,” said Wetz.

Then he moved to the next item, the seating of a new commissioner to fill the vacancy left by the departure of Alan Youngberg.

“We have four candidates for this position who have filed letters of intent,” said Wetz. “All four have positive talents to share. Unfortunately we can only choose one. And we must interview and discuss this during executive session.”

The audience, except for the three candidates who were in attendance, departed. One by one, Buzz Sinner, Rachel Blake, and Chad Erk were interviewed, and then the council did a phone interview with Bob Vansickle. It took a little over an hour for the four interviews, and then the commission deliberated for another 15 minutes.

When they reopened the meeting, Adams made a motion, and Andy Howie seconded, that Erk be installed to fill the vacant term.

“I want to thank all of you for your interest,” said Wetz.

“No hard feelings,” Blake said. “There’s always another election.”

Erk was sworn in, and the commission took care of the remaining items of business, which included raises for city workers who had qualified for specific exams to enhance their positions with the city.

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