A new year, a new Willmar City Council: Davis takes seat, Fagerlie elected mayor pro tempore
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council started its official business in 2019 at Monday's meeting with the swearing in of new City Council member Vicki Davis, along with returning members Rick Fagerlie, Audrey Nelsen and Andrew Plowman.
WILLMAR - The Willmar City Council started its official business in 2019 at Monday's meeting with the swearing in of new City Council member Vicki Davis, along with returning members Rick Fagerlie, Audrey Nelsen and Andrew Plowman.
Davis replaces longtime Councilman Ron Christianson, who did not seek re-election in Ward 2. Davis defeated Christina Nelson in the general election in November.
"I feel really honored and humbled at the same time, to be able to serve this community that I love," Davis said.
The eight City Council members are elected to alternating four-year terms. Half of the council members are up for election every two years: one council member from each of the four wards.
Plowman, of Ward 1, and Nelsen, of Ward 4, were re-elected in November and are both serving their second term on the council.
Mayor Marv Calvin was also sworn in for his second four-year term.
"We have a very exciting year ahead of us," Calvin said.
In addition to serving his sixth consecutive term as a councilor from Ward 3, Fagerlie now has a new job on the council. He was elected mayor pro tempore in a 5 to 3 vote by the council. He replaces Nelsen, who has served the past two years in the role, and nominated Fagerlie to succeed her.
The mayor pro tempore acts as mayor if the mayor is absent. It is a two-year appointment.
"Thank you to the council for their support. I look forward to 2019," Fagerlie said.
Voting for Fagerlie, who cast a vote for himself, were Councilors Plowman, Nelsen, Shawn Mueske and and Fernando Alvarado.
Fagerlie was one of two councilors nominated for the post. Councilor Kathy Schwantes was also nominated, by Councilor Julie Asmus, as well as being the mayor's requested candidate for the post. However, after Fagerlie's victory, Schwantes was gracious.
"I would like to be the first to say congratulations," Schwantes said.
Calvin also said he approved of the decision made by the majority of the council.
"It will be a pleasure working with you," Calvin said. "I look forward to a very productive two years. We will get great work done."
Council committee and commission assignments were approved during the meeting. Councilors serve on a number of them, either as voting members or council liaisons.
"These positions are important. You are representing the citizens of Willmar and your constituents, but you are also representing this body," Calvin said.
All on the council said they are looking forward to the next year. A council retreat is scheduled for this Friday and Saturday, during which the council will discuss their priorities for the year.
Both Alvarado and Plowman spoke about the importance of being positive while serving on the council.
"It is important, as we go forward, we have to believe when we we ask a question or get a question, it is for positive intent. We are trying to learn. That is the way it should be taken, it shouldn't be taken offensively," Alvarado said.
Plowman said he believes the next year will be a big one for Willmar.
"I feel 2019 is going to be a catalyst year, it is a new beginning," Plowman said. "If we put our best traits forward, and come to the table with the best of intentions, great things lie ahead for our city and our citizens."