Don't forget city council, school board races this electionIt’s a big year for elections and voters have plenty of decisions to make – one of the biggest being who will be running our country.
By: Celeste Beam, Alexandria Echo Press
It’s a big year for elections and voters have plenty of decisions to make – one of the biggest being who will be running our country.
But, voters can’t dismiss some of the smaller races, including those for mayor, city council members and school board members.
The Echo Press contacted city and school officials and compiled a list of incumbents and their challengers.
Here is a look at the 11 city races throughout Douglas County and school board races around the area:
City council races
There are two positions open, Ward 3 and 5, along with the mayor’s seat. Alexandria Mayor Dan Ness filed for re-election and will be running against newcomer Virgil Batesole.
In Ward 3, incumbent city council member Harvey Weisel will be running against challenger Owen Miller, who served the city council in another ward in 1995 and 1996.
Incumbent city council member Elroy Frank, who serves Ward 5, will be running against challenger David Tischer.
Brandon Mayor Doug Johnson has filed for re-election and will be running against Patrick Gwinn, who also filed for the position.
There are two council seats open and three people have filed – incumbents Mike Ranweiler and Jerry Bitzan and challenger Aaron Lund.
Incumbent Mayor Ervin “Herby” Dahl has re-filed and will be running unopposed.
For the two city council spots, voters will need to decide among five candidates. Both incumbents, Mathew Mittag and Steve Meyers, re-filed and are running against three challengers, Sharon Illetschko, Norm Kluess and Richard Pierson.
Mittag was appointed to the position after Rick Zwieg resigned and Meyers was also appointed after Jessica Dahl resigned. Both Zwieg and Dahl resigned because they moved out of the city of Carlos.
A write-in candidate will be filling the position of mayor, as no one filed for the position. Current mayor Terry Aasness did not re-file and no one else filed for the position either.
Two city council members are up for re-election, including Timothy Anderson, who re-filed and Ginger Fletcher, who did not re-file. Erick Sletto filed for the open city council seat.
Incumbent Mayor Kevin Zaviska has re-filed for his position and will be running unopposed.
There are two city council seats open and three people who filed – incumbent Trudy Gerdeman and challengers Fran Wood and Chad Heggestad. Incumbent Steven Kluver did not re-file for his city council seat.
Incumbent Mayor Gaye Mounsdon re-filed for the position and will be running unopposed.
There are two city council seats open and five people have filed, including both incumbents, John Nienaber Jr. and Eric Rieber. Their challengers include Brenda Peterson, Ken Arneson and Dan Kalina.
Garfield voters must also decide if the city council should be allowed to issue on-sale liquor licenses to restaurants, clubs, bowling centers and hotels on Sundays.
Two people have filed for the mayoral position – incumbent mayor Randy Peterson, who will face challenger Dale Rau. Rau currently holds a seat on the city council.
Three people have filed for the two open city council seats – incumbents Michael Johnson and Brian Randt. They will face challenger Rollie Finke.
If Rau is elected to the mayor position, his city council seat will then need to be appointed, as his term was not yet up.
Kensington voters will also need to cast their ballot for a position on the Farwell/Kensington Sewer District board. Incumbent Joey Nessman re-filed for the position and is running unopposed.
Three positions are up for election, including the mayor and two city council spots.
No one filed for either of the city council positions, which are currently held by Bryan Tolifson and Randy Koep.
Tolifson, however, filed for the mayoral spot, which is currently held by Jacques Hoeft, who did not re-file.
Blaine Elbert, the current mayor, has re-filed for the position and will be running unopposed.
For city council, three people have filed for two positions, including Alan Betterman (incumbent), Eldridge Rosell (incumbent) and Mickey Lint (challenger).
Gerald Gay has re-filed for the mayoral seat and will be running unopposed.
There are two open seats on the council, which are currently held by Jason Karl and Beverly Hansen, who was appointed to this position after Elaine Carlquist resigned.
Both Karl and Hansen re-filed, along with challenger, Michael Erickson.
Incumbent Mayor Gary Astleford did not re-file for the position. Keith “Kip” Emerson, who currently serves on the city council, has filed for the position of mayor.
Two city council seats are open and four people have filed, including incumbent Randy Anderson, who was appointed in April after Lloyd Hageman retired, along with four newcomers – Chad Gulbranson, Jerry Olson, Larry Dillehay and Ralph Laven.
School board races
Three seats are up for election for the Alexandria School Board. All three incumbents have re-filed and will be running unopposed, including Dave Anderson, Pam Carlson and Alan Zeithamer.
Four school board seats, which are four-year terms, are open and five people have filed, including Debra Schaffer (incumbent), Lori Meissner (incumbent), Kevin Challes (challenger), Cheryl Schaffran (incumbent) and Michelle Schaefer (challenger).
There is also one school board seat open, which is a two-year term. Two people have filed for this position, including incumbent Julie Boesl and challenger Kevin Lanners.
Four people have filed for five open positions on the Evansville School Board – David Anderson (incumbent), Ethan Henneman (incumbent), Shane Englund (incumbent) and Cori Gardner (challenger).
The Minnewaska School Board has four positions open and seven people have filed.
Incumbents Heidi Roggenkamp, Julie Gaffaney, Brad Parsons and Dion Harste all re-filed for their positions and will face challengers Judd Kuehne, Lonnie Hoffman and Jim Peters.
There are no races for the Parkers Prairie School Board, but voters still need to make a decision.
The school board has proposed to revoke the school district’s existing referendum authorization of $402.15 per pupil and to replace that authorization with a new one of $1,200 per pupil. The proposed new referendum would be applicable for 10 years unless otherwise revoked or reduced as provided by law.
If the referendum passes, property taxes will increase for voters in this school district.
This is the third time the Parkers Prairie School District has brought a referendum to vote. Both previous attempts failed, with the last being a narrow defeat. According to information on the school district’s Web site, if the referendum fails, there will be additional cuts to staff and programs.
For more information, visit the school district’s Web site at www.isd547.com.
There are three spots available on the Osakis School Board and four people have filed.
Two of the three incumbents have re-filed for their positions, including Lorraine Nomeland and Pat Hildebrandt. David Erickson did not re-file. They will face challengers Chris Dague and Shari Maloney.