Tade Kerndt, Jim McIntosh and Jarrad Walter have all expressed their interest in filling a soon-to-be-vacant seat on the Decorah City Council, according to Decorah Mayor Don Arendt.
Last month, the Council voted 5-1 to fill Rachel Vagts' at-large position by appointment. Vagts, currently the Luther College archivist, resigned her seat effective Dec. 31 because she has been hired as the head of special collections and archives at Berea College in Berea, Ky. She is in her second, four-year term on the Council. Whoever is appointed will serve the two years remaining of her unexpired term.
The Council will be setting a deadline for Decorah citizens interested in serving as the at-large representative to submit their letters of interest in the position to Decorah City Hall. City officials plan to publish a notice about the at-large vacancy in the Dec. 19 Decorah Journal. That will allow the Council to consider making an appointment at its Jan. 6 meeting.
Citizens have 14 days after publication of a notice of vacancy or 14 days after the Council makes an appointment to petition for a special election, which costs about $3,000 to hold, according to City Manager Chad Bird.
McIntosh, who moved to Decorah earlier this year, was defeated this fall in his bid for mayor. Walter was appointed to fill a vacancy in Ward 1 this year, but was defeated by Randy Schissel in the fall election. Kerndt is a local businessman.
Schissel had represented Ward 5, but due to redistricting now lives in Ward 1. After the election, Schissel assumed the Ward 1 spot on the Council, leaving a vacancy in Ward 5.
Charles Lore, who was elected to Ward 5 in the fall election, wouldn't have officially taken office until Jan. 1, but since the spot was vacant, he was sworn into office at Monday night's Council meeting and began serving.