Tade Kerndt was appointed to fill the at-large vacancy on the Decorah City Council on a 4-2 vote Monday night.
Council members Randy Schissel, Jody Niess, Charles Lore and William Wagner voted in favor of Kerndt while Council members Paul Wanless and Gary Rustad voted in favor of Jarrad Walter.
Walter served a stint on the Council last year when he was appointed to fill an opening in Ward 1. He was defeated in the fall election by Schissel.
Kerndt, Walter and Jim McIntosh all expressed interest in the at-large vacancy after Rachel Vagts resigned the position Dec. 31 because she is moving to Kentucky to take a new job. McIntosh later withdrew his name from consideration.
Kerndt, who was sworn into office Monday night, will fill the remaining two years of Vagts' unexpired term. However, citizens have 14 days from Monday's appointment to petition for a special election to fill the seat. Such an election costs the city about $3,000 to hold, according to City Manager Chad Bird.
In a letter expressing his interest in the at-large seat, Kerndt said he understands the "ins and outs of how a prosperous town like Decorah works," from his perspective as a business owner, property owner and lifelong resident of the city.
Kerndt has served on multiple committees in the community throughout the years, and is currently a member of the city's Self Supporting Municipal Improvement District Board, a Decorah Area Chamber of Commerce ambassador, a VFW junior commander, a member of the NEIBR and a member of the Elks Club. He also is a US Army veteran.
"I have always taken interest in the happenings of Decorah, many times doing my own research before and after City Council decisions have been made. Because of this and my 'tell is as it is' personality, I feel I would be a great asset to the Council," Kerndt wrote in his letter to the Council.