ENM Council reorganizes for new year

The Elko New Market City Council reorganized for 2013, covering a variety of aspects.

Taking the oath of office were new Mayor Tony Gabriel and council members Denise Schneider and Bob Crawford. Schneider is beginning her second term and Crawford his first.

Mayor Gabriel then honored two members that stepped down. Jason Ponsonby, who served on the council for eight years and two terms as mayor, was presented with a plaque. Ponsonby began his first term on the council before the merger of Elko and New Market. He was among those who oversaw the merger of the two cities into one and for the last four years led the city as mayor.

Council member Bob Hanna, who was absent, was also honored with a plaque. Gabriel said Hanna served on several committees and helped in many ways. "His plain spoken manner will be missed," said Gabriel.

Council Applications The council also discussed the selection process for choosing a new council member. Gabriel was elected to the council in 2010. In being elected mayor he has left his seat open. In previous discussions the council decided it would appoint someone to serve the remaining two years of the position.

City Administrator Tom Terry said the city received three applications, Brandon Prasnicki, Robert Brooks and Brad Smith. Terry recommended that the council interview the three applicants. He suggested the interviews take place before the council’s next meeting on Thursday, Jan. 24.

Gabriel said he wasn’t comfortable interviewing the people and then appointing someone that same evening. He suggested the interviews be held Wednesday, Jan. 16.

The council’s consensus was to tentatively set that date for the interviews depending on the schedules of the council members and the applicants.

Reorganization The council unanimously approved its annual organizational matters. The city’s official depositories will be New Market Bank and the League of Minnesota Cities 4M Fund. Council member Ken Sulich was chosen as acting mayor. He will run the meetings when Gabriel is absent. The New Prague Times was chosen as the city’s official newspaper.

For council representatives to the various boards and commissions it was decided the majority will remain open until a new council member has been chosen. The exceptions were Schneider was named to the Fire Relief Board and Crawford to the Project Staff Meeting.