Falcon Heights has 4 finalists for council vacancy

Falcon Heights is coming close to filling the city council vacancy created by Joe Brown Thunder’s resignation earlier this summer.

The city council will interview four finalists for the position on Wednesday, Sept. 19, at 5 p.m. at City Hall, 2077 Larpenteur Ave.

The four residents in the running for the job are Kay Andrews, Pamela Harris, Nicholas Olson and Hawa Samatar.

City Administrator Sack Thongvanh said all four have been active in city affairs — Harris is a former three-term council member who declined to seek re-election in 2017. Olson and Samatar are both current members of city commissions. Andrews was on the city’s Inclusion and Policing Task Force.

One of the four will be appointed at the Wednesday, Sept. 26, council meeting to finish out Brown Thunder’s term, which runs through the end of 2019.

The four were chosen from a field of 11 applicants, who were interviewed by a review committee that included Mayor Peter Lindstrom, council member Mark Miazga and members from all of the city’s commissions, during the first week of September.

None of the four finalists are people who ran for two seats on the city council in last year’s seven-candidate election. Brown Thunder, who himself was originally appointed to the council, was elected to his seat in 2015 and resigned because he was relocating with his family to California.

Whoever is chosen by the council to fill the vacancy is likely to be sworn in that night and get right to work; as noted by Thongvanh, it’s city budget season.

 

— Mike Munzenrider

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