Duluth city council conducts interviews to fill Dist. 2 seat

By KBJR News 1

February 6, 2014 Updated Feb 6, 2014 at 10:16 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) -- Duluth city councilors interviewed nine candidates vying to fill the second district council seat left vacant by Patrick Boyle.

Councilors will submit their top three candidates to the city clerk by 2 pm on Friday, February 7.

The three finalists will be interviewed again on Monday before the city council meeting.

Councilors will deliberate and have the selected councilor sworn in and sit on the council at Monday's meeting.

Contenders were asked why they applied for the position, what issues, they think, are facing the second district and how they would solve them.

Many candidates talked about issues relating to the city's infrastructure and housing.

Councilor Barb Russ also asked each candidate what their thoughts are about extending the lake walk and labor issues.

Candidates were also asked if they plan to run again once the term ends in 2015.

The Duluth city charter requires the council to fill the vacancy by appointment.

"Councilor Boyle had been on the council for four years; he was beginning his second term. So, it's a great loss," said Sharla Gardner, who represents the third council district. "We are going to have to make sure whomever fills this seat is somebody who can be, if not up to speed right away, get up to speed very quickly on the issues."

The second council district was held by Patrick Boyle who resigned the after being elected to the St. Louis County Board in January.

The nine candidates who were interviewed are: Diane Desotelle, Kathleen Heltzer, Todd Larson, Michael Laughlin, Angie Miller, Jesse Peterson, Michelle Peterson, Robert R. Pyle, Joel Sipress.

Eric Meyer also applied for the position, but was not present for the interview process.

Posted to the web by Kati Anderson.