Duluthians asking City Council to accept, move forward, with Sipress's controversial appointment

By KBJR News 1

February 17, 2014 Updated Feb 17, 2014 at 10:41 PM CST

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Duluth City Councilor Sharla Gardner is asking the rest of the council to accept, and move forward, with last week's controversial appointment of the newest District Two councilor.

The council appointed Joel Sipress last Monday to fill the vacant seat after six rounds of councilmember voting that failed to reach a simple majority on any one of the three candidates.

Sipress was deemed the winner after the council believed they had properly gone through ranked – choice voting procedures to elect him, which was not the case.

Since then, Gardner says she has received numerous calls from Duluthians urging the council to move forward, and keep Sipress appointed.

"The message I've been getting from the community, and from people who have e–mailed me and called me, is that they, number one: want us to move on," said Gardner on Monday, "and number two: think that it's a bad idea, and think that it's dividing the community."

Gardner says the council needs to develop a better process for filling city council vacancies.

She suggests that holding special elections, like the Saint Louis County Board does, is a good option.

Billy Wagness
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