Tracy Council appoints Cooreman as mayor

TRACY — The Tracy City Council unanimously appointed mayor pro tem Pamela Cooreman to replace their outgoing mayor, Steve Ferrazzano, Monday evening for the remainder of the new year. They had also accepted Ferrazzano’s resignation effective Tuesday.

This leaves Cooreman’s regular council seat vacant until the next council meeting.

With approval from City Attorney Michael Gross, the council will be advertising this week that the seat is vacant and taking applications or one week. He also said they could also keep the same pool of candidates from the applications for the open council seat vacated by Bill Chukuske. That seat was also filled by appointment at this meeting.

During the public comment section of the agenda Rosemary Marin had asked that Tony Peterson not vote on Chukuske’s vacant position because there were a number of people involved in the upcoming recall election for Peterson’s council seat.

Tom Warren also took the podium to share his concern about all the “temporaries” to be filling the vacancies on the council.

“That really scares me,” he said. “Because that’s not really representative government because it involves quite a few appointed officials instead of elected officials.”

He suggested considering a general election.

Ferrazzano agreed that the positions may be filled with inexperienced persons, but each person is aware that it is only for the rest of this year, which is preferable to staging a general election in May or June.

After some discussion of the candidates, Kou Thao was appointed to Chukuske’s vacant council position.

There had been seven citizens vying for Chukuske’s vacant council seat. They were: James Green, Rhonda Frederickson, Jodi Severson, Kurt Enderson, Kou Thao, Valerie Danielson and Rosemary Martin.

Peterson immediately nominated Enderson to the position as Enderson has had previous council experience.

Ferrazzano stopped the motion and asked that each council member have an opportunity to suggest a candidate and say why they believe that person to be the best candidate for this position.

Cooreman then spoke up saying that Rosemary Martin would be the ideal candidate because Martin has shown passion for the city of Tracy and is familiar with the proceedings, having been on the charter commission.

After Ferrazzano said that the position was only for one year and that this would be a good opportunity to appoint someone new to the board, saving the search for experience for the next appointment, Cooreman moved to appoint Kou Thao, which received the second and the votes that Peterson’s nomination did not.

Ferrazzano also expressed his respect for Martin’s qualifications for a council position and said that it was a difficult decision to make.

With no discussion, the council also unanimously appointed Sandra Nyquist to fill the vacant position on the charter commission vacated by Terry Peterson.

Mayoral appointments receiving unanimous approval on the evening included the following: City clerk/administrator — Shane Daniels, deputy clerk — Shane Daniels, public works director — Shane Daniels, city attorney — Gross from Quarnstrom & Doering, fire chief — Dale Johnson III, assistant fire chiefs — Mike Erbes and Tony Rolling, weed inspector — Barton Meyer, city forester — Barton Meyer, building inspector — Shane Daniels, city assessor – Lyon County Assessor and civil defense director — Jason Lichty.

Council appointments also included the reappointment of David Tiegs as a community education financial advisory board member, Pam Cooreman as a planning commission member, Tiegs and Peterson as economic development authority members, Cooreman to replace Ferrazzano as a hospital advisory board member, Cooreman and Tiegs as labor management committee members, Peterson to Wheels Across the Prairie Museum board member to replace Tiegs and Christa Vandendriessche as the motor vehicle/drivers license appointee.

The council eliminated the attorney meeting seats deciding they would appoint members as the need arises.