New Albertville Mayor Appoints Rob Olson to City Council Monday After Split Vote

The council had a split vote between Olson and Mark Barthel. New mayor Jillian Hendrickson, who was just sworn in, then appointed Olson.

In an Albertville City Council meeting full of change Monday, new mayor Jillian Hendrickson was sworn in to office Monday shortly before she appointed Rob Olson to city council after a split vote left the seat undecided.

With Hendrickson leaving her council seat for mayor, there was an open seat on the council to be filled by appointment.

Olson served as the chairman of the city's planning and zoning commission and received two votes from the council. The other two votes were for Mark Barthel.

"The council will vote based on the letters of interest and if there is a tie vote, the mayor will appoint," city attorney Mike Couri explained. The city received two letters of interest for the remaining council seat from Olson and Barthel.

Both men ran for a seat during the November general election. Barthel lost the seat to Council Member Larry Sorenson in an especially close race that resulted in a tie and eventual recount where Sorensen came ahead by one vote. A coin toss determined Sorenson the winner.

Both Olson and Barthel were invited forward at Monday's city council meeting to express interest in the vacancy before the council voted.

"I've worked with Rob [Olson] on the planning and zoning commission and he's been very well received," City Council Member Dan Wagner told the council.

Sorensen felt strongly that Barthel take the open seat.

"I sat in the recount room for six hours with Mark [Barthel] and I think with him receiving so many votes this is the right thing to do," Sorensen said.

Council Member John Vetsch agreed.

"The people have spoken and they wanted you [Sorensen] or him [Barthel]," he said.

Hendrickson took her oath of office to start off Albertville's first 2013 council meeting. Shortly after, incumbents Sorensen and Vetsch also took their oaths and seats in front.

Hendrickson called a motion to appoint Olson to the open seat and a vote which led to a 2:2 split; Hendrickson and Wagner yes and Sorensen and Vetsch voted no.

"I'm voting against but not because I don't think highly of you [Olson] but because of the principle," Sorensen said.

Hendrickson then appointed Olson to the open seat and he took his oath of office. He will serve the remainder of Hendrickson's former council seat term which is up for re-election in 2014.

Olson created a Facebook page about his goals as city council member.

Aaron Kuznia January 08, 2013 at 07:59 PM
Excellant pick by the City Officials in Albertville. I have known Rpb for a long time, and have worked along side him in the past. He is a great guy with an excellant background. His knowledge and forsight will keep Albertivlle an excellant community to live, learn and work in! CONGRATS ROB!!!
Aaron Kuznia January 08, 2013 at 08:00 PM
Rpb should have read Rob. Sorry bud!
Scotty O January 09, 2013 at 06:48 PM
Look out Albertville, the Mayor is already making decisions against what the people wanted. I am sure Rob is a good guy, but the people voted for Mark Barthel and by a big margin. He lost to Larry by a coin flip. The Mayors job is to mediate the council, this should have been a no-brainier decision to select the candidate the people most voted for.
Nat January 10, 2013 at 04:00 AM
Considering the council was split... obviously not even all the council wanted Barthel either. The Mayor had to be the tie breaker, she did not single hand choose him! If she thinks Rob is best for this city then I'm glad what she did she felt was right! The only reason Mark Barthel probably took on a 'big' margin is because of his name. Half this city recognizes that name, and when a voter doesn't care either way they just put a check in the 1st box they see or what sounds familiar! I am happy to see younger residents getting involved and starting to take lead in our community!
Scotty O January 10, 2013 at 05:04 PM
So with it being a split vote that backs my point even more, very simple to look who had the most votes. So your saying because he has a common last name he should not be considered. Maybe it was because he is local and a larger population knows who he is and felt he should get the position. There is a reason we have a right to vote, and if one person is not going to take that in consideration then why are we even voting.


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