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.