AURORA — The 2020 Aurora City Council was decided following Tuesday’s election.
Three seats were up for this fall’s election, including the mayoral position and two council seats. Douglas Gregor was elected mayor with Norma Jean Jofs reelected to a council seat along with Talicia Honkola.
David S. Meyer ran against Gregor, the incumbent, for the mayoral seat.
Gregor was previously appointed by the city council to fill the remainder of the term following the resignation of Dave Lislegard, who was elected the Minnesota House in 2018.
“I am excited about this opportunity to continue to serve Aurora,” said Gregor over email Wednesday. “Although I have been honored to serve as Aurora’s appointed Mayor for the past 9 months, it is a new and reassuring feeling to finally have the voters’ support.”
In the mayoral race, Gregor earned 290 votes, to 68 for Meyer with 18 write-ins.
The mayor’s term is two years and will expire Dec. 31, 2021.
The two council seats are currently held by David Cromley and Jofs, with their terms expiring Dec. 31 of this year. Three ran for the two seats including Jofs, Honkola and Richard Hess. Cromley did not seek another term
Jofs was reelected with 247 votes. Honkola was elected with 234 votes. Hess earned 194 votes and there was one write-in.
Council terms are four years and Jofs and Honkola will serve Jan. 1, 2020- Dec. 31, 2023.
The Aurora City Council is a five-member board. The terms of councilors Jim Lakso and Dave Worshek expire Dec. 31, 2021.
“I really look forward to working with the new Council members and am confident that together we will help assure a bright future for Aurora,” said Gregor explaining both the exciting and challenging parts of this upcoming term. “Among the many reasons to be optimistic about our future are the imminent completion of the new Mesabi East school bond financed improvements, the prospect of the PolyMet mine construction commencing, the prospect of attracting some of the permanent PolyMet worker families to become Aurora residents, the real prospect of getting a grocery store back in town, getting the community’s planned splash-pad open in 2020, and seeing five recently opened new businesses flourish.”
It also includes, he said, repairing a severely damaged sewage treatment plant digestor unit, locking down state bonding money for the planned Joint East Range Water Project, expanding child-care services, high-speed broadband services and more.
Overall, election day was considered successful with a reported 37 percent of Aurora’s registered voters participating.
“The election took place without issue using the new DS200 voting machines,” said city administrator Becky Lammi over email Wednesday. “The city thanks it’s current councilors and we look forward to working with the new council beginning January 1st. A big thanks to the community for its civic engagement”
In the Mountain Iron-Buhl School Board selection, Lisa Kvas ran unopposed and received 45 votes against two write-ins.