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New and old faces join Menahga city council, school board

Menahga City Council

Patrick Foss will continue as mayor, winning 369 of the 752 votes cast Tuesday. Opponent Jensine Kurtti received 272 votes. It's a two-year term that expires Jan. 7, 2019. Foss has served as mayor for the past six years.

Tim Ellingson and Dennis Komulainen are Menahga's newest city council members. They both ran unopposed for two open seats. Ellingson received 452 votes, Komulainen got 384 and there were 17 write-ins. They will both serve four-year terms, expiring Jan. 4, 2021. The seats were left vacant by Martin Ahlf and Kim Rasmussen.

"The reason I ran for office is because I don't know what's wrong with the young people. Nobody seems to care," Komulainen said. "So I filed and no one ran against me."

Komulainen, 82, was a council member about seven years ago. He held a four-year term.

"When you run for an office in a town like Menahga you've got to use your common sense. That's the key to everything. Common sense is how you get things done," he said.

Ellingson grew up and attended school in Menahga.

Rasmussen opted to run for a two-year council position in a special election.

After initially reporting that Rasmussen had 310 votes compared to Maxine (Norman) McNeece's 309, the Minnesota Secretary of State updated the results Thursday morning, showing a tie at 310 each.

City Administrator Janette Bower is in dialogue with Wadena County and state officials to discuss the change in the tally, and if there is indeed a tie, how to proceed.

The Menahga City Council will meet at approximately 6:45 p.m. Monday, Nov. 14 to canvass and declare the results of the Nov. 8 election.

Menahga School Board

Three Menahga School Board positions were on the 2016 election ballot, with incumbents Curtis Hasbargen and Brad Goehrig seeking re-election. Julia Kicker topped the field with 1,201 votes, Brad Goehrig with 1,052 and Jon Kangas with 956.

Hasbargen, who has served on the board for 11 years, had 802 votes. Robert E. Smith received 592 votes.

The school board will canvass the election results and authorize the issuance of certificates of election at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 14 in the high school conference room. They will also discuss the FJJ Professional Services Agreement, the purchase of four SMART Boards, call for a World's Best Workforce annual public meeting and review items for the regular meeting agenda.

The year-long trespass order against Kangas expires Dec. 14, 2016. On Monday, the board will consider lifting the order.

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