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Tim Meehl appointed new mayor of Perham; now replacement needed for city council

Louis Hoglund

The Perham mayor's seat is no longer vacant, but now-there's an open city council chair.

With the resignation of Mayor Kevin Keil, earlier this year, Councilman Tim Meehl stepped forward to fill the mayor's slot. He was of-ficially appointed and sworn in March 8.

That left Meehl's council seat open.

A replacement for the va-cant council seat is expected to be appointed next month, and will only be an eight month position-since the seat will be on the election ballot in November. So, if some-body in Perham has an inter-est in city government, this is a perfect opportunity to test the waters-with only a short-term commitment.

The city has an "applica-tion" form, with a half-dozen questions, which they are encouraging interested city council prospects to complete and submit. The deadline is March 22. Those applications will then be reviewed, and a replacement council member will be appointed-until the November 2010 election.

Following Meehl's ap-pointment as mayor, the city council voted to name Anita Mycke as deputy mayor under Meehl.

In a letter to the Perham council, Meehl expressed his interest in serving as mayor-and outlined his background and experience. He has served on the council for more than three years-two of those as deputy mayor.

Leadership has been a constant for Meehl, ever since High school in North Dakota, where he was president of his class, the student council, the FFA chapter and the 4-H Club-all in the same year.

Meehl has been assistant fire chief for five of the 15 years he has served on the Perham Volunteer Fire De-partment. He is presently a manager with New Life Farms, a Perham-based tur-key-growing operation.

An advocate of a strong city economic development program, Meehl said the city needs to continue to work with existing businesses-as well as recruit new industry and business.

"Our economic develop-ment is strong, and it has to remain strong," stated Meehl in his letter to the council. A special interest is the pro-posed campground and RV site on city parkland, which he believes will be a strong asset to Main Street mer-chants as well as bring more traffic into Perham.

Affordable housing is a priority issue for Meehl. As a town with low unemploy-ment, there are jobs in Per-ham-but not necessarily the appropriate housing at a price range that entices those workers to live in the city.

Visibility in the commu-nity will be a top objective for Meehl, who added that he "will listen to any and all concerns with an open ear."

And, on the subject of visibility, for those who may not recognize the town's new mayor, he might be familiar to trackside spectators at Per-ham's famous "International Turtle Races." Meehl is the "Voice of the Turtle Races," every Wednesday in the summer-delivering the play-by-play at the turtle track.

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Interested in

city government?

With Councilman Tim Meehl appointed mayor, there is a slot open on the Perham City Council.

Those interested in serving out Meehl's term, through December of 2010, are asked to fill out a background and biography sheet; and also respond to several questions, which are presented here:

Occupation, work experi-ence:

Brief biography:

Why are you interested in this position?

In the area of economic development, what does the city need to do to promote growth?

Describe your current civic and community involvement.

What do you feel are the city's top priorities or objec-tives at this time?

What, if any, concerns do you have with the city now and what ideas would you bring to the table as a Council Member?

What committees/boards would you like to participate in?