Weather Forecast


Local election candidates announced

The Aug. 12 deadline to file as a candidate for upcoming local elections has passed.

Throughout the area, 18 incumbents have filed in hopes that voters will approve their continued service, while 16 challengers filed to make their own contributions to local government.

They include:

 Perham-Dent School Board

On the Perham-Dent School Board, four seats are up for election.

The three incumbent candidates who filed for reelection are Myron Roe, James Rieber and Sue Huebsch.

Four additional community members filed to become candidates:

-Arnie Thompson is a retired service representative for Otter Tail Power Company. He previously served 12 years on the school board and is seeking a seat again because he wants to “give kids the best chance to succeed.”

-Kristi Wunderlich has been involved in the district through her seven children and their extracurricular activities (six of them are still in the district). Wunderlich said she decided to run after regularly attending meetings to voice her concerns and wanting to have “a vote that counts” on issues.

-Christi Stoll is the volunteer and events coordinator for the United Way of Otter Tail County. Stoll said she knows how important a quality education is to a child’s success as an adult and she would like to “play a part in ensuring that all children and their families have a positive experience” in the district.

-Nathan Rooney could not be reached for comment by press time Tuesday.

 City of Perham

Tim Meehl is the current mayor of Perham and the only person who filed for the position. Harriet Mattfeld and Fred Lehmuhl are the incumbent city council candidates and no challengers filed to run against them. All three positions will be on the ballot in November to allow for possible write-in votes.

 City of Ottertail

For the position of mayor, Myron Lueders is running unopposed for reelection. The position will be included on the general ballot to allow for any write-in candidates.

On the city council side, two seats are up for election in Ottertail. Michael T. Windey is the sole incumbent candidate.

Two challenger candidates filed:

-Ron Grobeck is a member of the Ottertail Rod and Gun Club, Ottertail Lions and Otter Tail Planning Committee. He would like to see the city look into a retirement housing project, create a larger community center/storm shelter, increase communication between the city and community groups and expand the role of the Ottertail Planning Committee.

-Jill Carlson has worked at Carr’s Tree Service in Ottertail as an office manager for more than 27 years and is the president of the Ottertail Rod and Gun Club and secretary/treasurer for the Ottertail Lakes Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation. Carlson wants to encourage strong business growth and work with outside groups to make Ottertail a better place to live.

 New York Mills School Board

Three seats are up for election on the New York Mills School Board.

Two incumbent candidates, Jill Carlson and Dr. Rachel Grieger, filed for reelection.

Four challenger candidates filed to be considered for the positions, as well:

- Stephanie Von Ruden is a 2010 New York Mills graduate, who said she is still known as Stephanie Carrlson to many. Von Ruden currently works at Farmers and Merchants State Bank. She said she decided to run for the school board because, “I want to give back to the district that gave so much to me in the 13 years I was there (K-12) and to help keep it strong.” Von Ruden would also like to see an increase in beneficial technology in the district.

-Denise Kane owns Guardian Crop Insurance in Perham, where she serves New York Mills area farmers. She has also been involved in the district through her three daughters’ activities. Kane said she was asked to run for the board by another individual and decided to enter the race after seeking out more information.

-Candidates Adam Tervola-Hultberg and Lapene Majala could not be reached for comment by press time on Tuesday.

 City of New York Mills

Two incumbent candidates filed for reelection to four-year terms on the city council: Josh Hoaby and Marsha Maki. No challengers filed for the seats.

This year, a two-year seat on the council will be up for election due to a seat being vacated part-way through the term. This position will expire Dec. 16, 2016. Three candidates filed for this seat:

-Jeff Oakland owns Oakland Boat Repair and Renovations in New York Mills and previously worked at Lunds for more than 30 years. Oakland said he felt that it is his duty as an American citizen to participate in local government and that he has concerns about the city’s future.

-Charles Fredley is a past member of the Economic Development Authority committee and has owned businesses in New York Mills. Fredley said he decided to run after the community supported him through his battle with and recovery from cancer in 2013 as his way of giving back.

-Jessica Gibble is a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in New York Mills. She said she wants to be more involved in the community and to provide a voice for other community members.

For the office of mayor in New York Mills, Julie Gerber, the current mayor, filed to run for a second term.

She is challenged by Kenny Friese. Friese has lived in New York Mills for more than 40 years and said he has worked all around the town. He ran for mayor in 2012. Friese said he would like to see the town be more proactive and aggressive in recruiting businesses.

 Perham Hospital District

Seven seats on the Perham Hospital District Board are up for reelection.

Incumbents Jerome Kunza (City of Perham), Richard Richter (Perham Township), Alisyn Keil (Gorman Township), Gilbert Ebner (City of Richville) and Cyndy Rastedt (Otter Tail Township) filed unopposed for another term on the board.

Two community members filed to run for the seat representing Dora Township:

-James Lee has been the Dora Township treasurer for 30 years and previously served on the hospital board. Lee has been attending the board meetings for seven months as a non-voting representative after the previous board member could not attend.

-Candidate Thomas Meyer could not be reached for comment by press time on Tuesday.

No one filed as a candidate to represent the City of Dent on the hospital board. According to a hospital representative, the position will be decided through write-in votes on Election Day.

 Check back in future editions of the Perham Focus for more extensive information on candidates running for local offices as Election Day 2014 nears.