East Grand Forks council picks Vonasek for Ward 2East Grand Forks City Council members picked Ron Vonasek to be their new colleague Tuesday. He took the Ward 2 seat held for 22 years by Dick Grassel, who died of cancer Feb. 28
By: Tu-Uyen Tran, Grand Forks Herald
East Grand Forks City Council members picked Ron Vonasek to be their new colleague Tuesday.
He took the Ward 2 seat held for 22 years by Dick Grassel, who died of cancer Feb. 28.
Vonasek said he’d lived in East Grand Forks for 40 years, and “I thought it was time to pay back to the community for all the good years they’ve given me.” He’s spent those years working as a salesman at RDO Equipment, he said, and hopes to bring his knowledge of industrial equipment to help the city public works department.
The council picked Vonasek unanimously on Tuesday.
Other candidates included: Dale Helms, Kevin Jerik, Gordon “Gus” Lightfoot, Alan Maloney and Pamela Solga.
Council President Craig Buckalew said there were many qualified applicants, and he felt Vonasek was someone who has been committed to the city for many years and will be able to communicate well with Ward 2 residents.
Council member Marc DeMers thanked the candidates and said all of them, Vonasek included, should run in 2012.
That’s when Vonasek’s term expires.
The last time a replacement council member had to be picked before her term expired was when Laura Driscoll moved away to take a new job in Wyoming. The council required the candidate then to pledge not to run in the next term.
Buckalew said the council didn’t ask for that this time because there’s such a lengthy period of time for the incumbent to show what he’s made of. When Driscoll left, he said, there were only a few months before the election and the council didn’t want a short-term candidate to gain the name recognition of incumbency without having served very long.
Vonasek said he’ll probably run in 2012.
Reach Tran at (701) 780-1248; (800) 477-6572, ext. 248; or send e-mail to email@example.com.