New members sworn onto East Grand Forks council

Tuesday's meeting lasted about 15 minutes.

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The new members of the East Grand Forks City Council, Ben Pokrzywinski (standing left) and Karen Peterson (standing right) are sworn in on Tuesday, Jan. 3. Also sworn in was Dale Helms (standing middle), who is now representing a different ward. (Screenshot from East Grand Forks Facebook)
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EAST GRAND FORKS — The newest members of the East Grand Forks City Council were sworn in during the first meeting of 2023.

Karen Peterson and Ben Pokrzywinski, representing the city at large and the second ward, respectively, took the oath of office on Tuesday, Jan. 3, in a meeting that lasted about 15 minutes. Peterson and Pokrzywinski were elected to the council in November. Dale Helms was also reelected to the council then, but in a different ward.

Peterson had also run for Ward 2, but encouraged people, via Facebook, to consider her as a write-in candidate for the at-large position, which she ultimately won.

After swearing in the new council members, the panel considered annual business, including setting the time and date for meetings, selecting the East Grand Forks Exponent as the council’s paper of record and a number of other items.

Mayor Steve Gander also commended the Parks and Recreation Department for its work to clear snow off trails and sidewalks.


“Whenever we talk about snow removal, we talk about public works, but we know parks and rec are very involved with snow removal,” he said. “I took a look at the trail once again and it’s looking really good. … Parks and rec, good job.”

Gander said the city is still scraping the last bits of snow and ice off of city streets, but if there are areas or cul-de-sacs in town that may have been missed, people should call the city at 218-773-1313.

Council members Mark Olstad, Brian Larson and Ben Pokrzywinski, along with Mayor Steve Gander and City Administrator David Murphy discussed the top city priorities with legislators

Sydney Mook has been the managing editor at the Herald since April 2021. In her role she edits and assigns stories and helps reporters develop their work for readers.

Mook has been with the Herald since May 2018 and was first hired as the Herald's higher education reporter where she covered UND and other happenings in state higher education. She was later promoted to community editor in 2019.

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