by Jim Boyle
Otsego Mayor Jessica Stockamp and two new council members — Brittany Moores and Jeff Dahl — were sworn in Jan. 11 at the five-member body’s organizational meeting.
Stockamp fended off a campaign by fellow council member Tina Goede and newcomer Jacob Denman by claiming nearly two-thirds of the vote in the November election. She got 59% of the vote while Goede got 28% and Denman got 13%.
Moores and Dahl won over a group of six candidates on the ballot, including incumbents Corey Tanner and Jason Warehime.
Stockamp, Moores and Dahl joined council members Goede and Tom Darkenwald for a group picture. They took care of other organizational business, including committee assignments, and talked about council member training available to members. The mayor and council members provided the council’s newest members with lots of information as they begin their four-year terms.
Darkenwald was appointed acting mayor in the absence Stockamp at meetings.
Lucero provides legislative preview
In other council business, members heard from Rep. Eric Lucero, R-Dayton, who provided a legislative preview. He and other members of the Minnesota House as well as Minnesota Senate were sworn in last week. Lucero was sworn in to his fourth term.
He mentioned his committee assignments, including his selection to the public safety committee for the fourth time.
He said the No. 1 issue from his perspective in talking to constituents he has spoken with is ending emergency powers Gov. Tim Walz has been using to guide Minnesotans through the pandemic.
“The Legislature needs to be inserted back into its job,” he said, calling it a necessary move to return to business as spelled out in the state’s constitution.
Additionally, he said, local school districts and youth sports need to be back in school and on the playing field.
He said he supports school districts being independent as their name implies and making decisions for the good of the people they serve.
Lucero said another big topic in the last two months has been election integrity. He said the electorate deserves to have confidence in elections.
Lucero mentioned 2021 — an odd year — is a budget year and decisions about funding all of state government for the next two years need to be made.
He said it is estimated there’s a $1 billion deficit to wrestle with.
“Individuals and business are suffering,” he said, promising to fight for no tax increases but rather cuts to government spending. One area, however, he said they won’t be interested in cutting is the police.
“We cannot cut or defund police,” he said. “We need to support them.”
He said he will remain a strong advocate for pro-life matters and the Second Amendment.