Benson council election less than two weeks away

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Benson’s Nov. 7 city council elections are approaching with two candidates seeking the mayor’s job and four vying for two seeks on the council.

Next week, the Swift County Monitor-News will publish a profile of each candidate along with his or her answers to key issues facing the community.

Council Member Terri Collins is running for mayor as is city resident Anita Flodstrom. Current Mayor Gary Landmark is not seeking re-election to a second term on the council. He previously served 24 years as a member of the city council. Benson’s mayor serves a two-year term.

Incumbent Jack Evenson has filed for a second four-year term on the council.  Mark Schreck, Larry Smith, Brad Johnson and Terry Flodstrom have also joined the race for the council’s two open seats. Council Member Stephanie Heinzig is not seeking re-election.

If Collins is elected mayor, she will continue to serve in her city council seat until Jan. 2 when she would be sworn in as mayor. At that point, there would be a vacancy on the council. The city council would then decide whether to conduct a special election to fill the seat or it could appoint someone to fill the remaining two years in Collin’s term.

If Collins loses the mayoral election, she would continue to serve as a member of the council for another two years.

The fifth member of the council is Lucas Olson who won his seat in a special election Jan. 10 to complete the three years left in Jonathon Pogge-Weaver’s term. Pogge-Weaver had been elected to a four-year term on the council in November 2015, but resigned his seat in October 2016 when his family moved to Carroll, Iowa.

Evenson is the owner of JAX of Benson and K-Bid. He was first elected in 2013.

Johnson is the Benson Elementary Schools principal.

Schreck is the owner of Benson Body. He served 10 years as the Benson’s fire chief before stepping down from the position earlier this year. He continues on the fire department where he is in his 36th year. He joined the department in January 1981.

Smith, a local businessman, has made unsuccessful runs for both the city council and the District 777 Board of Education in the past couple years.

Johnson and Smith also sought election to the council in the special election in January, but finished behind Olson. He received 95 vote beating Johnson who received 47 votes, Mike Fugleberg with 42 votes and Smith with 37.

Benson’s City Council meets the first and third Monday of the month with meetings generally lasting between a half hour and one-and-a-half hours. Members of the council also serve on advisory boards and commissions that include the Housing and Redevelopment Authority, the Economic Development Authority, the Swift County-Benson Health Services governing board, the Park Board, Planning Commission, Cemetery Board and Airport Commission.

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