Former Braham council member appointed to vacant seat

Delwayne Hahn
Contributing Writer

Lowell Jaques emerged as the successful candidate to replace former Braham City Council Member Wayne Seiberlich at the June 6 council meeting.

Six people had submitted letters of interest in the position; the term runs through Dec. 31, 2018. The council elected to discuss the application letters and qualifications at this meeting rather than calling a special meeting for the purpose.

After a lengthy discussion of the options for the selection process as well as the six persons expressing an interest, the council was split 2-2 on Ross Benzen and Jaques. In accordance with council rules, Mayor Tish Carlson became the tie-breaker and her vote went to Jaques, who served 12 years on the council previously. He will begin serving at the July meeting.

In a second major decision, the council favored moving ahead in extending broadband service to the city’s industrial park.

At a special meeting April 4, the council voted to accept the Braham Economic Development Authority’s recommendation to move forward with the project and began advertising a request for proposals.

Only one proposal was received, according to information provided to the council by City Administrator Sally Hoy. That proposal came from Genesis Wireless. The details of the proposal are classified as private data under Minnesota law until the contract is negotiated and presented back to the council for final approval.

Carlson and Council Member Jeremy Kunshier were appointed as the committee to meet with Genesis along with city staff and the city attorney to work out details of the contract. Awarding of the contract is contingent upon a successful conclusion to these negotiations.

In other action, the council:
• Appointed Marshall Lind, building and zoning official, as city planner in order to validate his authority in representing the city with several agencies at which he was previously appointed as a representative. It was pointed out in the discussion that Lind, in attending the meetings, is functioning as a city planner and needs the official designation. Lind was commended for his work to date.

• Rescheduled the July meeting for 4 p.m. July 5.

• Rescheduled the August meeting to 4 p.m. Aug. 1 to avoid any conflict with possible National Night Out activities.