by Dennis Dalman
Two candidates – Tim Elness and Jeff Kolb – were elected Nov. 6 to two seats on the Sartell City Council.
They defeated two other candidates – Brady Andel and Barika Davis.
Of the four, Elness received from voters in Sartell’s seven precincts the most votes – 3,571 (30.67 percent of the total votes cast). Kolb received 3,205 votes (27.52 percent). Andel garnered 3,016 votes (25.90 percent) and Davis received 1,804 (15.49 percent).
According to the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State elections website, there were 49 write-in votes and there were 11,645 registered voters as of 7 a.m. the morning of the Nov. 6 general election.
Elness, 52, is vice president of business development for W. Gohman Construction, St. Joseph. Elness has a bachelor’s degree in communications from Augsburg College. He has served on the Sartell Planning Commission for the past two years and also served on a task force to study options for the abandoned paper-mill site in Sartell.
Elness is a member of the Sartell Chamber of Commerce and serves on its board of directors.
In campaign comments to the Sartell Newsleader, Elness said he wants to bring “a fresh vision” to local government. One goal, he said, is to maintain a healthy balance between economic health and commercial development.
Elness said Sartell is strong in its attractive, centrally located and family-oriented city with a great school system. He said the city could use some improvements, however, such as “a core downtown area like traditional small communities,” and also more recreational and aesthetic developments along the river.
He and his wife, Cathy, have three children – Ben, a senior at Sartell High School; Grace, a sophomore at that school; and Lily, an eighth-grader at Sartell Middle School.
Jeff Kolb, 29, is an employee of Homeowners Financial Group, a mortgage broker in the St. Cloud area, based out of Scottsdale, Ariz.
Kolb moved to Sartell 18 months ago after spending many years in the Cambridge/Isanti area and more recently Thief River Falls. He has a degree in business management from Bethel College, St. Paul. Currently, he is a member of the Sartell Economic Development Committee and the Sartell Parks and Recreation Board. He is also a U.S. Navy veteran and a firefighter and first responder when he was in Isanti.
Among his goals as a Sartell City Council member are these: finding a balance between city amenities and taxes; more restaurants and entertainment venues; perhaps a sheet of ice or swimming facility at the community center; doing something about the housing shortage; a river-front walk along the river; a green-technology company at the abandoned paper mill site; a historical museum; and listening to constituents.
Kolb is the father of three children – Grant, 26; Megan, 22; and Tucker, 14.