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Rugby's first female mayor begins term

July 2, 2018
Bryce Berginski - Tribune Reporter , Pierce County Tribune

Infrastructure is a priority to Rugby's first ever female mayor, whose term officially began Tuesday evening.

Susan Steinke, who won a competitive mayoral race with 246 votes and has also served for the past two years as the first elected woman on the Rugby City Council, said Tuesday that in the future some large projects like the Highway 3 underpass, raw water main repairs, improvements at the water treatment plant and repairs to the roof and interior beams at the swimming pool will be big issues for the city.

Steinke said that with All Seasons Water Users District purchasing 30 percent of water going through the city's water treatment plant, the facility is a regional plant and it makes having repairs done to the raw water line critical.

Article Photos

Bryce Berginski/PCT
Outgoing Mayor Arland Geiszler (left) administers the oath of office to incoming Mayor Susan Steinke Tuesday.

"We should not be without a second option for bringing in raw water to our plant for our city residents," Steinke said, "but also those rural users in North Central North Dakota who depend on our water plant.

Steinke said the swimming pool's roof is in "terrible" shape, and the pool directly relates to the city's tax base.

"If young families such as the young couple I sold my house to can't get swimming lessons in Rugby and would need to drive to neighboring communities for those swimming lessons," Steinke said, "then it is likely that they'll look at those communities to move to first and that diminishes the possibilities for Rugby."

Fact Box

City Council, committees reorganize

With new and incumbent members elected, the Rugby City Council held a special reorganization meeting Tuesday evening at Rugby City Hall.

The meeting consisted of oaths of office for council and Park Board members; appointments for city attorney, city auditor and chief of police; electing council president and vice president; and committee appointments.

Newly-sworn in Mayor Susan Steinke administered oaths of office to council members Jackie Albrecht (newly elected in Ward 1), David Bednarz (Ward 2 incumbent), Joel Berg (Ward 3 incumbent), Matt Lunde (elected to an unexpired two-year term in Ward 3) and Chuck Longie (Ward 4 incumbent), and present Rugby Park Board members Roger Sitter and Rick Srur. Park Board member Tonia Dosch was absent for the meeting.

Steinke appointed Jennifer Stewart as city auditor; Bill Hartl as city attorney; John Rose as police chief; and Al Jundt as city building official/inspector.

The council approved the election of Ward 2 Councilman Gary Kraft as council president and Ward 1 Councilman Bruce Allen Rheault as vice president.

Council members were appointed to the following committees:

Albrecht: Finance, Ordinance, Personnel, Tree

Rheault: Public Safety, Personnel, Visitor, Buildings & Property, City Planning & Zoning

Kraft: Finance, Public Works, Ordinance, Recreation, JDA (city representative), County Planning & Zoning

Bednarz: Public Works

Berg: Recreation, Buildings & Property, Library board (city representative)

Lunde: Ordinance, Recreation, Buildings & Property

Longie: Law Enforcement Center (city representative), Finance, Public Safety, Personnel.

The council will hold its next meeting with the new mayor and current makeup on Monday, July 2 at 7:30 p.m.

Other committee appointments

VISITOR: Crystal Wangler, President Cory Geiszler (4-year term), Michelle Lake (2-year term), Ashley Berg (2-year term), Vice President Jarret Lovcik

TREE: Gary Lee, Yolanda Schmidt, Mark Voeller, Troy Munyer

PERSONNEL: Candy Munyer, advisory (non-voting member).

Steinke said her time on the city council benefitted into whether or not she wanted to run, which included serving on multiple committees.

"City government is not just as simple as reconciling your checkbook--there are a lot of rules, a lot of financial aspects to it, the zoning, working with All Seasons Water Users," said Steinke.

Steinke said she is honored to be elected Rugby's first female mayor.

"I look forward to working with each and every citizen of Rugby, and my door is always open," Steinke said. "And I would encourage people to get involved in city government."



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