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New board seated in Orchard City

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Photo by Hank Lohmeyer Newly elected Orchard City town board and mayor receiving their oaths of office on April 20 are, from left, Gynee Thomassen, four-year trustee; Tom Huerkamp, two-year trustee; Dick Kirkpatrick, four-year trustee, Ken Volgamore, mayo

The Orchard City Town Board met in special session April 20 for a changing of the guard as newly elected trustees and mayor accepted their oaths of office and assumed their positions on the town board.

Mayor Ken Volgamore's election by voters to mayor halfway through his four-year trustee term has left one more vacancy on the town board. As of last week, at least one individual, Gary Tollefson, has applied for appointment to fill the final two years of that term, the DCI has learned.

Selecting a procedure for making that appointment will be one of the first orders of business for the new board.

Newly elected board of trustee members Craig Fuller, Dick Kirkpatrick and Gynee Thomassen officially joined the board taking seats for four-year-terms conferred on them by voters. Also taking his seat on the town board was Tom Huerkamp elected to a two-year-term.

Outgoing Mayor Don Suppes at the end of two consecutive four-year terms said that he was happy to have served the town as its mayor, and added that "eight years is enough." He noted that when officials "do what is best for the town, that the town's people will know it."

He said that he felt he had kept his promise to the voters that if something wasn't broken, it wouldn't be, and that the town would stay off the front page newspapers.

Suppes is now the Delta County Republican party's candidate for District 2 county commissioner in the November election.

A lot of changes have taken place in down-to-earth Orchard City's municipal operations in the past eight years. Suppes noted that water loss from the domestic utility has been cut and millions of gallons of treated water are being saved as a result. Improvements to the town park facility have made it a regional center and showcase for youth sports and other activities. And, he said that the town's fiscal responsibility has been maintained.

Volgamore's first official service as town mayor consisted of adjourning the special meeting after the newly elected officials were sworn in.

The induction ceremony was followed by a social gathering in the council room.

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