Kolodge appointed to Cloquet City Council seatAfter announcing they had received zero applications for the Ward 4 Cloquet City Council seat vacated earlier this year by Neil
By: Jana Peterson, Pine Journal
Not bad. After announcing they had received zero applications for the Ward 4 Cloquet City Council seat vacated earlier this year by Neil Nemmers, five people applied for the job in less than a week.
Although one person dropped out, City Councilors and Mayor Bruce Ahlgren interviewed four candidates ¬– Roy Maki Jr., Parnell Thill, Kerry Kolodge and Clare Cassandro – Tuesday afternoon, before choosing Kolodge to fill the Ward 4 seat for the rest of 2012.
“All four candidates would have made excellent councilors,” Ahlgren said after a unanimous vote approving Kolodge’s selection. “It’s great to have that many good people interested in working for your city.”
Kolodge is a lifelong resident of Cloquet, who graduated from Cloquet High School in 1979 before going on to study criminal justice at St. Cloud State University. He and his wife raised their children here and he stressed how important he thinks it is that people feel safe where they live.
“Cloquet offers a number of things that many cities would be envious of,” he wrote in his application letter. “We have excellent city services, a low crime rate and a very good quality of life. As I travel around town, I notice residents walking, biking and enjoying our city parks.”
Kolodge is currently a lieutenant in charge of the Major Crimes Bureau at the Duluth Police Department. In response to a question about how his work experience would help him on the council, he stated that he’s been involved in city government for 30 years.
“It’s what I do,” he said. “In my job, I work with the city attorney, the mayor’s office. I am a senior member of the police staff: we formulate policy, worry about the budget, provide leadership for our department.”
Kolodge has also volunteered with the Cloquet Community Scholarship Committee, the United Way Board of Directors, and the Cloquet Youth Baseball/Softball Association (where he helped with the creation of Braun Park). He was also a volunteer with the Pine Valley trail lighting project and has been a youth coach for baseball, football and cross country skiing.
After voting, Ahlgren invited Kolodge to take his seat in Council Chambers, even though he won’t be formally sworn in until the April 16 meeting. Every applicant stated that he or she was planning to run for the Cloquet City Council in this fall’s general election, so odds are good Cloquet residents will be seeing more of all four.
In other matters Tuesday, the Cloquet City Council :
+ Approved a slight redistricting change to the boundaries of City Wards 3 and Ward 1, which essentially shifted the southern boundary of Ward 3 between Highway 33 and 14th Street from Prospect Avenue to Doddridge Avenue.
+ Approved a reduced assessment for property owned by James Kuklis in the Trails Edge Planned Development District. Kuklis had objected to the assessment on the undeveloped portion of his property, part of which will be made into a private road if development goes as planned (creating two corner lots, which are normally charged only 1/3 of their frontage on the long side). City Engineer Jim Prusak recommended reducing the assessment from $11,435 to $5,745.
After the meeting, Kuklis said he was happy with the compromise.
“Jim Prusak was very fair,” he said.