Tegtmeier encouraged to run in next election

By Barbie Porter


The Vergas City Council had a problem many small governments would be envious to have­—more than one person asked to serve the remainder of a vacant seat on the council.

When former Councilwoman Julie Bruhn was elected mayor, the remaining two years of her council seat was vacated. The council kept with past practice and asked for potential candidates to apply to fill the seat. 

During the most recent election, the top un-elected vote getters for a council seat were Paul Pinke and Austin Tegtmeier. Both collected 100 votes and both applied for the vacant seat. 

The Vergas City Council met Tuesday, March 9 and the first order of business was to appoint one of the two candidates, so they could promptly take the oath of office and join the council.

Council members noted it was great to have two applicants that bring something to the table, and are qualified to serve.

“It is a hard decision to make,” said Councilman Logan Dahlgren.

Tegtmeier has lived in Vergas for more than 20 years and being a manager at Spanky’s Stone Hearth provided him ample opportunity to understand how to communicate with a variety of people and personalities, as well as listen and sharpen  his time management and organizational skills.

Tegtmeier has also been involved as a volunteer at events, a community club board member and was recently appointed to the Vergas Economic Development Authority. 

He stated on his application that he wanted to serve on the council to bring a new voice and potentially new ways of viewing concerns or future goals.

“I think that having a council with a wide array of ages helps cover all voices within the community,” he wrote.

On the other hand, the council was asked to consider allowing longtime Vergas businessman Paul Pinke to serve.

Pinke, who owns Vergas Hardware, has volunteered with the community club, Vergas Lions, fire and rescue and has served on the council 14 and served two terms as mayor.

On his application, Pinke stated he wanted to serve to bring a positive impact to the city, and a fair one that listens to both sides of an issue to find a fair result.

Before putting the decision to a vote, the council asked the candidates if they had anything to say.

Tegtmeier said he respected Pinke, understood the council had a difficult choice and regardless of the decision made the candidates would remain friends, neighbors and share a love of improving their community.

The council agreed Pinke would be best suited for the two-year term. With past experience he would not need training new council members receive.

Mayor Julie Bruhn encouraged Tegtmeier to run again in the next election, noting his service on the EDA is a great introduction into local government.

“We see you as a young leader and hope this doesn’t discourage you,” Bruhn said. 

The rest of the council thanked him for applying and reiterated the same encouragement given by the mayor.

Pinke was swore in as council member and appointed to the committees dealing with streets, sidewalks, yard waste, event center and park board.