City of Wessington Springs City Attorney Gary Blue (right foreground) swears in new leadership at Monday night’s city council mneeting at City Hall in Wessington Springs. Shown at left, clockwise are: newly elected Mayor Kathy Voorhees, City Council Members Shane Fastnacht, Aaron Roesler, Mark Gran and Lloyd Kraft. City councilman Joe Hettinger is shown seated, as he continues his second year of a two-year term in Ward Three.  

Newly Elected Mayor,  City Council Members Sworn In

Newly elected mayor Kathy Voorhees and city council members Shane Fastnacht (Ward Three, two-year term), Aaron Roesler (Ward One, one-year term), Mark Gran (Ward Two, two-year term) and Lloyd Kraft (Ward Two, one-year term) were sworn in at the Monday, May 7 City of Wessington Springs Council meeting. Councilman Tim Azure (Ward One, two-year term) will also be serving on the council but was not present at Monday’s meeting.  

The new council president and vice president were chosen, with Aaron Roesler and Lloyd Kraft, respectively, nominated for those titles. Committee leadership was tabled until the June meeting.

In an interview with the True Dakotan after the April 10, 2018 election, Mayor Voorhees said that it’s vital to take a close look at what is working and what is not working when it comes to committees.  “I want to first get to know the new council members and their individual strengths. Then we can establish new council committees,” said Voorhees. 

Voorhees said that she will take the city in a new direction based on the community feedback that she heard during her campaign, citing a survey she conducted at a booth at the Farm and Home Show in February. 

“Voters had an opportunity to express their support and I really appreciate it. I’ve listened to the community and I already have a plan from the community,” she said. “The top three community member requests boiled down to: communication, cleaning up city hall and forming a strategic plan. The community’s input helped me kickstart an agenda of working together and it’s inspiring. I’m excited about it. I hope to continue the enthusiasm and the good conversations that my platform created along the way.”

One of the first things on her to-do list, with City Attorney Gary Blue’s help, is to conduct an orientation with each employee and council member. Her hope is that this will enable transitional conversations with employees and help establish new boundaries and a chain of command. 

Voorhees said that part of her communication agenda is to launch a monthly mayor’s column in the True Dakotan. Look for the inaugural column from Mayor Voorhees later this month. 

“I look forward to establishing a new direction, establishing boundaries and restoring civility,” she continued. “It’s important to understand why people feel differently but respect that and set a good example for the community. It’s time to change the tone.”