Thompson is new Paynesville mayor

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 11/12/96.

Jeff Thompson was elected the new mayor of Paynesville in the Nov. 5 election. The city recorded 86.7 percent of the registered voters casting ballots, 1,073 of 1,243 registered. Of that total, 125 were new voters in Paynesville.

City residents gave city councilman Thompson a vote of support with 710 votes to 286 for challenger Tom Hayenga. ãI hope to continue the direction past councils have taken,ä Thompson said. ãA lot of positive things have happened and we want to continue in that direction.ä

Thompson added he was impressed with the voter turnout in Paynesville. ãThis was a year there were no real races, except the mayorâs seat. I think what kept the interest high in the area was the House and Senate races. We had two local people running. Michelle Fischbach and Joe Voss. It is nice to see people interested in what happens in their districts.ä

Thompson said one of his first duties as mayor will be to find someone to fill has vacant council seat in January. He encouraged interested individuals to contact any council member or the city administrator.

ãI will work to get out and around the area to promote Paynesville as a growing community. The city has a pretty good track record of community involvement which I feel is a sign of a healthy community,ä Thompson added. Thompson said areas of possible improvement would be law enforcement. ãWe have a growing community with problems and I feel the residents need to be more aware of what is happening in their neighborhoods and play an active role in helping our youth.

ãJoanne Benson, lietuenant governor, once said our problems started when people tore off their front porches and built decks in back. We are not as concerned with our communities and more concerned with ourselves. We need to sit on our front porches and meet and greet our neighbors and see what is happening around us,ä Thompson said.

ãWe need more block parties where people wander around and chat with their neighbors and know who lives in their neighborhoods. Years ago, everybody knew who their neighbors were. Today, very feel people know their neighbors.

The three candidates for city council ran unopposed. Dennis Zimmerman received 891 votes. He will finish out the unexpired term of Michelle Fischbach. Harlan Beek received 754 votes and Dave Peschong received 526 votes. Peschong replaces Bert Stanley on the council.

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