Superior mayor revises retirement plans to avoid special election
Superior Mayor Bruce Hagen is reconsidering his previously announced retirement date of April 30. "After review of my original timeline for retiring, and taking into account a responsible transition of the Mayor's Office, I have reached out to Co...
Superior Mayor Bruce Hagen is reconsidering his previously announced retirement date of April 30.
"After review of my original timeline for retiring, and taking into account a responsible transition of the Mayor's Office, I have reached out to Council President Dan Olson and the Common Council as to what I believe is necessary for a smooth transition," Hagen said in a prepared statement Thursday. "In retrospect, there can be a smoother transition that will be much less burdensome and with no cost to the city of Superior."
Hagen, 70, announced last month that he planned to step down April 30, about midway through his fifth and final term as Superior mayor, citing a variety of reasons and saying serving as mayor is "just not in me anymore."
"I've been in public- and private-sector employment at a high level and very stressful jobs for going on 50 years," Hagen said last month. "It's taken its toll."
Hagen said Thursday that in order to have an election for mayor that coincides with the 2017 spring election, he plans to tender his resignation no later than Nov. 30, giving candidates interested in running for mayor the opportunity to circulate nomination petitions.
It will save the city the expense of conducting a special election, which likely would take place in July, at a cost of about $30,000.
"It will also eliminate the frustration of yet another election," Hagen said.
Hagen said he now plans to resign Nov. 22, under the condition the City Council reappoints him to the seat as an interim mayor until a newly elected mayor takes office. Hagen said he would then resign as acting mayor on April 17, the day before the newly elected mayor takes office.
Some city councilors, including Brent Fennessey, had mentioned during casual conversations before meetings that they would prefer the earlier resignation date to avoid the need for a special election.
Council President Dan Olson had presented that as an option to Hagen in late October when the mayor announced his plans to retire.
To accomplish this transition in a timely manner, a special meeting of the Common Council has been scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Nov. 22.
Olson said that he will recommend the Council accept the mayor's resignation at that meeting and appoint Hagen to serve through the newly elected mayor taking office. He said he's hopeful the Council will accept that recommendation unanimously.
"While this alternative will not serve my retirement as planned, it will serve the city and the taxpayers with a smooth transition, eliminate the cost and need of a special election during a time of the year that would attract very few voters," Hagen said in his statement Thursday. "I look forward to a positive reception by the Common Council and a unanimous affirmation of this plan that I am offering for a seamless transition."