Our View: Replace Medved with someone like Medved

From the editorial: "That means someone business-minded, young, entrepreneurial, conservative, and perhaps from far-western Duluth."

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In public announcements, social-media posts, letters to the Duluth City Council, and in other ways, hopefuls already are lining up to replace Derek Medved.

The At Large councilor announced late last week his intent to step down from public service to spend more time with his business. “With new business endeavors on the horizon, I do not feel I can both manage my business enterprise and provide the level of public service my constituents deserve,” he wrote in an email late Thursday to Council President Arik Forsman.

The City Council is expected to appoint a replacement for Medved to serve out the remainder of his term, which runs through Jan. 1, 2024. Forsman anticipates the council will seek applicants and then conduct interviews, the News Tribune reported.

With respect to the wishes of Duluth voters and in deference to the choice they made in electing Medved to represent them citywide, the council can pick a replacement who shares Medved’s values and perspective. That means someone business-minded, young, entrepreneurial, conservative, and perhaps from far-western Duluth.

Medved’s point of view and all that helped to shape it demand to be retained, maintaining a balance on a council that historically has been less than business-friendly and liberal-leaning, and which remains so. As the News Tribune editorialized earlier this week in celebration of the current council’s unprecedented and historic diversity, “From many perspectives and backgrounds come many ideas, improving the chances of the right ideas and the right solutions emerging.” Maintaining diversity can be a priority for councilors in filling Medved’s soon-to-be-vacated At Large seat.


Medved can be thanked and appreciated for his service to his city and for his willingness to step up and to open himself up to criticism and worse as an elected official. For two years, his voice was an important and unique one in City Hall, one that otherwise would have gone unheard and unrepresented. Duluth voters in 2019 elected him to provide just that.

Councilors owe it now to those voters to maintain that direction and that mindset over the nearly two years left in Medved’s term. Councilors have a responsibility and opportunity in replacing him to retain his politics and the unique qualities he offered — and all that voters elected.

Derek Medved plans to open a smoke shop in his Korner Store convenience store in Gary.
Duluth City Councilor Derek Medved at his Korner Store convenience store in Duluth's Gary-New Duluth neighborhood.
Steve Kuchera / File / Duluth News Tribune

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