2 more people file for city seats

Published 6:45 pm Saturday, May 22, 2010

Two more Albert Lea City Council members threw their names in the hat for city office Friday — one for his current seat and the other for a new seat. 

First Ward Councilor Vern Rasmussen filed for Albert Lea mayor and 4th Ward Councilor Reid Olson filed for re-election to his current seat, according to city staff.

With about a week and a half left of the filing period, Rasmussen is the third candidate for mayor. Other candidates already in the race are current Mayor Mike Murtaugh and former 5th Ward Councilor John Severtson. 

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In recent years, the mayoral race has drawn five or six candidates. 

Olson is the first and only person thus far to file for the 4th Ward seat. No others have announced their intention to run for that position. 

Vern Rasmussen

Rasmussen said he decided to run for mayor because of his love for Albert Lea. 

“Obviously this is a town that I really care about, and I think I can make a difference in that position,” he said, noting it is a good time for him to run for the seat. “I think we need someone who’s going to be able to bring the group together, whether it be the community or council, whoever.”

Rasmussen said he thinks this is one of his strong points. 

“I think the mayor position in the next two years is going to have to mend a lot of fences and bring a lot of people together,” he said. 

While a council member’s vote is just as important as the mayor’s vote, the mayor has more of a voice out in the community. 

Rasmussen described himself as progressive. He said he is concerned about the budget and the balance that needs to be found. 

“I think they know who I am,” he said. “My track record will speak for itself. If that’s what they want, that’s what they want.” 

He said if it does not work out as mayor, he will continue in his term as 1st Ward city councilor.

Reid Olson 

Olson said he decided to file for re-election because he wants to help the city continue down the path of success it has been on the last few years. 

He pointed out that some of the successes he’s been a part of over the years include getting the bonding money needed to clean up the North Edgewater Park landfill site, working with the developers of Wedgewood Cove to bring the clubhouse and golf course to Albert Lea, re-stabilizing Katherine Island and installing the new bridge there; and getting the Brookside Trail up to Pioneer Park. 

If elected, this would be Olson’s second term in office.