A.L. says yes to 4-year mayoral terms

Published 9:52 am Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Starting in 2014, Albert Lea’s mayors will serve four-year terms.

According to results Tuesday night, 4,774 people voted in favor of the amendment to the city’s charter, while 3,692 people voted against it.

The issue came to the ballot after former Albert Lea Mayor Randy Erdman and a committee in April submitted more than 500 names on a petition to the Albert Lea City Council in support of four-year terms.

Email newsletter signup

Albert Lea’s mayors have served two-year terms since 1903. The last mayor to serve at least four years was Marv Wangen, who was mayor from 1991 to 2000.

Residents in favor of extending the term stated the change will bring more consistency to the position, create continuity and encourage long-term visioning. It will also give time for the mayor to develop relationships on the city and state level.

Albert Lea joins a series of other cities in the area with a population of 10,000 or more who have switched to four-year terms, including Mason City, Clear Lake, Mankato, Rochester, Owatonna, Faribault, Fairmont and Austin.

Re-elected Albert Lea Mayor Vern Rasmussen will not be affected by the term change. He will serve two years, and then residents will choose their first four-year mayor in 2014.