A few newcomers added to city councils

There were few surprises in area city elections on Tuesday, as incumbents carried the day in most of the races. Audubon A total of 306 voters went to the polls in the City of Audubon, and the results were good news for former city clerk Carol Ber...

There were few surprises in area city elections on Tuesday, as incumbents carried the day in most of the races.


A total of 306 voters went to the polls in the City of Audubon, and the results were good news for former city clerk Carol Bergerson, who was the top vote-getter in the race for City Council.

Bergerson received a total of 104 votes (34 percent) while incumbent Gary Bakken was also successful in his bid for re-election, with 72 votes (23.5 percent).

"It feels really good, but at the same time I'm really humbled that people put that much faith in me," Bergerson said. "I will try not to disappoint them.


"I'm looking forward to working with the council," she added. "I really believe in this community, and I know we can do good things. I'm just glad I can be a part of it."

Bakken, meanwhile, narrowly defeated challenger Jason Leucuta, who received 67 votes (22 percent).

He said that he was happy to be re-elected, and feels that he and Bergerson, with her past years of service as city clerk, will bring much-needed experience to the council.

"It's tough times out there with the state funding (decreasing)... I think that experience is going to help."

Bakken added, however, that "this will be my last term (on the council)." By the time the next election comes around in four years, "it will be time for someone new."

Behind Leucuta in the voting were Donald Holm, with 13 percent, and Bob Renney, with 7 percent. There was also one write-in vote reported.

Incumbent Mayor Terry Johnson, who was running unopposed for re-election, received 133 votes, or 92 percent, with the remaining 12 percent of ballots cast going to various write-in candidates.

Lake Park


With 378 of 519 registered voters (72.8 percent) casting their ballots in the race for Lake Park City Council, incumbent Martin Pepper was re-elected by a comfortable margin, while newcomer Aaron Wittnebel was also successful in his bid for a first term in city office.

Pepper received a total of 149 votes, or 39 percent of all ballots cast, while Wittnebel received 119 votes, or 32 percent.

The third candidate on the ballot, Jon B. Anderson, also earned very respectable numbers, receiving 101 votes, or 27 percent. The remaining nine votes cast for the two open seats on the council were for write-in candidates.


For a seat on the Frazee City Council, newcomer Bonnie Julius beat out incumbent John Dermody.

Julius took 232 votes, just two votes less than incumbent Ken Miosek, to Dermody's 164 votes.


A total of 76 voters took part in the Ogema city elections, with incumbent council member James Horack and treasurer Dan Rousu both winning another term in office.


It was challenger Don Morrison who made the biggest splash in the council race, however, as he received the highest number of votes with 30 (39 percent of ballots cast).

Horack received 23 votes, or 30 percent, and rounding out the voting were Martha Williams with 15 votes (20 percent), and Phil Dassinger with 4 votes (5 percent).

Running unopposed in his bid for another term as treasurer, Dan Rousu received 36 votes, or 88 percent of all ballots cast for that office. The remaining five votes were write-ins.

Wolf Lake

It was a clean sweep for the incumbents in the race for Wolf Lake City Council, as John Aho and Janelle Lake both won their bids for re-election.

Aho was the top vote-getter, receiving 27 of the 55 ballots cast, or 49 percent, while Lake was also victorious, receiving 16 votes, or 30 percent of all ballots cast.

Challenger Jana Marjamaa received 10 votes, or 18 percent, while Penny Longfors received just two votes, or 4 percent of all ballots cast.

Running unopposed for re-election, incumbent Mayor Cornell Ylitalo received 26 votes, or 100 percent of all ballots cast for that office.


There were also two important questions on the ballot for Wolf Lake city voters on Tuesday, both of them pertaining to the issuance of liquor licenses by the city council.

The first question was as follows: "The City of Wolf Lake currently owns and operates a municipal liquor store. Shall the city council be allowed to issue private on-sale licenses to hotels, clubs and restaurants for the sale of intoxicating liquor?"

The second question was this: "Shall the Wolf Lake City Council be allowed to issue on-sale licenses to restaurants, clubs, bowling centers and hotels for the sale of intoxicating liquor at retail on Sundays?"

Both questions were soundly defeated, according to final election results posted on the Becker County website Tuesday night.

The final vote on the first question was 11 "yes" (37 percent), 19 "no" (63 percent), while the vote on the second question was even more decisive, with 21 voting "no" (70 percent), and just nine voting "yes" (30 percent).

A reporter at Detroit Lakes Newspapers since relocating to the community in October 2000, Vicki was promoted to Community News Lead for the Detroit Lakes Tribune and Perham Focus on Jan. 1, 2022. She has covered pretty much every "beat" that a reporter can be assigned, from county board and city council to entertainment, crime and even sports. Born and raised in Madelia, Minnesota, she is a graduate of Hamline University, from which she earned a bachelor's degree in English literature (writing concentration). You can reach her at
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