New Detroit Lakes City Council member Jay Deraney excited for front-row seat to city government

Deraney said he is excited to be part of the planning process for possible facility upgrades to the Kent Freeman Arena and The Pavilion, as well as the ongoing West Lake Drive project.

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Jay Deraney, then-candidate for alderman-at-large, speaks to residents during a Detroit Lakes area League of Women Voters candidate forum in the community room at the Detroit Lakes Police Station on Sept. 28, 2022.
Michael Achterling / Detroit Lakes Tribune
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DETROIT LAKES — Newly elected Detroit Lakes Alderman-at-large Jay Deraney didn't know he won election to the city council on Nov. 8 until KDLM radio called him for an interview during their election night broadcast, but, after having a few weeks to reflect on his new position in city government, he's excited for his front-row seat into civic life.

"I was busy with my job and I had a high school boys hockey parent meeting and so I was busy with family stuff and I thought I'd find out (Nov. 9)," said Deraney. "And then I got a call from KDLM, and I said, 'I don't even know what happened,' I wasn't following it and it's probably good that I didn't because they said I was the top vote-getter. Well, then, the next day, it turns out I was second."

Deraney and Jackie Buboltz claimed the top two spots in the Detroit Lakes city council at-large election and will fill two seats on the council this January with Deraney receiving 28.2% (1,674 votes) and Buboltz receiving 29.3% (1,738 votes) of the citywide vote. Natalie Bly, incumbent council member, and Celeste Koppe received 25.1% (1,490 votes) and 17% (1,011 votes) of the vote, respectively.

"I was very happy with the result," said Deraney. "I received quite a few texts throughout the day congratulating me from friends in town and relatives in North Dakota ... it was fun. It was very fun."

Deraney is a medical doctor specializing in obstetrics and gynecology for Sanford Health and treats patients in the Detroit Lakes, Perham and Pelican Rapids areas. He also specializes in minimally invasive laparoscopic hysterectomy procedures, according to the Sanford Health website .


When asked what he was most looking forward to, Deraney said he's interested in learning more about the general operations of the city.

"I was an accountant before, so I have quite a bit of interest in the financial aspect of government," said Deraney. He added he is also excited to be part of the process for possible facility upgrades to the Kent Freeman Arena and The Pavilion, as well as the West Lake Drive project.

"I'm in favor of The Pavilion, I think something does need to be done at The Pavilion, to what extent, I'm not sure yet," he said. "We also need to keep the ideas of the citizens of maintaining green space, trees and not changing The Pavilion so much that you lose a lot of the historical aspects, so we need to keep that all in mind."

Jay Deraney, Detroit Lakes alderman at-large
Michael Achterling / Detroit Lakes Tribune

Deraney also said he is hesitant about the continued West Lake Drive re-imagining because he's worried they will lose a lot of old trees near the city beach if they try to widen the road.

As a hockey dad, he agrees the Kent Freeman Arena needs an upgrade, but, with an economy being hit with prolonged inflation and high prices for necessities, he said he wants to be careful when adding to the long list of upgrade projects already in the works.

He added he's very interested in meeting with regional legislators once the Minnesota legislative session begins in January to advocate for projects in Detroit Lakes that could be aided with state-sponsored backing.

Deraney and Buboltz will join fellow city council election winners Shaun Carlson, Mike Stearns, and Matt Boeke on Jan. 3 for the annual meeting of the Detroit Lakes City Council where they will be sworn into office for the next four years.

Lead Multimedia Reporter for the Detroit Lakes Tribune and the Perham Focus.
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