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Schmitz expresses appreciation for 12 years on city council

Council President Charles Schmitz presides over a meeting July 22, in New Ulm. This will behis last year on the New Ulm City Council after 12 years. Journal file photo

NEW ULM — This will be City Council President Charlie Schmitz’s last year on the New Ulm City Council after 12 years.

During Tuesday’s primary, Schmitz was unable to get the necessary votes to advance to the November general election. The next council president will be either Larry Mack or Andrea Boettger.

“I was surprised I didn’t make it to the general election, but I did have 12 great years,” Schmitz said. “I appreciate being on the council that long.”

Going forward Schmitz said New Ulm had a couple of choices to make. He commented that Mack and Boettger were both popular candidates with the difference in the vote being relatively small. Mack received 1,150 votes to Boettger’s 1,045. Both ran for the Fourth Ward council seat in 2018 and the election was close, with Mack winning re-election by 10 votes.

Schmitz said the election offered a couple of unique opportunities for voters. He explained that because Mack is the current Fourth Ward city councilor, if he is elected president, the council will need to appoint a person to finish out the final two years in the ward. During the Women’s Forum council president debate last month, Schmitz suggested Boettger as an option to finish the term. She is a Fourth Ward resident and has shown an interest in serving. However, he said if the public wanted a direct say in Boettger serving, rather than hope she was appointed, they could vote her in as council president and Mack would remain on as Fourth Ward city councilor.

Schmitz has four months remaining as council president. He said the city’s budget would be one of the biggest issues facing the city at that time. With the recent impact of the coronavirus, New Ulm could be facing financial issues. Schmitz was uncertain if local government aid (LGA) funds would stay at current levels and the local sales tax money could also be impacted. He was concerned that the 2021 budget would be a greater problem than in 2020.

Overall, Schmitz was optimistic about New Ulm’s future. He said New Ulm had a lot to offer the citizens, and whoever took over as council president, the community would be in good hands.

“We have good people,” Schmitz said, adding both Mack or Boettger would do well for the community.

“I am not worried,” he said.

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