IR City Council makes new appointments
IRON RIVER — The Iron River City Council held its first meeting of the 2020s on Jan. 15 with a number of noticeable changes to the makeup of the board. The highest profile change was the new mayor at the head of the table, Dennis Powell. Other new faces included Benjamin Garcia and Ronjo Leonoff as council members. The meeting was also well attended by city residents, with roughly 20 people there. The attendees – which included County Commissioner Mike Stafford – were treated to an animated city meeting session, which saw some debate over a variety of topics, not the least of which were appointments to vacant positions in city government.
While Powell had won the election in 2019 for the position of mayor, one open vacancy was that of deputy mayor. When the position came up for a vote later during the meeting, Powell nominated Leonoff for the position.
However, the nomination proved to be a contentious placement. Since one seat on the board was still vacant for that meeting, tie votes were suddenly possible, and that’s what occurred. While Powell and Leonoff voted in favor of it, Rodney Dood and Benjamin Garcia voted against the appointment. A tie vote meant the motion failed, and given that, Leonoff was not appointed to that position.
Garcia then nominated Dood for the position, stating that Dood had prior experience on the board. This motion passed, with Powell, Dood and Garcia voting for it and Leonoff voting against it. While voting for it, Powell stated that Iron River had to have a deputy mayor.
A move to fill the remaining vacant council seat also proved to be turbulent. According to statute, the council would have to appoint someone to the open position by Feb. 13 or hold a special election by then. Powell nominated Anthony Clements for the position because he was the runner-up to both Leonoff and Garcia for the other two seats in the recent election.