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IR Council heads into new year with changes

IRON RIVER — The regularly scheduled monthly meeting of the Iron River City Council on Dec. 19 was the last one of 2019, and despite the cool conditions outside it was well attended. While some preparation on business going into the new year did occur at the meeting, what took center stage involved the departure of multiple members of the city council, the highest profile of which was Mayor Terry Tarsi.
    Tarsi had a few comments on the matter during the meeting itself. Toward the end, he spoke of his time in the position and said that it had been a privilege to serve the city. He spoke briefly of his time as mayor, stating that there had been difficult moments, but that the last four years had been made much easier for him with the appointment of David Thayer as city manager.
    During a brief interview after the meeting, Tarsi said he had “mixed emotions” stepping away from city government. When asked about Thayer, he said that he expected the city manager would do well with the new group of officials coming onto the board going into 2020. He said he had considered running for another term as mayor but decided to step aside when he had caught wind of Councilman Dennis Powell’s interest in campaigning for the position, and said he had high hopes for the incoming administration.
    Tarsi was not the only member of the council to take leave at this point. Aside from him, Jere Fritsche was also leaving the council after the meeting. In addition, this was also Tricia Mercier’s last meeting while holding position, having lost her bid for reelection during the previous month’s election. Powell, who was himself present at the meeting, will be moving into the center seat come the January meeting.
    When asked about his state of mind on departing, Fritsche said he felt “kind of sad” stepping away from the work and that it had been a “fun time.” He said he had confidence in the incoming members of city government, Powell in particular due to their long association. In terms of developments that he felt were most positive to the city and to his time in office, he said that he believed that there had been an improvement in the quality of city employees in general, over the course of the 2010s.
    “There was an old culture from way back when, you know, so once you get that out of there, the city runs a little better.”

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