The Trent town board has named retiree Richard Nord as a replacement town representative after board president Bob Dickey’s resignation last month.
Nord, 68, was sworn in and started his duties at the monthly board meeting Feb. 13. He will serve through the April 10 election and plans to run for the one-year position at that point. Although he is retired, he drives bus for the Flandreau School District.
Jonathan Damm, who was named the new president of the three-member board at the meeting, said four people applied for Dickey’s position. Damm and board member, Matt Anderson, met in a closed-door session to interview those interested and to discuss their qualifications before selecting Nord.
“Everyone had very good qualities, and it was a very tough decision,” Anderson said. The remaining three people also have taken out petitions and would need to collect 10 signatures to get their names on the April ballot.
After citizens filed a petition for a recall election, Dickey resigned under controversy following the January meeting. He had served for decades in various volunteer capacities in Trent and continues his paid maintenance position with the town.
Under board assignments, Anderson will work with the Trent gym renovations, and Nord will be the point person for streets and roads.
In other board business,
She said every winter, people get behind in payments. Sometimes when contacted, they will pay just enough to not get shut off. The town needs to more aggressively collect on the money due because a town ordinance says Trent can shut off water when an account is 60 days past due, she said.
Damm said the amount of money owed the town, especially by people more than three months behind, is sizeable compared to the overall budget in the small town.
“We’ve played this game with some of them for years. We’ve got to do something to get this caught up. That’s a lot of money out there,” he said.
Trent has been looking at budget options as money has gotten tighter and the board has voted to implement a second-penny sales tax. Residents have referred that decision to a public vote, and it will be on the April 10 ballot as well.
In addition, board members in January eliminated the expense of having someone patrol for stray animals, in part as a budget cut. Board members said it was not an effective use of the money.
“Obviously, we’re still not on the same page with this. We need to figure this out so we can move forward,” Damm said.