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Hicks to nominate Ed Riveness to finish Slavik's council term

In January, a new face will be joining the Hastings City Council. Councilmember Mike Slavik is resigning his seat as of Dec. 31 in order to take the vacancy on the Dakota County Board of Commissioners left by District 1 commissioner Joe Harris.

The city charter gives the council the ability to appoint a new council member to fill the seat until the end of the term. At its next meeting, the council will declare the vacancy.

Hicks announced Monday that he plans to nominate former councilmember Ed Riveness to fulfill Slavik's term.

Although the charter doesn't dictate much about how to select an appointee, the council has set its own precedent. Traditionally, Hicks said, the council has appointed former councilmembers or community leaders who agree to not run for reelection at the end of the term. Hicks said he's spoken to Riveness, who has indicated his willingness to fill the seat and agreed not to run in 2014, when Slavik's term is set to end.

No other councilmembers commented on the nomination.

Recognized for service

There were plenty of thanks given at Monday evening's city council meeting. After recognizing several city employees for years of service, the council read a proclamation of thanks for Harris and also thanked Slavik for his six years on the council.

Harris has been the Dakota County District 1 commissioner, which includes Hastings, since 1981. He is the county's longest-serving commissioner. Harris chose not to run for reelection this year, voluntarily giving up his seat on the county board.

According to the proclamation read by the city council, "Commissioner Harris has served not only Hastings but the entire First District with honor and integrity; and... has been an exemplary leader while serving as a County Commissioner, acting in a professional and respectful manner, seeking to be a problem solver; and... has demonstrated a willingness to work hard and maintain constituent relations through effective communication...."

Harris accepted the proclamation with his own thanks.

"It's been an honor and a privilege to serve," he said.

Harris expressed appreciation for the support the Hastings City Councils have given him through the years and gave a vote of confidence to his successor, Slavik.

"I leave you in good hands," Harris said. "I think the electorate got the choice right."

Mayor Paul Hicks presented Slavik with a plaque to recognize his six years with the city council. Slavik is resigning his seat to serve on the Dakota County Board of Commissioners, where he will serve District 1 in Harris' place.

"It's not always an easy job," Hicks said of service in a public office.

Slavik thanked the council, city staff, his family and residents for their support.