Although Larry Raymond only received 7.7 percent of the vote in the last election, he ranked higher with the Spring Lake Park City Council.
The council voted unanimously March 18 to appoint Raymond to fill the remainder of Councilmember Dale Dahl’s term, which ends Dec. 31, 2014. He was then sworn into office.
Dahl resigned Jan. 7 because he no longer lives in the city.
Councilmembers were asked to selected their top two candidates and Raymond was on everyone’s list, said Councilmember Jeanne Mason.
“He had a strong interview and the council liked his resume,” she said.
Raymond came across as open-minded with a willingness to look at all sides of an issue, said Assistant City Administrator Dan Buchholtz.
The city had a wonderful group of candidates that applied for the vacancy, said Mayor Cindy Hansen.
Raymond was the only one on each council members’s list, she said.
Raymond really did his research, seemed the most comfortable during the interview process and seems to fit right in with the council, Hansen said.
He also did not seem to have an agenda other than giving back to the city, she said.
Raymond has a strong vision for the city, said Buchholtz.
Public safety is his number one concern, especially in the parks, said Raymond.
He would like to see Spring Lake Park being marketed to draw businesses and new residents, perhaps by working with a realtors association, he said.
The city has good schools, great parks and excellent public safety, Raymond said.
While he did not win a council seat in the 2012 election, Raymond said he applied for the vacancy for the same reason.
“I thought (serving) on the council was a good way to give back to the community,” Raymond said.
Raymond, who is in his mid-60s, worked in the fire protection services industry for 35 years before retiring two years ago.
He currently works as part-time consultant for engineering firms.
Raymond and his wife Rose have been residents of the city for 30 years. They have four children.
He is a Vietnam veteran era and has served as a coach for the Spring Lake Park Recreation Department.
Raymond is also a member of St. Timothy’s Catholic Church.
The other candidates for the job were Jayson Alberts, Bradley Delfs, Hans Hansen, Jason Letourneau, Ryan Sinn and Bob White.
The finalists were Hansen, Raymond, Sinn and White.