Mary Peterson appointed to Harrisville City Council

HARRISVILLE — The Harrisville City Council worked to fill a council vacancy with the appointment of a new councilperson.

The appointment took place Monday during a city council meeting and was to replace former Councilwoman Joan Crick, who resigned in October for health reasons.

Mayor John Dobis said the council solicited for interested residents for the position and received two letters of interest, one from Mary Peterson and a second from Mael Fritz-Wilson.

Before the appointment Dobis discussed the choices.

“I have a recommendation and a rationale why I would make the recommendation,” Dobis said.

He said the position should to go Peterson.

“She has not missed a meeting since 2009, she is on the planning commission and also on the voting board,” Dobis said. “The other candidate just moved back into town and wants to be involved in the community.”

Councilman James Kaiser cast a motion to appoint Peterson and was seconded by Councilwoman Barbara Luenberger.

Before the vote Councilman Michael Baird said he had an issue with the recommendation.

“If Peterson becomes a council person, three of (the council) would be on the planning commission,” he said.

City Attorney Dave Cook said that if Peterson were appointed she would either have to resign from the planning commission, or another member of the council would have to resign from the commission so there were only two members on the commission.

Dobis said it should not be an issue if Peterson were appointed.

“I think we might have other people involved in the community who may want to be involved on the planning commission,” he said.

After discussion the board voted unanimously to appoint Peterson.

Councilwoman Karen Sanderson told Fritz-Wilson she was thankful she applied for the position as there are not typically a lot of people who would like to be appointed to the job. She also said it was nice to see a young person apply for a position on the council.

“We need people in your age group,” she said.

Dobis asked Fritz-Wilson to become involved in the planning commission and also asked Peterson to come forward from the audience to get sworn in on the council by Cook. After that process Peterson made her first official act on the council her resignation from the planning commission.

Jason Ogden can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5693. Follow Jason on Twitter @jo_alpenanews.