New Britt Councilwoman Wallen

New Britt City Councilmember Karrie Wallen is sworn in by Mayor Ryan Arndorfer during the council meeting June 3.

Karrie Wallen has been appointed as the newest member of the Britt City Council.

She replaces Dwight Leerar, who recently resigned due to medical and health issues.

The decision was made during the council's June 4 meeting.

“We want to take a moment to thank Dwight Leerar for his service on the council,” Britt Mayor Ryan Arndorfer said. “Dwight has served in multiple different terms with breaks in between, came back in and stepped in when we had a resignation on the council, and he’s always been very willing to help with all the extra events that were going on and really putting in the extra mile to understand what was going on in the city, so we thank him for all his years of service.”

Leerar had submitted his resignation “some time ago,” according to Arndorfer, and the council had 60 days to fill the new vacancy, so they had been working to find someone to fill the seat.

The council had two choices to fill the vacancy - they could either appoint someone or hold a special election. As it is nearing election time and special elections can cost up to $5,000, the council elected to appoint someone to the council.

Arndorfer recommended Wallen to fill out the remainder of Leerar’s term, which would go up until the next election cycle. The council approved Wallen’s appointment unanimously.

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Wallen said she spoke with councilman Curt Gast and Arndorfer a few weeks ago.

“I decided it was something I would be interested in, and I thought it was an honor to have the opportunity to give back to my community,” she said.

Wallen, a native of Britt, left the area after graduation to attend college. She later returned to teach at Clear Lake for a couple of years before moving to California, where she lived for 30 years.

“I think even when you’re gone that long, your hometown is always your hometown,” she said. “This is my hometown, and it’s always been really, really good to me. My community’s always been there for me.”

Right now, Wallen said she doesn’t have any goals or anything she wants to accomplish. She just wants to see how it works and get the feel for being on the council and for what the community wants before she makes any decisions on any projects she wants to move forward with.

“I’m not really sure what to expect, but I’m looking forward to be on the council,” Wallen said. “It’s a great group, and I love the mayor.”

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