Leslie D. Torkelson, Forest City's Ward 2 councilor, has resigned her post less than a year after residents elected her to the position.
City Administrator Barb Smith told the city council at its Oct. 5 meeting that Torkelson had contacted her the previous Saturday to let her know that she was moving out of her ward.
Torkelson didn't attend the Oct. 5 meeting.
"In the short time I have been on the City Council, I have learned so much and am truly grateful for everyone's assistance in answering questions and facilitating my understanding of city government," Torkelson wrote in her resignation letter.
Torkelson was elected in November 2019 and from the beginning was a vocal participant in the city's business, asking questions about process and financial impact.
This summer, as the city council struggled to create a policy that allowed public comments at the same time the council's meetings were closed due to the pandemic, Torkelson was an advocate for as much openness as possible.
“I know I have appreciated this city council prior to me running this winter, me being able to sit right there and ask questions. It’s how I learned; it’s how I got interested in city government,” she said last June.
“I mean, we do represent the people, that’s why we were elected, that’s why we’re here, and I don’t want to see us lose sight of that,” she said.
The City Council has 60 days to name Torkelson's replacement. Anyone who is interested in serving out the remainder of Torkelson's term, which ends on Dec. 31, 2024, should contact Administrator Barb Smith via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If multiple community members come forward, the council may conduct interviews before appointing a new member.