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Olson makes mayor run official

Councilman Mel Olson has officially entered the 2018 race for mayor. The Ward 1 city councilman, former state legislator and current Mitchell High School teacher last year announced his intentions to run for mayor, but he has now formally filed h...

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Mitchell City Councilman Mel Olson listens at a 2015 City Council meeting. (Republic file photo)

Councilman Mel Olson has officially entered the 2018 race for mayor.

The Ward 1 city councilman, former state legislator and current Mitchell High School teacher last year announced his intentions to run for mayor, but he has now formally filed his nominating petitions. And as the June 5 election approaches, Olson is excited about the possibility of serving as mayor of Mitchell.

"Yes, I am excited. I think there's a number of issues facing the city, of course," Olson said. "Foremost on people's mind is the lake."

When seeking petitions for nomination, Olson heard from constituents on matters including Lake Mitchell restoration and improvements to the city's aging infrastructure. Olson's also eyeing measures that could boost the city's retail market.

"So I think this BID that's on the agenda tonight, assuming weather cooperates, is the first step," Olson said Monday afternoon, prior to the regularly scheduled council meeting. "And I think we can do some things on the margins to get, in particular, tourists downtown.

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Olson was referencing Mitchell Main Street & Beyond's effort to tax downtown commercial buildings to improve the overall appeal of the historic district.

Olson, an early proponent of dredging Lake Mitchell, has also seen the idea resurface in 2018. While he supported dredging a few years ago, he still wonders where the lake sludge could be dumped. But, he said, dredging offers plenty of opportunities for future lake improvement.

Another issue Olson's assessing is Mitchell's water supply from B-Y Water. Olson said the city needs to ramp up its water supply, and he has his sights set on the issue.

Aside from Olson, City Councilmen Marty Barington, Kevin McCardle and Jeff Smith have all announced intentions to seek re-election. In Ward 1, former council candidate Clay Loneman is running for re-election.

For those signing nominating petitions, Olson reminded that a registered voter can only sign one petition for each specific office.

According to the Secretary of State's Office, "A signer may only sign as many petitions for a particular office as there are positions to be filled."

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