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City Council Appoints New Ankeny Mayor

The Ankeny City Council voted 5-0 to appoint one of seven applicants to fill the position of former Mayor Steven Van Oort.

The Ankeny City Council has appointed a new mayor to fill the seat vacated by Steven Van Oort last week.

The council voted 5-0 to appoint Gary Lorenz to the seat. Lorenz was one of seven applicants vying for the position.

"I was looking at someone who could jump right in, someone who was well respected and someone who could easily make those connections across the community," said council member Bobbi Bentz. "I believe Gary Lorenz can do that."

The other six candidates were Andrew Boscaljon, Dennis Richard Ellars, Peter Hong, Michael Sibert, James Stordahl and Jeff Wright.

Lorenz is a former council member who served for two terms, including one year as Mayor Pro Tem. He has also served on the Ankeny Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, and is partner and CFO for Lorenz & Jones Marine Distributors in Ankeny.

"I feel that Ankeny is a great community and has an incredible amount of community pride," Lorenz said in his application letter to the city. "I feel that I can provide the qualities and experience Ankeny needs to move forward."

Lorenz will serve the remainder of Van Oort's term, which ends Dec. 31, 2013. Van Oort officially resigned last Friday to take over as Polk County supervisor, a role to which he was recently elected.

The council made official its intentions to appoint an individual to be the next mayor of Ankeny at a meeting on Nov. 19. Council members said they considered an appointment to be the most practical way to fill the vacancy.

Ankeny residents can still petition the council for a special election.

To hold a special election, petitions must be filed with the city clerk within 14 days after the appointment is made.

tonyt December 11, 2012 at 12:05 PM
Considering the Council did not speak to or interview any one, nor did they ask for or receive comments, once again this council acts either blindly or ignorantly or they just gut backroom deals. Council votes for "more of the same ole". Too bad to, it looked like a few of the other candidates had some real dynamic leadership backgrounds. They should have skipped the appointment and just had an election like normal cities would do. Time to fire up the "No More Four" coalition again and purge the City Council ala the School Board.
Megan VerHelst December 11, 2012 at 01:17 PM
Tonyt, the council members did state at the meeting last night that they met and had conversations with many of the applicants. Look for more comments on the council's decision, and also from Gary Lorenz, in a follow-up story today. Thanks for your comment.
April O'Connor December 11, 2012 at 07:03 PM
Many, not all? They complain about the $10,000 cost of a special election, but how much money did it cost to have this sham of a selection process? We don't know how Lorenz stands on any issues because there was no public forum to ask him or any of the other candidates questions. All we know from the last time he was on the council was that he favored increasing taxes multiple times and a much larger government.
Joe Morr December 12, 2012 at 06:16 PM
April - I cannot believe you talk about increasing taxes and having a larger government. I've know Gary Lorenz for quite a while and even worked for him for several years. I believe him to be a conservative, dislikes spending money we do not have, and will listen to the people of this community no matter who it is. If you feel different, you'll have to prove this to me.
Jack F December 12, 2012 at 06:22 PM
Facts are facts and he voted to increase taxes when on the council the first time. Probably didnt have a choice. I always thought he was fiscal conservative. I must have been wrong.
Johnny December 12, 2012 at 06:50 PM
April and Tony, do you have any evidence on your accusations or is it just easier to cut somebody down? Facts are generally a good thing. Lorenz has always been a voice of fiscal restraint.

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