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The City Reacts to the Loss of Mayor Ruiter

On Monday morning, Forest City was shocked to learn they had lost one of the most beloved mayors in their long history. Mayor Byron Ruiter was a favorite among citizens and City Hall staff alike. His loss prompted the city to lower their flags to half-staff in honor of their friend. In turn, Forest City businesses, schools, and residences all lowered theirs.

At the City Council meeting, an empty seat along with a gavel and nameplate bearing his name remained as members of the council, city employees, and directors sat around the council table. Former Police Chief turned Councilman Dan Davis reflected on Ruiter.

Mayor Pro Tem Ron Holland who also represents the 1st Ward expressed his feelings.

Councilman Tony Mikes expressed his gratitude for having known and worked with Ruiter on several issues.

City Attorney Steve Bakke worked with Ruiter on several controversial issues to try and determine the best position for the city as it moved forward with ordinances and resolutions. Bakke would do his research looking into the legality of each measure before the council and advise Ruiter accordingly. Bakke never thought he would have to research how to replace Ruiter.

Despite Mayor Pro Tem Hollands efforts to move the regular council meeting along quickly, the emotion of losing Ruiter could be seen on the silent faces of each individual in the chamber. The city council will decide whether to appoint a mayor or call for a special election which may be tied to the general election in November. The council has 60 days to decide the best course of action and may make a determination in the next council meeting.





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