St. Louis County commissioners today selected Commissioner Patrick Boyle to serve as County Board Chair for 2019. Commissioner Mike Jugovich was selected Vice Chair.
Boyle has been on the County Board since 2014. He was first elected in a special election to fill the remainder of the term of the late Steve O’Neil. He was re-elected in 2016. He represents the Second District, which covers the eastern portion of Duluth.
The Board started the meeting with a moment of silence in honor of former commissioner Tom Rukavina, who passed away yesterday. Commissioners then spent time sharing memories and paying tribute to him.
“He always fought so hard for kids and people in St. Louis County,” said Commissioner Beth Olson. “He invested his whole heart. I respected his fight and his wisdom.”
Commissioner Paul McDonald, who succeeded Rukavina on the Board, said, “Whether you agreed with him or not, you liked him. There was no better advocate, and I’m going to miss him.”
Commissioner Mike Jugovich stated simply, “What a loss.” He ended his comments referencing Rukavina’s pride in his Croatian heritage, speaking first in Croatian and then translating, “Until we meet again. I’ll miss you.”
Boyle assigned commissioners to chair the following standing committees of the Board:
Health and Human Services — Frank Jewell
Environment and Natural Resources — Keith Nelson
Public Works and Transportation — Mike Jugovich
Finance and Budget — Beth Olson
Public Safety and Corrections — Paul McDonald
Central Management and Intergovernmental Relations — Patrick Boyle
Commissioners also approved their meeting schedule for 2019. Consistent with the Board’s ongoing efforts to to provide easier access to meetings for all citizens of St. Louis County, at least one meeting each month will be held in locations around the county, outside of Duluth. The 2019 schedule can be found online at stlouiscountymn.gov/boardschedule.
Meanwhile, during the Committee of the Whole meeting, commissioners gave preliminary approval to scheduling a special election to fill the vacant 5th District commissioner seat. The vacancy was created when Pete Stauber was elected to Congress. His term on the County Board runs through 2020. The Board is expected to give final approval at its next meeting, which will be January 22, in Virginia.
The resolution calls for special election dates that are consistent with state statute – May 14 for the primary election, and August 13 for the special general election. (If two or fewer candidates file, then May 14 would be the special general election.) The filing period for candidates would be February 19 through March 5.
Source: St. Louis County press release