Briefs: Two Washington County cities have City Council changes

  • Updated: April 13, 2013 - 4:55 PM

An Oak Park Heights City Council member serving his third term has resigned effective April 30.

Les Abrahamson said he is moving to Dallas to become a team manager in the initial loss reporting division of State Farm Insurance. “It’s going to be quite an experience to head south for the Dallas summer,” said Abrahamson, 44, who grew up in Stillwater.

His current term expires in December. The City Council last week voted 4-0 to appoint Mike Liljegren to replace Abrahamson effective May 1.

In nearby Bayport, another vacant City Council seat was filled March 18 when Patrick McGann was appointed. McGann, 43, replaced Mark Ostertag, who died at his home on Dec. 22.

Bayport doesn’t yet have a permanent city administrator in the wake of Mitch Berg’s departure in early March. Sara Taylor, the assistant administrator, has been filling the top job until further notice.

Washington County

Spirit award goes to

Youth Bureau worker

Allissa Obler has received this year’s “Spirit of the Mission” award from the Youth Service Bureau (YSB). The award recognizes a colleague who contributes to positive morale, exhibits enthusiasm, shares new ideas, takes on new projects and represents YSB well in the community.

Obler is director of development and communication. She joined YSB in 2011 and manages private and public fundraising as well as communications and marketing.

YSB helps youth and families learn skills for success at home, in school and throughout the community. Programs include youth-focused family counseling, educational awareness programs and chemical health support. Details are available at


City will charge for using reserve officers

Organizers of for-profit events in Stillwater now will pay the city a fee of $15 per hour for each reserve police officer who assists with the event. The City Council voted 5-0 recently to approve the request by Police Chief John Gannaway, who will deposit the fees into a fund to pay for uniforms and training.

Gannaway told council members that reserve officers are volunteers who play a significant role in city police operations by patrolling parks, trails, and downtown homes of vacationing residents.

Reserve officers are provided with uniforms and equipment but don’t carry firearms. They also use a marked police vehicle to patrol the city at least two shifts per month, and assist with special events such as the 4th of July fireworks and art fairs.

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