Minnetrista Mayor Anne Hunt has appointed a new City Council member to fill the seat she vacated in April when the council named her to succeed Cheryl Fischer, who resigned after 14 years as mayor.

Financial analyst Tyler Abens, 24, was appointed to the council Monday after Hunt and the remaining three council members deadlocked on two votes involving Abens and Gary Pettis, who has served on the city’s parks commission for 15 years. Acting as mayor, Hunt then appointed Abens.

“I believe with my background in finance, with the big projects Minnetrista has planned, I would offer good instincts on the council,” Abens said. He is a trader and analyst for Abens Financial Services Inc. and treasurer for Paideia Tutorials, which supports Christian education, and for Christ Church Twin Cities.

Minnetrista has been debating a new water treatment system.

Also Monday, the council named assistant city administrator Mike Barone interim city administrator to succeed Mike Funk, whom the council fired May 5. The council approved Barone’s recommendation that it not search for a permanent administrator until after elections later this year.

Recent council meetings have been marked by acrimonious exchanges between citizens and council members, and Fischer said she resigned because of a toxic relationship with the rest of the council. Abens said he would be a “fresh set of eyes” on city issues.


Bill McAuliffe