Otremba announces run for council member at large in Little Falls

Urban Otremba

Urban Otremba

Urban Otremba has announced he will run for the seat of alderman-at-large for the city of Little Falls.

Otremba said he has served a total of 30 years on the Council, with a couple of two-year breaks. “Over the years, I have seen a lot and was involved in many issues while being on the Council,” said Otremba.

Otremba said he started the push to reduce the Council to eight members in 1985 and helped with the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) grant to help fund the Little Falls Senior Center. He served on the Library Board from 1985 – 2006 and is now a member of the Friends of the Library Board of Directors.

In 1998, Otremba went to the Minnesota Senate to request funding for the construction of a new library and testified in front of the Senate Finance Committee and helped secure $500,000 for the construction. “I kept a copy of the check,” he said.

Otremba said it was he who brought up the need for a new city garage in 2005, when looking at the 2006 budget. “We looked south of town and north of town and I mentioned tearing down the old garage and building it on the same spot. The land was owned by the city and the tennis court was never used,” he said.

Otremba said he served on the Personnel and Finance Committee for at least 20 years. “And nobody is more conservative than me,” he said.

Constant work is needed throughout the city to maintain what the city has to avoid expensive work caused by delays to what should have been done, Otremba said.

“We can go back to dirt roads, pump our own water, have our own outhouses, or keep up with the systems we have,” he said.

Otremba said he’s running for office again because, “After a two-year absence, I am finding a bit of disharmony at City Hall. But my main reason for running for Councilman-at-Large is to eliminate the position. I tried that several times in the 1990s, but to no avail.”

Otremba also cited the number of tanker trains going through Little Falls. “Other cities are announcing their concern. Little Falls should be at the front of the line,” he said. “Not only through the city, but the trestle over the Mississippi. Little Falls is more vulnerable than most cities.”

If elected, Otremba said he would do as he’s always done. “Meet the needs of the citizens of Little Falls and continue to work with city staff,” he said. “All of them are good people. I helped hire a lot of them.”

  • robin hensel

    Thanks Urban for sharing your real motive for running is to eliminate Alderman Brian Crowders position. You are after all the writer of the letter that DEFAMED our alderman in 2011. You and others will come to REGRET that action EVENTUALLY. Many in this community will wish they hadn’t opened their mouths or written comments to defame ANYONE.

    • tmac

      Those sound like threats to me.

    • tmac

      Was Crowder an alderman in the 90’s?
      According to this article Otremba tried during that time to eliminate the position of alderman at large.
      That does not make it a personal vendetta against Crowder in my opinion.

    • Rick Witte

      You going to bring lawsuits against everyone who stated their opinions Robin?

      • robin hensel

        No rick witte….just those who defamed me or threatened physical harm or terrorized me.

        • Rick Witte

          As far as what you have called defamation on this forum it would seem that you would be involved in a long list of lawsuits. It seems you have a low tolerance for people expressing their opinions of you or your tactics. From your past threats of legal action it seems that they mostly stem from persons expressing their opinions of you. Does that make your reputation suffer; perhaps, but it would seem that you are not held in the highest regard within the Community. Attempting to silence those with those opinions probably will not increase your stock in the Community.

          As for defaming “ANYONE”, as you present above, it would seem that you also have a low tolerance for people who express their opinions of Mr. Crowder and the incidents he has been involved in. People will have their opinions and while Mr. Crowders reputation may suffer some from those thoughts and expression it would seem that in general peoples opinions are mostly formed on what they hear or believe to be true.

          As for threats or terrorizing you should be contacting the proper authourities. If there is sufficient evidence criminal charges should be brought.

          • robin hensel

            The only lawsuits I will ever be filing will be ones with justification. Period. I am very tolerant of civil dialogue, but when others resort to threats or slander, I draw the line. People in this community form their opinions from the articles that are printed in the Morrison County Record and the right wing biased radio station. That is a cryin shame!! We all know those sources don’t print all the facts and definitely put a slant on their writings to sway their readers opinions in the direction they prefer.

          • Rick Witte

            Robin, as if you and Jody do not put bias and slant in what you present. Get real.

  • robin hensel

    I question Urban Otrembas intent. I believe he is running because he is the EPITOME of a career politician! He boasts about being conservative but that is questionable. He admits to having hired many city employees and now the public is realizing some of these employees have not performed in the best interest of the taxpayers. I believe Otremba is running to get rid of Alderman Crowder but doesn’t have the guts to admit it. Remember Urban, you are on record under deposition stating you led the charge to get Alderman Crowder removed in 2011 (WITHOUT JUST CAUSE.) Those depositions tell a true account of REAL INTENT. Probably would be best for ALL COUNCILORS to be alderman and represent everyone. Isn’t that what a lot of cities do now or are going to enact? Are our wards balanced fairly now with the recent annexation of the Belle Prairie area? I think not.

    • Rick Witte

      Robin it doesnt take a rocket scientist to figure out that Mr. Otremba’s goal is to replace, or get rid of, Mr. Crowder, as you offer. Mr. Crowder is the present at large Councilperson, Mr. Otremba is running for the seat against him. Wouldn’t that, in of itself, provide intent? In the same vein this is exactly what you are doing in your quest for the Mayors seat; isn’t it?

      Certainly the Council had discussions concerning Mr. Crowder and his infractions with his elderly Aunt, but they, in essence, took no action other than to ask for his resignation. Ultimately it will be up to the voters of the City to determine whether or not Mr. Crowder retains his seat. Under the City Charter the only way a sitting Councilperson can be removed from office is if convicted of a felony or through the means of a recall election.

      • robin hensel

        Rick Witte…you keep suggesting that I might be running for something other than becoming mayor. That is my intent. This community deserves, honest, intelligent, leadership. I am best suited to represent the citizens of this city. I CAN’T BE BOUGHT.

        • Rick Witte

          Robin how can you be expected to be a reliable reporter of happenings when you cannot keep what is in front of you, in black and white, straight. I have never stated that your real intention is another office but rather have made that statement concerning a rumor I heard about Mr. Zylka. What I overheard in a local cafe was that Mr. Zylka is being groomed for a State office in two years.

          I have stated that I do not consider you as a serious contender for the office, but that is completely different than how you present it.

          Certainly the Community deserves honest and intelligent leadership and that is what it will have. Either Cathy or Greg will be the next Mayor of Little Falls.

          • robin hensel

            Rick witte…I keep everything straight. I don’t care what you heard…anywhere. I am just as serious of a mayoral contender as either Zylka or VanRisseghem. You are NOT CORRECT in saying if either two win Little Falls will have honest representation. That is a false statement. These two have poor voting records when it comes to honest government. More on this later. I have much to report about how they have been “sneaking under the table”, as Jeremy Hanfler stated at the last council meeting. Why do you think he said that?

          • Rick Witte

            Certainly that is your opinion, and just your opinion. In reality the race, in essence is between Cathy and Greg with you as an also ran. That is my opinion and my opinions are just as right as yours.

          • robin hensel

            Rick Witte…..you might be surprised just how much support I have in this area. What does it say about a community if the electorate chooses more of the same? That would have to mean that the so-called “patriotic people” don’t care about Constitutional violations and selective law enforcement. I cannot believe people are that stupid in any area. Can you?

          • Rick Witte

            Interesting concept you present. That only intelligent persons support you and those that might vote for Cathy or Greg are just plain stupid! Yes, interesting concept indeed. Does that then also mean that those who chose not to vote for you for 1st Ward Alderman were just plain stupid also? Remember you lost by a 3-1 margin so following your logic there must be a lot of stupid people on the Southeast side of town. I dont think you would have much better luck on the best side.

            Perhaps those that might vote for another have disagreements with positions you take or tactics you use. Perhaps some of them may agree with some things you present but not want to vote for you as Mayor. Perhaps some may think that while you may well bring up valid issues from time to time that they have no intention of putting you in a position of authourity.

          • robin hensel

            How much intelligence do you think it would take for Zylka or Van Risseghem to get the concept that the Sister City has NEVER had a public purpose as required to give public revenues? They both had not one but two people (Theresa and I) telling them and the rest of the lawless council that they NEEDED to stop funding this committee. How much intelligence? The council and committee do not even know their own procedural rules or city policies…say nothing of city ordinances. They don’t even follow the city attorneys advice. They didn’t follow her advice on deleting either the Sister City or Golf Advisory Board. Taxpayers money is used to have Toni Wetzel city atty research over and over again the same issues and they still don’t get it.

          • Rick Witte

            Perhaps those that might vote for another have disagreements with
            positions you take or tactics you use. Perhaps some of them may agree
            with some things you present but not want to vote for you as Mayor.
            Perhaps some may think that while you may well bring up valid issues
            from time to time that they have no intention of putting you in a
            position of authourity.

  • Rhonda M. Schmidt

    Go Urban! Good luck!

    • robin hensel

      Rhonda…I understand your support of Urban Otremba. He was likely on the council when the Sister City Committee was set up. Right??? Nice that all of you “advantage takers” took advantage of the public funds all these years. Lots to be proud of. Remember that this group also attempted to charge a membership fee to belong to it, on top of misusing public funds. Outrageous….simply outrageous.

  • Cushman Davis

    is there anyone else other than Urban Ortremba that would run against Crowder? Urban getting up there in age. with around 8500 in the city, are there anyone else that can run?

    • Rick Witte

      Mr. Davis, while I do not recall their names there are presently two other candidates challenging Mr. Crowder.

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