Dalton Gardens again has a mayor

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Jeffrey Fletcher

DALTON GARDENS — A city of Coeur d’Alene firefighter is the new mayor of Dalton Gardens.

Jeffrey Fletcher, a Coeur d’Alene Fire Department station captain who doubles as a paramedic, was chosen by council members for the position at a Monday evening meeting.

“We’re very excited to see Jeff come on board and we’re looking forward to working with him,” council president Jamie Smith said.

Fletcher was chosen from a list of seven applicants by a quorum of the City Council, which is still shy one council member.

Smith said Fletcher will be sworn in at the next regular council meeting, May 4, at Dalton City Hall. He will be responsible for appointing the final council member to the assembly that was left shorthanded after a recall election earlier this year.

It’s a job the University of Idaho MBA graduate is looking forward to.

“I’m excited to have the opportunity to be a civic leader and a civil servant,” Fletcher said. “I’m hopeful and confident.”

Spurred by what they perceived as a city administration that was not in tune with citizens, Dalton voters in a March 12 special election recalled the city’s longtime mayor, Steve Roberge, as well as two council members, Joe Meyers and Denise Lundy.

A large turnout of more than 60 percent of the city’s approximately 1,600 registered voters cast ballots in the election, unusual for a March election, which usually draw around 15 percent of voters, according to Kootenai County election officials.

Northern Lakes Fire Chief and Dalton Gardens resident Tyler Drechsel was chosen last month by Gov. Brad Little to fill one vacant seat on the council. That created a quorum to appoint a mayor.

Smith said she was pleased with the interest in the mayoral opening, which drew a variety of solid candidates including Dalton residents and property owners Kenneth Egbert, Gary Sonnen, Dan Franklin, Robert Wuest, Charles Johnson and James Kimball.

Fletcher, who crafted the funding mechanism to build a new fire station as part of his MBA work at the University of Idaho’s Coeur d’Alene campus, hopes his presence, as well as that of Drechsel, Smith and Scott Jordan, will provide a foundation for transparency and trust at city hall after a tumultuous year that resulted in the March recall.

“I think I’m well prepared through my education and experience to kind of steady the ship,” he said.

The mayor position and that of the other appointees will be up for election in November.

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