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Prentice joins city council

Herdliska resigns to create another opening
Solon Mayor Steve Stange administers the oath of office to newly-appointed city council member Mark Prentice during the Jan. 7 meeting. Prentice replaces former member Brad Kunkel, who moved outside the city limits. (photo by Doug Lindner)

SOLON­– Just as quickly as one vacancy was filled, another opened up for the Solon City Council.
The council welcomed new member Mark Prentice, who was appointed at the Jan. 7 regular session to fill the vacancy created when council member Brad Kunkel moved outside the city limits.
At the end of the meeting, it was announced that council member Ron Herdliska had resigned effective Jan. 1.
The city accepted applications from the community to fill Kunkel’s spot, and received four: from Prentice, Dale Snipes, Steve Lee and Kristina Bevans.
According to council member Mark Krall, he and council member Steve Duncan interviewed all four candidates and subsequently discussed the applicants with council member Casey Grover and Mayor Steve Stange.
At Wednesday night’s meeting, Krall moved to appoint Prentice, which was approved on a 3-0 vote. Prentice was sworn in by Stange and joined the remaining council members for the rest of the meeting.
Herdliska was not present at the meeting, and his resignation was announced at the conclusion of the session in a letter read by Stange.
Herdliska indicated he and his family desire to travel more, especially in winter months.
“During these times of growth, the council needs someone who can be in attendance on a regular basis,” Herdliska noted in his letter. He thanked the council members and Stange, as well as City Administrator Cami Rasmussen.
Stange indicated a discussion on whether to appoint a successor or hold a special election would be on the agenda for the next regular meeting Jan. 21.
Herdliska’s departure creates the latest in a series of musical chairs for the city, which began with the resignation of administrator Cassandra Lippincott in the spring of 2014.
Rasmussen, mayor at the time, resigned her post to become temporary (and later permanent) administrator, and council member Stange ascended to the mayor’s post by appointment in May.
Duncan was subsequently tapped to fill Stange’s void.
Herdliska had been a council member since being elected in November of 2011 for a four-year term. His replacement would serve out the remaining year of that term.
Kunkel was also elected in 2011, which means Prentice will serve a year as well.
Prentice, 52, comes to the council with no previous city experience, but said his curiosity was piqued after attending council meetings as a representative of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department.
“It was about being less selfish and giving back to the community,” Prentice said after the meeting. “It was time to take the challenge of expanding my knowledge and helping the community.”
Prentice has been a full-time employee of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office since 1996 and currently serves as Sgt. Detective.
He attended Iowa Lakes Community College to study business and was previously involved in a career in retail, serving as a store manager for Pamida and an assistant store manager for Walmart.
He and his wife Gwen have been residents of the Solon area for 22 years, and have lived inside the city limits for the last four years, he said.