Longtime public servant now sits in mayor’s seat

Gene Short

By Per Peterson

In 2012, Jeb Malone and Gene Short tied in the Currie mayoral race, with Malone eventually taking over the reigns on a coin flip. Last Tuesday, there was a changing of the guard that involved both men.

Malone has moved from Currie to Lake Shetek, thereby having to resign his position of mayor, effective May 18. Malone submitted his written resignation to the Currie City Council at last week’s meeting, and Short, a longtime Currie city councilman, has been appointed to replace him.

Kala Larson had been serving as mayor pro-tem under Malone; she nominated Short to fill Malone’s mayoral seat, as did council member Bill Olivier. Short nominated Larson for mayor and along with Patrick Sweetman voted as such — leaving another tie, similar to what Short went through in the 2012 election.

In the event of a tie in this case, the acting mayor makes the appointment, and since Larson can’t appoint herself, she appointed Short to fill the remainder of the term.

The council then appointed Jim Hansen to fill Short’s council seat. A special election will take place in November 2022 to elect a permanent replacement to fill the vacancy. Short, Sweetman and Olivier are also up for re-election this year.

Short first ran for council in 2010 and has served ever since. A former Belview resident, Short was a member of the Redwood County Board of Commissioners for 16 years. He served a stint as president of the Association of Minnesota Counties and also sat on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Counties.