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Lavold and Dolan vie for Washington County Board appointment

Two are left in the race for a Washington County Board appointment, after one of the finalists backed out Monday.

Steven Gallagher, former Newport City Council member, told the board in an email March 19 that he would not have time to fulfill commissioner responsibilities. The remaining candidates, Dan Dolan of Woodbury and Jack Lavold of Cottage Grove, were interviewed at the March 20 County Board meeting.

Earlier this month the board narrowed the list of 11 people who had sent in letters of interest down to three finalists to be interviewed.

Dean Johnston of Denmark Township, who was one of the 11 to apply, also answered the interview questions at the meeting.

If appointed, Dolan and Lavold said they would be willing to resign from commissions or boards they currently serve on that create a conflict of interest. Dolan serves as president of the Washington County Agricultural Society and chair of its committee regarding the county-led Manning Avenue project. Lavold sits on the South Washington Watershed District Board and is a member of the South Washington County Telecommunications Commission.

They also both said they would not run in the November election, which the board members said they would prefer.

The board will vote March 27 to appoint one of the finalists. If commissioners cannot reach a consensus, a special election will be triggered. If they do choose an appointee, he will be sworn in April 3.

The seat opened after Karla Bigham was elected to the state Senate in February. The new commissioner will represent District 4, which covers Cottage Grove, St. Paul Park, Newport, Grey Cloud Island, Denmark Township and a portion of Woodbury.