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Granite Shoals seats 2024-25 council

Four winning candidates were sworn in to the Granite Shoals City Council on May 14 following the official canvassing of the May 4, 2024, election. Taking their oaths of office were Place 4 Councilor Steve Hougen (left), Place 2 Councilor Mike Pfister, Place 6 Councilor Catherine Bell, and Place 1 Councilor Brian Edwards. Staff photo by Dakota Morrissiey

Catherine Bell was sworn in as the new Place 6 councilor on the Granite Shoals City Council alongside returning members Steve Hougen, Brian Edwards, and Michael Pfister on Tuesday, May 14. The city also thanked outgoing Place 6 Councilor Phil Ort for his service.

Granite Shoals City Secretary Dawn Wright presented the official canvassing of the May 4 election at the Tuesday regular meeting, certifying the results. Hougen, Edwards, and Pfister all ran unopposed and kept their seats. Bell defeated Ort for the Place 6 seat, making her the only new face on the council. 

Voters also approved 19 amendments to the city’s charter.

Hougen won his third straight term for Place 4. After this two-year term, he will not be eligible to run in the next council election. He is currently serving as mayor pro-tem, meaning he is the acting mayor in Mayor Ron Munos’ absence and would take the mayor’s seat if the current mayor were to leave the council.

Edwards and Pfister were appointed to their Place 1 and Place 2 seats, respectively, in October 2023 after former Councilor Kevin Flack and Mayor Kiel Arnone resigned, leaving two vacancies. The appointees chose to run in the May 4 election to keep their seats.

Edwards will serve for one year, finishing the term vacated by Munos, who, as mayor pro-tem at the time, became mayor after Arnone’s resignation.

Pfister will serve a full two-year term as his election aligned with the re-election cycle for the Place 2 seat. 

Outgoing Place 6 Councilor Phil Ort (left) with Mayor Ron Munos after Ort received a certificate of appreciation from the city of Granite Shoals for his service. Staff photo by Dakota Morrissiey

The council took a moment to acknowledge outgoing Councilor Phil Ort before swearing in the new and returning councilors on Tuesday night.

“Phil, we salute you for your willingness to participate and serve,” Munos said. “You’ve challenged our thinking in many ways and maybe made us think differently on some items, and for that, I salute you. I wish you and Suzanne (Ort) the best as we go from here.”

The city presented him with a certificate of appreciation upon his exit that reads:

“In recognition and sincere appreciation of your outstanding service, dedication, and commitment as a valued member of Granite Shoals City Council Place 6 from November 2020 to May 2024. Your leadership and contributions have significantly impacted our community and enriched the lives of our residents. On behalf of the citizens and colleagues of Granite Shoals, we extend our heartfelt gratitude for your exemplary service and lasting contributions.”

dakota@thepicayune.com

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