Joe Schmit was sworn in as the new mayor of Ventura Monday night, May 14.
Schmit was one of three persons who had expressed interest in filling the post for the remaining term of the position vacated by the death of Lynn Benson.
Former Ventura Mayor George Simpson had been considered a possible choice for the appointment. However, Simpson sent a message to the Council just before their meeting to withdraw his name.
Former Ventura City Council Representative Crystal (Kristie) Meints had also informed the Council she was interested in serving as mayor and Council members Mike Thackery and Dar Avery made a motion and second for her appointment. The motion was turned back, 3-2, with Pete Cash, Brian Vaage and John Quintus voting no.
Cash then made a motion to appoint Schmit and was unanimously supported.
Schmit operates the marina at Dome Bait and Tackle, as well as an aquatic weed cutting business based at Ventura. He has owned Dome Bait and Tackle for 11 years, but has now leased the business to Clear Lake Bait & Tackle. He moved into the community of Ventura in October 2017 after living outside the city limits previously. Schmit has served on a variety of economic development boards and committees for Hancock County and the City of Britt, as well as West Hancock School District. He told the Council he likes to see cities thrive and wants to be an asset for Ventura.
Schmit will serve the remainder of Benson’s term, which runs through 2019. The position will be on the ballot in the November 2019 General Election.