Dentist to be sworn in at April 1 meeting
BAYPORT — Dentist and small businessman Dr. Patrick McGann was selected by the Bayport City Council Monday night to fill the council seat left vacant by the death of former Councilman Mark Ostertag.
“Honestly, I didn’t think I’d get it. I was very pleasantly surprised,” McGann said Tuesday, hours after he was told by interim City Administrator Sara Taylor of the council’s decision.
Taylor said McGann was selected by the council over two other Bayport residents who applied for the post.
“They discussed each candidate as they were presented,” Taylor said.
McGann replaces Ostertag, who died in late December. The Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office said Ostertag died at his home from carbon monoxide.
McGann, who owns a Lake Elmo dental practice, had not served on a Bayport city commission before applying for the council seat. He said he has done volunteer work in local schools educating students about oral health.
“I’ve always wanted to be involved in the community. I just thought it would be a good way to get to know the community, get to know the residents in the community,” he said.
Although McGann has not spoken to any council member since the group’s decision, he said he was told by a city official that his business experience was a major reason he was selected by the council.
McGann said one of his main issues as a councilman is bringing more small businesses to Bayport.
“One of the things I want to make sure of for the people in Bayport is improving the quality of life, that we have businesses they can patronize,” he said.
McGann also wants the city to raise river safety awareness in the wake of the February drowning death of a Stillwater man snowmobiling on the St. Croix River.
“The rescue happened in my back yard,” McGann said. “I would like to see some kind of public service announcements to raise awareness of river safety.”
McGann joins the council as the city searches for a new administrator to replace former City Administrator Mitch Berg, who resigned March 2, two days after the council closed an investigation into claims made by a city employee against Berg. McGann said he wants a good “communicator” as city administrator.
“It certainly sounds like we want somebody who communicates well, who works well with others,” McGann said.
McGann has about two weeks to learn city operations before he is sworn in at the council’s April 1 meeting. He admits there is much to learn in a short time.
“I’ve got Tuesday, March 26 when I’m going in (to City Hall) for a couple of hours,” he said.