Women earn spots on Spring Valley Council


Luan Ruesink
By : 
David Phillips

It is the year of the woman in politics and Spring Valley kept with that trend, electing two women to the Spring Valley City Council.

Chris Danielson and Luan Ruesink received the most votes in the Nov. 6 election that featured four candidates for two open positions. Danielson received 576 votes and Ruesink 517 votes, narrowly edging out John Dols, who finished third with 485 votes. Thomas Brunson received 161 votes.

There was only one mayoral candidate: Tony Archer, who serves on the council, was elected with 951 votes. There were also 45 write-in votes for mayor and 10 write-ins for council.

Archer replaces longtime Mayor Jim Struzyk, who didn’t file for re-election. Archer’s term on the council ends this year as does the term of Todd Jones, who didn’t file for re-election. Archer has been on the council since 2006.

The other two council members — Jessy Betts and Mike Hadland — were first elected in 2016, although Hadland had previously served on the council from 1999 through 2006. 

Betts recently announced his intention to resign because his family is moving outside the city. A special election to fill his position isn’t required. In the past, the council has requested letters of intent to fill the remainder of his term through 2020.  

Spring Valley has had women on the City Council in the past, but not in the last decade. Deb Staley, the last woman on the council, served one term from 1999 through 2002. She was also appointed in 2006 along with Archer to fill two vacancies, but she resigned before the end of 2006 and no longer lives in Spring Valley.

The two council winners will serve four-year terms beginning in January while the mayoral term is two years.