The Cottage Grove City Council has appointed a new interim member to serve through November 2019.
Local business owner Wayne Butt was selected out of 10 candidates to fill the vacancy left by Wayne Johnson, who was elected to the Washington County Board in November.
The council interviewed and voted on candidates at a special meeting held Dec. 19. After three rounds of voting, Butt won 3-1 against Ken Brittain. He was sworn in Friday and will serve until a special election for the seat is held next November. The term goes through January 2021.
"I'm really excited to take on this position and really give back to the community," he said.
Butt runs his own IT consulting business and co-owns the Historic John P. Furber farm, a wedding and events center, with his wife, Angi. He is a military veteran of 20 years, and has volunteered with groups including the Boy Scouts and the Susan G. Komen 3-Day breast cancer awareness walk.
Previously, Butt served on the Cottage Grove Chamber of Commerce for two years, most recently as vice president. He also was a member of the Cottage Grove Economic Development Authority for the past year, but resigned after his appointment because only two representatives from City Council can hold seats on the committee. He also resigned from the Chamber of Commerce, citing the time commitment.
Council member Steve Dennis said Butt's involvement with the city, and the fact that he is a community stakeholder as a business owner, were key strengths as a candidate.
"Those really kind of set him a little bit apart at the top and made that choice really come crystal clear," he said.
Butt said his priorities include supporting the city's growth and ensuring water quality, especially for residents relying on wells.
"I'm just super excited to do this," he said. "I'm all about giving back to the community."