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‘You should serve … because you love the city,’ longtime Stillwater city council member says in announcing retirement

In World
June 04, 2024

After 33 years of serving on different city commissions and on the city council, Stillwater City Council member Dave Junker said Monday that he has decided not to run for reelection.

“It was a very difficult decision to make, but all good things do come to an end,” said Junker, 67, of Stillwater.

Candidate filing for the Ward 2 council seat closes at 5 p.m. Tuesday; Sirid Kellermann and Frankie L. Peterson have filed to run.

There is also an election is Ward 3. Larry Odebrecht has filed for reelection for his seat and Ed Nelsen also is running.

Junker is the son of former Stillwater Mayor David “Choc” Junker, who died in 2014 at the age of 80. Choc Junker served as mayor of Stillwater for two terms, from 1974 to 1982, and on the city council for two years, from 1985 to 1986, until he was named director of the city’s public works department, a position he held for 20 years. He also served as a member of the Stillwater Area School Board for 12 years.

“He was the most honest person I have ever known,” Dave Junker said. “He taught me to be honest with everyone, and to listen first to people and use common sense. You should serve the city because you love the city.”

Prior to being elected to the council in 2014, Junker served on the council from 2003-2006. He twice ran unsuccessfully for mayor — losing to former mayor Ken Harycki — in 2006 and 2010. He served on the parks commission for 13 years and the parking commission for six years.

He also served two years as president of the Greater Stillwater Area Chamber of Commerce in 2001 and 2002.

Junker worked in banking for U.S. Bank for 25 years and then worked at the Anytime Fitness corporate headquarters in Woodbury for eight years. He retired in 2020.

“Through great efforts and working together by the council, staff, chief of police, the Chamber, businesses and residents, Stillwater has become the place to be,” Junker said. “I am proud of how all these groups have worked towards a common goal: making Stillwater a premiere destination and city to live in.”

Junker said he is especially proud of how the city handled the closing of the Stillwater Lift Bridge in 2017 and its reopening in 2020 and the creation of a plaza connecting the bridge and the Loop Trail.

Among the highlights of his time on the city council: approving 339 new condo buildings on the north end of Stillwater; approving the expansion of the 1902 Carnegie Library in 2004; being part of more than 1,000 new housing projects in Stillwater, including two new senior housing projects; and helping make Stillwater “a year round city versus a summer destination,” he said.

“I have loved being involved and making decisions based on discussion and doing the homework needed to make these decisions,” he said. “It’s been quite the honor and quite the privilege to serve.”

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