Minneapolis City Council welcomes member replacement ahead of other newcomers

The Minneapolis City Council is set to welcome a new member ahead of its other newly elected officials due to a vacant seat from an outgoing member leaving early.

The council passed a resolution 13-0 on Thursday that was largely procedural, declaring a vacancy in Ward 12, and directing the city clerk to take appropriate actions to transition the council seat in accordance with city laws and procedures – effectively shifting responsibilities to council member elect Aurin Chowdhury.

On Nov. 7, Chowdhury was elected over incumbent Andrew Johnson, who previously said he would not be seeking reelection, instead vacating his seat early due to taking a new position in private industry.

"Thank you to the people of Ward 12 for entrusting me to make their decisions over the last decade," Johnson said Thursday prior to the vote among his still-colleagues. "I feel blessed to have found my next role. Voters have chosen a successor that will be ready to go day one. I’m excited for her to start."

Johnson said in a newsletter announcement to his constituents in September that he would begin a new role on Oct. 10, splitting duties until his role on the council can be filled.

Chowdhury will assume the position on Nov. 21.

Johnson said he would save most of his farewell remarks at the board’s final meeting of the year, which historically has offered an honorary resolution for departing council members.