Granite Falls mourns death of mayor

The city of Granite Falls is mourning the loss of its mayor.

City Manager Crystal Johnson confirmed that Dave Smiglewski died Friday at the age of 70.

Smiglewski first started on the Granite Falls City Council in July 1979 and took over as the town’s mayor on Feb. 5, 1996, after the previous mayor, Roy Lenzen, died.

At the time of his death, he was in Washington, D.C. to advocate for transportation improvements for his area of the state.

“Mayor Dave Smiglewski over the years has demonstrated exceptional leadership,” the city said in a statement. “He always went above and beyond the requirements for an elected official. He devoted so much of himself to always bettering our community. Words can not describe how [saddened the] council and city staff are to receive news of his passing. His impact on the community will continue to be seen for many years to come and he will be deeply missed by all.”

According to Johnson, the council’s vice president will serve the rest of Smiglewski’s term as mayor through the end of the year, in accordance with the city’s charter. The permanent replacement will be elected this fall and take over in January.