TRACY — Tracy Mayor Stephen Ferrazzano missed the Nov. 27 City Council meeting, but he had a good reason.
Gov. Mark Dayton’s office requested Ferrazzano’s presence that same day so he could interview for the vacant Fifth Judicial District judgeship. The interview apparently went well because he got the job.
Ferrazzano will be sworn in as the new the Fifth Judicial District (from Mankato to South Dakota) Court Judge on Jan. 12, replacing the Bradley C. Walker.
Ferrazzano has held an office with the Tracy City Council for about 17 years — 11 as its mayor.
Ferrazzano’s last city council meeting serving as mayor will be Jan. 8. At that meeting, City Administrator Shane Daniels said the council will be asked to appoint mayor pro-tem Pamela Cooreman mayor. Daniels also said Cooreman’s seat will then become open and the council would have to determine how to fill it.
Ferrazzano, presently a public defender, will be chambered in St. James, Watonwan County, and said he is excited about this new opportunity.
“I was excited and humbled, although ‘humbled’ doesn’t really do justice to the magnitude of the feelings of being in that position,” he said Monday. “I feel blessed and honored to be appointed by the governor to be a district court judge. I look forward to continue to serve the public in that capacity.”
“I will strive to achieve the ideal: Being impartial, respectful, having the ability to listen to both sides and having an even temperament,” Ferrazzano added.
Ferrazzano’s last day as a public defender and a member of a trial team that assists the State Public Defender in major felony cases will be Jan. 9, 2018.
“I guess I’ve always been interested in being a trial attorney,” Ferrazzano said, “Some people thought I’d be good at it. I’m not afraid to talk in public. And, this was an opportunity that I figured I’d give a shot.”
Ferrazzano grew up in Phillipsburg, New Jersey, and attended College of New Jersey – Trenton, after which he wanted some new scenery, he said. So he went to law school at the University of North Dakota – Grand Forks. Since then he and his family have lived in Tracy.
Ferrazzano and his wife, Diane, have one son, Stephen Ferrazzano III, who is in college.
At the present, the Tracy City Council is going through other changes, with two other seats in jeopardy. One is up for a recall vote on Feb. 13, 2018, and the other seat is vacant due to a resignation, leaving the council with only three voting members at the Nov. 27 meeting.
When asked what will become of the Tracy City Council with so many open positions, Ferrazzano said that Cooreman is capable of holding the council together for the remainder of his term, which is one year.
“The city will survive,” he said. “There is a good staff, and the council will be able to carry on, especially after it fills the open positions. One person does not a city make.”