Jan 12, 2021 City Council Update

Consent Agenda

Item G (Police squad purchase) generated discussion. Most of it was around the cost of the equipment / graphics. Passed 4-0.

Streaming Open Forum

A few months ago, streaming of the open forum was stopped due to the concern that someone might use it as a weapon to go after a political candidate. I voted for it at time because it was the best of 3 solutions we were given; entirely removing open forum, voting on each speaker, or not streaming it.

While that vote still allowed a resident to address the council, it precluded anybody watching online from hearing it. This may seem insignificant to some but to others it was not.

The risk that it could be used for propaganda is there, but I prefer to allow residents to hear other resident's concerns. I voted to rebroadcast it with a vote 3-1. In the future you will be able to watch and participate in open forum online!

Laptop discussion

For those of you that watch the meetings you'll notice I have a laptop there. I do this so I can have the agenda open, have the contents of the agenda open, have a property map open (to get a better idea of the property we're discussing), and my notes.

The city purchased tablets years ago for the council claiming it would save the city money on printing the 100 (ish) page packets each council member receives. Low and behold the tablets went unused and the documents continued to be printed. I believe this to be an issue with the tool they chose. The last year or so I have used my own laptop. This has brought me legal concerns since a lawsuit against the city could result in the laptop being confiscated.

No action was taken on this issue, staff will be looking into some options.

Ice Rinks

They're open! However, the warming house at central park isn't (Covid + no staffing) and lately the weather isn't helping...

Item K (council vacancy)

The opening on the council due to my election was discussed. The process agreed to is to collect applications through noon on Jan. 22nd. At that point we will decide if we want interviews.

During the campaign a large number of people asked who I might support for this appointment and my general view was (and is) that those that put effort in should get a preference. In this case the 3rd place candidate was only 33 votes short of the second place.

Item M (Liaisons)

Note that this list may change once we fill the open council seat.

PLANNING COMMISSION: Troy Okerlund/Alternate: Mayor Fisher
PARK COMMISSION: Julie Gustafson
ELM CREEK WATERSHED: Doug Baines/Alternate: Travis Henderson
LEAGUE OF MINNESOTA CITIES: Tina Goodroad/Alternate: Mayor Fisher
N/W HENNEPIN LEAGUE OF MUNICIPALITIES: Mayor Fisher/Alternate: Travis Henderson
I-94 CHAMBER: Tina Goodroad
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION: Mayor Fisher /Alternate: Julie Gustafson
FIRE RELIEF ASSOCIATION REP: Troy Okerlund/Alternate: Julie Gustafson/Staff: Amy Benting

As usual, feel free to contact me if you have questions!