Personnel issues to be tackled in series of meetings
The Crosslake City Council made several personnel decisions Monday, Feb. 11, including the decision to have three public meetings to decide on the city’s direction.
The personnel committee will meet at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 14, to develop a new flow chart for city personnel organization. The committee will also discuss other personnel matters.
Mayor Darrell Schneider pointed out that much of the meeting is public.
Council member Steve Roe suggested that the discussions of personnel matters regarding the direction of the city happen at a full council meeting. Roe suggested that the council “conduct three meetings with citizen input planning where we want to take this city in its governance.”
Schneider suggested making the personnel committee a committee of the whole, meaning a committee of the entire council.
Roe said he believed the business should be conducted at a council meeting.
“I don’t think we’re following a course of action that the public necessarily knows about,” Roe said.
Wessels said the council is now trying to operate without a city administrator, and that council liaisons would take a stronger role.
Later, Roe said it was the first he heard of going forward without an administrator.
“When you sat at the candidate forum, none of you said you were going to get rid of the city administrator,” Roe said.
Wessels responded that he did campaign under the idea that the city doesn’t need an administrator.
The council ultimately agreed to hold three meetings to discuss city direction. Those meetings were not yet scheduled as of Tuesday, Feb. 12.
Council member Gary Heacox was absent from Monday’s meeting.
In other personnel matters, the council:
• Named clerk/treasurer Jenny Max as a member of the personnel committee. Former administrator Tom Swenson had been on the personnel committee, but resigned in December. Max had been interim administrator, but relinquished those duties this month.
Max joins Schneider, council member John Moengen and Paul Hoge, general manager of Crosslake Communications, on the personnel committee. Max will fill in until the committee recommends making a permanent change.
• Authorized staff to pass on any citizen communications to their respective council liaisons, after meeting the department head. The committee noted that one of the previous roles of the city administrator was communicating with the public, and allowing staff to pass on communications could take some burden of staff.
In January, Crosslake Police Chief Robert Hartman reported 125 calls for service in Crosslake, including 24 traffic warnings, seven traffic citations, 18 EMS calls, 14 agency assists, 13 alarms and five hazards in the road.
For Mission Township, Hartman reported 19 incidents, including 10 traffic warnings, four traffic citations, one suspicious vehicle, two house watches and two agency assists.
Fire Chief Chip Lohmiller reported that the ambulance addition to the fire station is nearly complete, and he expects North Ambulance to move in at the end of this week. Lohmiller said he’s happy with the finished product.
Planning and zoning
In January, community development director Ken Anderson reported six permits issued in the city of Crosslake. The total valuation for those permits was $91,714. That compares with three permits issued in January of 2012. Those 2012 permits had a valuation of $2,560.
In other business Monday, the council:
• Donated $100 each to the Pequot Lakes and Pine River-Backus Grad Blast programs.
• Approved commission appointments. Joe Albrecht, Alden Hardwick and Robb Reed were all appointed to three-year terms on the park/library commission. Mandy Mitchell was named an alternate to the Economic Development Authority, and Mike Winkels and Mike Myogeto were appointed to three-year terms on the utility advisory board.