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Hodgson resigns from Nisswa council

Lenny Hodgson, a longtime Nisswa City Council member, has resigned his position after a total of nearly 20 years of service.

In another Nisswa City Council development, council members Tina Foster and Gary Johnson called a special city council meeting for Wednesday, Aug. 14, to consider allegations against an individual or individuals. That meeting, at the Ahlquist Law Office in Pequot Lakes, will be closed to the public.

Hodgson was last elected to the council in 2010, with a term to expire at the end of 2014. The city council is expected to address his resignation at its regular meeting Wednesday, Aug. 21.

In a resignation letter to the mayor, council members and city staff dated July 22, Hodgson wrote: “This letter is to inform you that effective immediately I will be resigning from my position on the Nisswa City Council. Although it goes against my nature to leave a job before it is finished, I really have no other choice in this matter and I thank all of you for respecting my decision. So ... for personal reasons I will be leaving. Thanks to all of you for what you do and for your service to the Nisswa community.”

Hodgson was a council member from 1987-92, including two years as mayor, and from 1998-2008. He retired from city government before deciding to seek election again in 2010.

Hodgson’s resignation came five days after the council’s last regular meeting July 17, in which an agenda topic to discuss a draft job description for a city planner/city administrator position became heated and controversial among the council and some city staff.

Hodgson declined to comment about his resignation, beyond what his letter says.

Remaining council members declined to comment about the Aug. 14 special meeting and whether it is related to the July 17 meeting. City attorney Clyde Ahlquist said Johnson and Foster called the meeting, but declined further comment.

The special meeting notice reads, in part: “This meeting will be closed ... for preliminary consideration of allegations or charges against an individual or individuals subject to the public body’s authority and/or for preliminary consideration of whether to terminate a city employee or employees.”

Ahlquist said only council members will attend the closed meeting, not the individual or individuals in question.