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City will advertise for commission vacancies

The Crosslake City Council decided Monday night, Oct. 14, that it will advertise for vacancies among several commissions.

The planning and zoning, parks and library, and public works commissions all have vacancies.

Mayor Darrell Schneider recommended individuals for appointment to each commission, but council member Steve Roe suggested that the positions be posted and that each council member have the opportunity to review the applications.

City clerk Char Nelson explained that the city’s normal practice is to advertise vacancies, but it is ultimately the mayor’s authority to appoint commission members.

Roe took issue with one proposed appointment to the planning and zoning commission, stating the applicant is delinquent on taxes. He said citizens can’t be given permits if they’re delinquent on taxes, and a person who can’t take out a permit shouldn’t be issuing permits.

Though the council chose to advertise for the majority of the positions, it did unanimously agreed to appoint one of two applicants, Aaron Herzog, to the planning commission for the remainder of a term that will expire Jan. 31, 2014.

The council accepted the resignations of Mike Winkels, Dale Melberg and Dave Schrupp from the planning and zoning commission; Sandy Melberg from the parks and library commission; and Don McCormick from the public works commission.

Melberg and Schrupp both commented by phone that they resigned because of the termination of the city’s planning and zoning department staff. Melberg said in her resignation letter to the council that she resigned because she “can no longer sit at the same table with the current council member liaison to the commission.” Council member Mark Wessels is the liaison to that commission. Schneider commented that McCormick has moved out of the city and can no longer serve on the commission; Winkels did not comment.

Public safety

The Crosslake Police Department reported 157 calls for service in Crosslake in September. Those included, most notably: 36 traffic warnings, one citation, one traffic arrest, 28 EMS calls, 12 agency assists, 13 alarms and nine information calls.

For Mission Township, the police department reported 31 calls to service, most notably including 13 traffic warnings, six citations and two EMS calls.

The Crosslake Fire Department reported 25 incidents in September. Those included 21 medical calls, one hazardous condition, two good intent calls and one false alarm.

In other business Monday, the council:

• Chose to spend $500 to participate in a housing study performed by the Crow Wing County Housing and Redevelopment Authority.

• Heard an invitation for a community event, “Boomtown,” in which author Jack Schulz will share insight for small communities competing for jobs in the present economic climate. The community is invited to the event, which is at 7 p.m. Nov. 7 at city hall.

• Approved a new complaint form for planning and zoning issues. The council decided that complaint forms must be signed at city hall by the complainant, or staff won’t follow up on them. The complainant’s identity would still be protected by data practices after the sheet is signed.

• Viewed a list of improvements the planning and zoning department, now run by Crow Wing County, has made and improvements that are still needed since county staff began its work. The council also saw a survey of patrons of the new department stating 100 percent positive feedback.

• Approved an updated version of the city’s five-year capital improvement plan.

• Heard letters read during public forum from four residents displeased with the recent change in planning and zoning to county staff.