From commission and city engineer appointments to the city administrator’s performance review to being called out by a resident, the Crosslake City Council touched on issues about people at its regular meeting Monday, Feb. 8.
Council members, staff and residents attended the meeting at city hall, while a few others, including council member Dave Schrupp, attended online via Zoom.
Council member Marcia Seibert-Volz read a report summarizing City Administrator Mike Lyonais’ review held Jan. 19, saying the council was split on his performance with a majority believing Lyonais’ performance was unsatisfactory and needs improvement, and others saying he meets and/or exceeds expectations.
Lyonais said he didn’t receive the written evaluation and that he requested Seibert-Volz to follow up on some questions because some clarification was needed.
Seibert-Volz said she wasn’t going to go over the evaluation again, and Lyonais said he was asking her to listen to his responses, which he said she has refused to do.
Schrupp said he believed the council had just violated the Data Practices Act, where the No. 1 item listed is that personnel records and reviews are private information.
Mayor Dave Nevin said this matter may have to be taken up at a future meeting, and the council moved on.
The council appointed Jeffrey Pfaff to the public safety committee and Tim Berg to the public works commission as an alternate.
After discussion about the park, recreation and library commission, the council reappointed Ann Schrupp and Joe Albrecht and appointed newcomer Heather Jones. Joel Knippel and Kera Porter were named alternates.
Nevin cast the only vote opposed to the appointments, preferring to have Schrupp and Albrecht as alternates, and the other three as full-time members. The mayor said he’s tried to get younger people on this commission to get park and recreation to be more kid friendly. And he was against Albrecht being a full-time member because he lives in Breezy Point, not Crosslake.
Schrupp said the city’s ordinance would have to be changed to require commission members to be Crosslake residents.
Council member John Andrews said while he’s not opposed to new commission members, Albrecht and Schrupp have been fabulous to the library and he likes their experience and thought they should stay on.
A vote to keep two city engineers in 2021 - Widseth as well as Bolton & Menk - failed 3-2 with Seibert-Volz, Herzog, and Nevin voting against.
Instead, the council voted 3-2 to have just one engineering firm and appointed Bolton & Menk. Schrupp and Andrews were opposed.
The council had heard presentations from Bolton & Menk, Widseth, WSB Engineering and Moore Engineering on Jan. 19. In the past, Widseth was city engineer and Bolton & Menk served as city engineer for storm sewer work.
Doreen Gallaway told the council during public forum that she doesn’t like what she sees in the city and that the council isn’t working together.
“You’re not doing what we elected y’all to do,” she said, asking council members if they’ve watched or listened to themselves. “I want you as a city to start working together.”
Nevin proposed the council change the wording on council agendas regarding public forum to say action may be taken on issues raised, the issue will be placed on the next agenda if more information is needed, and at the discretion of the mayor each speaker will have a three-minute time limit.
“We hold regular meetings and the way I view that is this is the public’s time to voice concerns. I value what you’ve got to say,” Nevin said.
Nancy Vogt may be reached at 218-855-5877 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@PEJ_Nancy.