Seeking to reduce the need for so many special meetings each month, the Crosslake City Council will now have two regular meetings per month - at 7 p.m. the second and fourth Mondays.

Mayor Dave Nevin made the suggestion that won approval on a split vote at the Monday, Sept. 13, regular meeting. Nevin and council members Marcia Seibert-Volz and Aaron Herzog favored meeting twice monthly while council members Dave Schrupp and John Andrews were opposed.

“If we ran our meetings efficiently we could do it with one meeting a month,” Andrews said.

Seibert-Volz and Herzog said they favored meeting twice a month if it would eliminate the need for some special meetings.

Schrupp said for the five-plus years he’s served on the council, one meeting a month has worked.

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“I’m sure the public wants to come twice a month,” he said with a bit of sarcasm. “I don’t think it’s necessary.”

City Clerk Char Nelson said with different projects in the works, the council will have to have public hearings separate from regular council meetings.

Before addressing monthly council meetings, Herzog and Andrews asked to discontinue holding special joint council meetings with the public works commission.

“We are having so many meetings right now every month. I’d like to see some of it slow down,” Herzog said, adding he has confidence in the people on the public works commission.

Andrews agreed, saying: “I think we should let the public works commission do their work.”

The council unanimously agreed to end dual meetings with the public works commission.

Online meetings

Nevin proposed a requirement that council members attend no more than three meetings a year online via Zoom. After discussion, the council tabled the item until the city attorney can research it.

“I think Zoom is probably a good tool, although I don’t see a lot of success with it,” Nevin said.

“I think when you run for this office and get elected for it, you have a responsibility to the people,” he added.

Andrews, the only council member attending Monday’s meeting online via Zoom, disagreed, saying the requirement would preclude council members who are ill, out of town or watching grandchildren from attending a meeting, especially now that the council will meet twice a month.

Addressing a belief that the League of Minnesota Cities allows council members to attend meetings remotely just three times a year, Nelson said that rule changed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re still in that pandemic,” she said.

Nancy Vogt may be reached at 218-855-5877 or nancy.vogt@pineandlakes.com. Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@PEJ_Nancy.