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Nisswa: Council, department heads gather

Nisswa City Council members and department heads alike agreed that an open discussion held Wednesday, Feb. 11, was productive and such meetings would be beneficial to have somewhat regularly.

Nisswa City Council members and department heads alike agreed that an open discussion held Wednesday, Feb. 11, was productive and such meetings would be beneficial to have somewhat regularly.

Mayor Harold Kraus scheduled the workshop because he'd heard around the community "that there were problems in good ol' Nisswa," including a lack of leadership, organizational issues and "pretty much everyone for themselves," he said.

"We must work in unison and as a team with a plan," Kraus said.

Kraus cited as an example the Friends of Nisswa Lake Park organization. The group started out strong, then a Nisswa Lake Park Steering Committee was formed but there was a lack of organization. After that committee appointed co-chairs and other officers, it became organized.

"They got together and they made a plan and they started to work their plan," Kraus said. "You can see how far they've moved ahead in the past three to four months and I commend them for that.

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"That's one of the things that I feel we should be more cognizant of here," he said.

"The council needs to understand their position with staff. Staff needs to understand the council's position. The best way to do that is if there's any questions, we address the questions," Kraus said.

Sitting around a table, the group then took turns with each person speaking and bringing up anything he or she wanted to talk about. Topics were broad and included upcoming city issues and needs. No action was taken on any items. Council member Fred Heidmann was absent.

Police Chief Craig Taylor earned applause from those around the table for his comments.

"How things are going to work is based on trust, and I think I can pretty honestly say I trust everyone in the room," he said. "And I hope everyone in the room can trust me."

In closing, Kraus shared a favorite saying: "Everyone counts, or no one counts."

Related Topics: NISSWANISSWA CITY COUNCIL
Nancy Vogt is editor of the Pineandlakes Echo Journal, a weekly newspaper that covers eight communities in the Pequot Lakes-Pine River areas - from Nisswa to Hackensack and Pequot Lakes to Crosslake.

She started as editor of the Lake Country Echo in July 2006, and continued in that role when the Lake Country Echo and the Pine River Journal combined in September 2013 to become the Pineandlakes Echo Journal. She worked for the Brainerd Dispatch from 1992-2006 in various roles.

She covers Nisswa, Pequot Lakes, Lake Shore and Crosslake city councils, as well as writes feature stories, news stories and personal columns (Vogt's Notes). She also takes photos at community events.

Contact her at nancy.vogt@pineandlakes.com or 218-855-5877 with story ideas or questions. Be sure to leave a voicemail message!
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