Nisswa: Discussion to continue on possibly changing meeting night


After discussing whether it should change its longstanding meeting night from the third Wednesday of the month to the third Tuesday of the month, the Nisswa City Council ultimately put off a decision until September, hoping a full council will be present then.

Council member Gary Johnson was absent Wednesday, Aug. 19, when a council vote to keep its meeting night at 7 p.m. the third Wednesday of the month failed on a 2-2 vote with Mayor Fred Heidmann and council member John Ryan opposed.

The mayor and three council members present indicated they weren’t opposed to changing the meeting night, but the council members didn’t think they’d heard that request from enough residents.

Alan Jenkins is seeking the change, saying Wednesday is church night, which prevents people from attending meetings. The council learned Aug. 19 that Jenkins, who was unable to attend the meeting, had obtained signatures from six Nisswa residents and 11 Nisswa business owners favoring the change. A city website survey of nine questions had 17 respondents at most. It was unknown whether Jenkins’ signatures were reflected in the city survey.

Heidmann favored making the change, though he said 17 replies out of 1,400 Nisswa voters showed the council was “obviously not connecting well with the citizens in general."


Council member Don Jacobson said he worried about the small sample. While he, like other council members, had no problem changing the meeting night, he wanted more input from citizens regarding whether they really thought the council should make a change.

“If we could offer something that makes it easier for people, we should strongly look at that,” Heidmann said.

Ryan said no one was opposed, but he questioned what would happen when another group asked to move the meetings back to Wednesday. He suggested the council wait until Johnson was present, talk to Jenkins again and have another chance to hear from people.

Heidmann said not making a decision Aug. 19 reflected on the council’s ability to make decisions and move forward.

Nancy Vogt may be reached at 218-855-5877 or Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter at

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 or 218-855-5877 with story ideas or questions. Be sure to leave a voicemail message!
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