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Nisswa: New mayor assures staff of no major upcoming changes

At the end of an annual reorganizational meeting Tuesday, Jan. 3, that proved tense at times, new Nisswa Mayor Fred Heidmann assured city staff of no major upcoming changes.

Fred Heidmann
Fred Heidmann

At the end of an annual reorganizational meeting Tuesday, Jan. 3, that proved tense at times, new Nisswa Mayor Fred Heidmann assured city staff of no major upcoming changes.

"I think most of us here on the council have understood that for a few years and continuing currently today that there are some fears and tensions that seem to be carrying on year after year," said Heidmann, who was elected mayor in November after serving two years as a council member.

"First thing I'd like to do - I've talked with (council members) John (Ryan), Ross (Krautkremer) and Gary (Johnson), and I emailed Don (Jacobson) - I would like to assure the staff that there aren't any major changes coming. The city is going to continue forward basically as it has been. Over time things change, but there are no major plans for any big shakeups.

"I think there were words, that some people are concerned about that. I want to assure staff that's not on any of our minds. The city, I believe, has a good staff. The four of us who've been here a couple years are content with the staff we have," Heidmann said, noting in conversation he had with new council member Ryan, he's also comfortable with the staff. "I would like to try to start to settle that issue down."

Heidmann said he has several priorities, including seeing healing happen within the offices at city hall. He asked how the council could look for a human resources person to have discussions with staff and the council to try to find where there are issues, especially issues from the past, that need to get resolved.

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He said it's been mentioned it's an unhealthy environment working at city hall, and staff he's talked to feel it's vital to the success and happiness of department heads and all employees that the issues be worked through.

Other priorities, Heidmann said, include more work on the website, road funding options and wastewater options. He'd like committees formed to discuss the last two priorities.

The reorganizational meeting is held at the beginning of each year to approve council, staff and other appointments; council member liaison assignments to city departments; and council member committee assignments.

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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