Crosslake Clerk Resigns Position
Web posted March 19, 2013
By Paul Boblett, Editor
Crosslake City Clerk Jenny Max became the fourth member of city staff to leave in the past 11 weeks as she resigned her position effective March 22, 2013.
Max’s resignation letter was up for council acceptance at the Monday, March 11 regular meeting but council and Max agreed to wait until council was given a salary comparison from newly appointed city consultant Dan Vogt.
Vogt’s information, presented at a special meeting held Thursday, March 14 proved to be a moot point as Max told council she had made up her mind on Wednesday to resign. She will be leaving after three years and a short stint as interim administrator following Tom Swenson’s resignation December 31, 2012.
Max has accepted a job and plans to move with her family back to her home state of California.
Others moving on include Edy Asell from Planning and Zoning and former city attorney Mike Couri who requested not being retained in January.
Max said Thursday ”I want to thank city staff, it’s been an honor to work with all of them. They’re the best group of people I have worked with and it has changed where my career path is headed, [to] local government. I want to thank Jon Henke, Ted Strand, Erik Lee, Chip Lohmiller, Paul Hoge and Debby Floerchinger and everyone at Crosslake Communications. It’s a great group.”
“I want to especially thank Ken Anderson and Char Nelson,” she continued. “I also want to thank Tom Swenson, Steve Roe, Dean Swanson, Rusty Taubert, Jay Andolshek for their support of my skills. I have received a lot of support the last few months and I’ll miss being a part of the family here.”
Vogt complimented Max by saying, “Jenny has got an awful lot of potential in local government, she is highly talented and she’ll do well.”
Vogt was formally approved by council at their March 14 special session at a rate of $60 per hour. He will advise the council and staff on how to proceed during a period when the city will be without a full time clerk/treasurer or an administrator.
Vogt provided council with the salary comparison for cities with populations between two and ten thousand. He suggested to council that if they decide to advertise for a clerk/treasurer the salary should be in the low eighty thousands, not including benefits. He did clarify that that salary comparison did not include benefits.
“Like it or not, someone has to be the point person for city staff,” Vogt told council. “It’s tough, but elected councils come and go and [council] might not fully understand what needs to be done.”
“If nobody’s in charge, they don’t know who to report to,” Vogt said, “you don’t have any power, your only power is sitting here at council. [Concerning] day to day operations, someone needs to be in charge and decisions need to be made in between council meetings”
Vogt suggested to council that they should hire an employee with an accounting background on an interim/ emergency basis so the city can keep running. This will be discussed today, March 19 at a 3 pm special meeting.
CWC to Assess P&Z
Crow Wing County Land Services Department was approved to provide an assessment of the City of Crosslake Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Department by a 4-1 vote at the Monday, March 11 regular monthly meeting of the Crosslake City Council.
Chris Pence, Crow Wing County Land Services Supervisor, presented information to council on the scope and projected timeline of the assessment.
Pence stated that he would be the main contact person and would work directly with Community Development Director Ken Anderson, appointed by council as Pence’s point of contact.
Pence said the process would take approximately three months to complete. He added that he has already started the process by starting a review of the city comprehensive plan.
He plans to contact stakeholder, interview council members, review customer service and permits and records dating back to 2009.
Pence’s said his review will include the policy manual, day-to-day operations, ordinance. reviews, and interviews with permit customers.
“This is a chance for collaboration between the city and county,” said Pence, “to learn what’s working well and how things can improve overall.
Pence told council he would not be reviewing the performance of city staff.
“I’m not here to judge employee performance or evaluate,” he said, [I’m] just [looking at] the process,” said Pence.
Voting no was council member Steve Roe.
KRLS Funding update
Crosslake Director of Parks, Recreation and Library, Jon Henke, gave an update on the attempt to recover $10,000 in funding that was redirected by the Kitchigami Regional Library System (KRLS) from the Crosslake Library in December of 2012.
Henke encouraged any residents who are interested to attend the KRLS board meeting Thursday, March 28, at 6 p.m. in Pine River. Henke told council his plan is to ask the KRLS board to reinstate the $10,000 materials funding cfr the Crosslake Library.
Henke has spent the past month gathering resolutions of support from area city councils and township boards, including Breezy Point.
The location of that meeting is not determined at this point but anyone interested in attending should contact the Crosslake Community Center for more information.
Open House for CR 36 Project
The Crow Wing County Highway Department will be holding a Public Open House to discuss preliminary design features of the proposed County Road 36 road project. The meeting will be held Tuesday, March 26 from 5-7 pm at City Hall.
Chief Bob Hartman of the Crosslake Police department reported a total of 114 calls during the month February in Crosslake and 18 calls for Mission Township.
• Council approved the hiring of a part time officer to fill some open shifts - Hartman told council that the additional officer will not affect the department’s budget.
• Council approved a recommendation from Chief Hartman to advertise a sale of a forfeited vehicle. the vehicle a 2002 VW Jetta. Sealed bids start at $3,000 and will be accepted until April 5 at 4 pm. The bids will be opened at 4:15 pm.
• Chief Chip Lohmiller of the Crosslake Fire Department reported a total of 17 calls for service in February, including 16 medicals, one fire call - 54 for the year to date.
• North Memorial Ambulance reported 49 calls for service in February.
Planning and Zoning
Council approved a recommendation from the P&Z Commission to set office hours for the Planning and Zoning Department at City Hall on a split vote. The new hours will be 8 am to 12 pm Monday through Thursday, and 8 am to 4 pm on Friday. Voting no were council members Gary Heacox and Mark Wessels.
• Council purchased a tax-forfeited parcel of land for $900. The land is currently used as a road located between Whitefish Avenue and Manhattan Point Boulevard.
• Council unanimously approved a P&Z Commission recommendation to approve an Interim Ordinance establishing a one-year moratorium on lake shore access easements.
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