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Manhattan Beach Council approves budget, discusses agenda process

Web posted December 26, 2017
(Editor’s note: The following article was written from the unapproved minutes of the regular monthly meeting of the Manhattan Beach City Council held on Tuesday, December 5, 2017 as provided by the City Clerk.)

By Bill Monroe, Northland Press Correspondent

The Manhattan Beach City Council discussed amending its bylaws at its regular monthly meeting held December 5 at City Hall. Mayor Paul Allen was present along with Council members Janis Allen, Marlene Yurek, Barb Henson-Wannebo and Clerk- Treasurer Amy Wannebo. City Attorney Andrew Kalis was also present.

The Council had asked Kalis to prepare a draft set of revised bylaws. Kalis said that the amendments he was proposing are the beginning of a process and that he would not recommend approving them yet. He said the goal of the amendments is to build flexibility into the bylaws and to clean them up to resolve some of the existing conflicts by creating clear policies.

During discussion, Council members agreed with amendment language that the “mayor should have final authority on preparing agenda” requests. All Council members agreed that the Clerk should prepare the agendas not later than five days before the Council meeting. Under Minnesota law, agendas can be amended the day of the meeting. The Council agreed this could be done with a majority vote of Council members at the meeting. Clerk-Treasurer Wannebo suggested adding “requests to be added to the agenda (from the public) include an e-mail with a summary of what the person would like to address”. The Council agreed. Mayor Allen suggested “Any requests to place issues on the the agenda….that are not made at least 10 calendar days before the upcoming City Council meeting should be heard at the following…meeting unless they no longer want to be heard on that issue.” The Council agreed.

Regarding the recording of meeting minutes, an issue the Council has discussed for months, all Council members agreed that the entire meeting should be recorded and that the written minutes should not include what was discussed in Open Forum. However, all Council members also agreed that the recording will be placed on the City’s website.

The Council agreed with language written by Kalis that the presiding officer shall be primarily responsible for consulting with the City Attorney about legal matters affecting the City. If other Council members wish to contact the City Attorney, they will need to make that request as an agenda item at the next Council meeting.

The Council asked Kalis to make the discussed changes in the draft and to provide a new draft for consideration at the January Council meeting.

Budget approved
The Council unanimously voted to approve the 2018 budget of $70,000. Mayor Allen said the City’s taxing capacity has decreased by 1.5 percent and the City has the second lowest tax rate in Crow Wing County. Some residents, citing money in the city’s bank accounts, had asked the City to levy no property taxes in 2018. Allen said he is concerned about upcoming expenses including roads, fire protection, more document storage and the possibility of a dry hydrant. He also is concerned that if the City didn’t levy anything it could lose government funding. Clerk- Treasurer Wannebo stated that through October 3, the City had incurred over $60,000 in expenses.

Other business
• Tabled for another month the decision on purchasing an all-inone printer until a quote from the Office Shop can be received;

• Approved paying a $1,200 retainer to Stonemark to have Goldstein, Satchell and Meyer Lake Roads surveyed;

• Voted to purchase speed control signs;

• Learned that Martin Joyce will not be available to do city inspections for new sewer installations in 2018.

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