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Open Forum

Facts... not Sour Grapes

Letter to the Editor

While the contracted consultants continue their work “evaluating” Crosslake Communications, another valued employee has resigned.

So, counting the two from Crosslake Communications, we can add the City Administrator, the City Community Development Director, another Planning and Zoning staff member and the City Clerk/Treasurer who have also left – none of them willingly – I might add. Heads appear to be rolling faster than under King Henry VIII!

I think when I predicted much of this it was criticized as "sour grapes." What is it now besides hard facts?

How do you think you would feel about your longevity as an employee of the City of Crosslake?

Perhaps we need a consultant to evaluate the City Council to determine their effectiveness.

They might also analyze how much the council has cut the City Budget and expenditures compared to their claims during the last campaign.

Peter D. Abler
Crosslake, MN

Family Reunions

Letter to the Editor

It seems that the answer to the Bordsen family problems with their family reunion is contained within the same article regarding the City Council meeting. In short, they need to get an additional 29 families to have a family reunion. If they get 30 then the city will not pursue an injunction, as they are not intending to enforce the conditional use permit for outdoor sales. We should probably add having to go to the City for “permission” to cut down a tree.

Here we are thinking that we want to get as many families here as possible to improve the economic condition of the City. Seems like family reunions are a perfect way to do this.

Paul Nelson
Crosslake, MN

In Support of Liedl for County Recorder

Letters to the Editor

I would like to show my support for Mark Liedl for the office of Crow Wing County Recorder. Mark has suggested a number of new cost saving changes which will help our taxes from continuing to increase. I spent a career in a large corporation always looking for better more cost effective changes. It is refreshing  to see a government official trying to reduce our taxes by implementing more efficient methods.

Remember to vote in the primary Aug. 12

Robert Olson
Ideal Township, MN

Letters to the Editor

We would appreciate your attention to this letter in support of Mark Liedl for Crow Wing County Recorder.

Mark has supported our communities in many ways! Mark has pledged to organize the County Recorder Office to save taxpayers dollars!

Vote for Mark Liedl, Aug 12th in the Primary election. Mark has our vote!

Tom and Marlene Larson
Brainerd, MN

“...before more employees resign”

Letter to the Editor

Crosslake Communications employee Paul Davis has resigned and now, Jared Johnson, Operations Manager, has resigned after 13 years with the company. I feel whole-heartedly that it is 100% related to the fact that the Crosslake City Council decided to hire an outside consultant, from Baltimore Maryland, to provide a “valuation” of the company. It is now too late to retain two very valuable Crosslake Communications employees. Crosslake Communications General Manager, Paul Hoge, must now try to fill two critical positions. I wonder if the personnel committee will be called together to approve a replacement for Jared? When Paul Davis resigned, it took several weeks to call a meeting of this committee (John Moegen, Mayor Darrel Schneider, Dan Vogt, Mike Lyonais, Paul Hoge).

Jared Johnson has been a dedicated employee of Crosslake Communications. Right now Jared is managing Crosslake Communications involvement in the County Road 3 Reconstruction Project as well as base engineering the County Road 36 project for next year. Jared has first-hand experience with these types of projects and it is doubtful that Crosslake Communications will be able to back fill his position. I have been so impressed with Jared and his ability to manage these huge projects. It is too bad some council members questioned his ability to do his job.

The council-appointed Crosslake Communications Advisory Board asked members of the City Council to provide specific information as to the reason for hiring an outside consultant. They were silent, lips were sealed! This consultant is costing the tax payers $40,000 plus travel related expenses, and yet Crosslake citizens, as well as the Advisory Board, were not provided information as to the real reason for bringing this consultant into town! If you were employed by Crosslake Communication, what would you do?

Crosslake Communications is a vital part of the infrastructure of this city. Businesses and citizens depend on the stability and speed of our internet, uninterrupted cable television and dependable land line phone service. I hope the council will move swiftly to approve the replacement of Jared’s position and communicate to all of us, exactly their intent for hiring a consultant before more employees resign.

Ann Schrupp
Crosslake Communications Advisory Board Member

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Farewell to Crosslake Communication’s Paul Davis

Letter to the Editor

On Thursday, July 19th, 2014, Crosslake Communications staff, along with many loyal citizens, said “Farewell” to Paul Davis. Paul will be moving on to a new position with Emily Cooperative Telephone Company.

Paul Davis has been the Network Engineer at Crosslake Communications for the last 10 years. Paul monitored our crucial networks making sure our internet was always up and running, he repaired our computers right here in Crosslake, he developed and managed websites and taught monthly seminars for those of us needing extra help with new technology.

Paul was a great asset at Crosslake Communications as well as to our city. Why would Paul take another job when he was often heard saying “I plan to retire from Crosslake Communications”?

Some of you may not be aware that our Crosslake City council, contracted with an outside consultant to provide strategic alternatives to the City as well as a written “Valuation” of Crosslake Communications.

The consulting company is Charlesmead Advisors LLC out of Baltimore, MD. Crosslake will pay $40,000 for their services. Charlesmead Advisors offers advice related to strategic alternatives, including mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, leveraged buyouts, spinoffs, recapitalizations, and restructurings. Lots of unknowns as to what the City Council will do with the information provided by these consultants.

We have lost one very valuable employee at Crosslake Communications. I sincerely hope that our City Council will not take steps to sell this valuable asset.

Ann Schrupp
Crosslake

Across Minnesota, Meals on Wheels Programs are Losing Funding

Letters to the Editor

Since 1978, the majority of Minnesota seniors have had access to a Meals on Wheels program. Today, there are many compounding issues that are leading to programs having to close their doors. Four twin cities Meals on Wheels locations have already closed, with the Burnsville location fighting to survive. In Cass County, in 2010 the Senior Nutrition site in Longville closed and in 2013 a dining site in Hackensack closed. Faith in Action for Cass County has stepped in to deliver meals to these communities.

Increasing competition for funding is an issue, along with rising food costs. In Cass County, Lutheran Social Services (LSS) provides a communal and meal delivery program called Senior Nutrition. Senior Nutrition in Minnesota receives the following funding – 6% local site sponsorship, 29% state, 33% federal, and 32% customer donations. With 32% coming from donations, it is easy to see how a decrease in donations can affect an entire program.

Marie Lindahl, manager of the Walker Nutrition Site, stated, “We are funded in part with the Older Americans Act funds administered through the Central Minnesota Council on Aging, but must rely on community support for the rest. Due to the rising cost of food and supplies and stagnant government funding, it is challenging to continue this service in the rural areas, although the need is great”.

Another challenge is getting people signed up; they might be reluctant because they feel that making meals is the last thing they want to give up, or that it is only for the “elderly”. Many people are unaware of the resources available to them, or they are not interested in visiting the communal dining centers or  signing up for meal delivery. If there are not people to use the resource, then it will no longer be available.

The Pine River nutrition site is located in the Heartland Apartment building. Manager Dee LeMieux stated, “People have the misconception that you have be a resident to eat here, but it is open to anyone in the community. It is a great way to socialize with neighbors and have a nutritious meal for a low cost”.

Some years are better than others. Lindahl said that when there are sufficient donations, “The money is used to purchase more fresh fruits, vegetables, and treats on holidays that we would not be able to do otherwise”.

All Senior Nutrition meals are made according to nutrition standards. For people 60 plus, there is a suggested donation of $4 per meal. For anyone else in need of a meal, the cost is $7.15. Meals include bread, milk, and dessert and are delivered by friendly volunteers that understand the importance of a healthy meal and frequent check-ins.

For more information on how to receive home meal delivery, volunteer, or donate, contact LSS Senior Nutrition at 218-587-2921 (Pine River) 218-547-4181 (Walker) or become a Meals on Wheels volunteer driver with Faith in Action for Cass County by calling us at 866-675-5435. Faith in Action is “Neighbors Helping Neighbors”.

Kaila Forster: AmeriCorps Vista serving with Faith in Action

Crosslake Council changes definition of Residential Zoning

Letter to the Editor

Bob Kvam had a very interesting letter in last weeks Northland Press. He pointed out all of the dangers in allowing unlimited rentals in residential areas.

Until this Crosslake Council modified the city’s Land Use Ordinance there was a restriction on renting a residence in a Residential Zone. Owners were limited to a maximum of three (3) rentals a year. The underlining reason was to prevent residential zones from becoming commercial rental areas and letting a residence perform like a motel. Most residents (particularly lake shore residents) did not want neighboring properties being rented on a daily or weekly basis.

The current council in their most recent series of ordinance changes eliminated any prohibition on renting activity in residential zones. This opens up the ability of absent landlords to buy properties and advertise them for rent on a daily basis. It opens up the possibility of renters using the lake without any regard to potential ecological damage or disruption of a permanent resident’s quiet enjoyment of their property.

This is the latest example of the current Council’s favoring real Estate companies, contractors and developers over summer and permanent residents.

Dick Dietz
Crosslake

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