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Thursday, September 1st, 2016
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State auditor says “conflict of interest laws apply to Peterson”


Mon, Aug 1st, 2016
Posted in Peterson Commentary

By Jennifer M. Wood, MS, RDN

The State Auditor’s letter from last December to Peterson states, “In reviewing the City’s general ledger, the OSA found five disbursements to Purchasing Power, a business owned by Councilor Lauren Rue. One of the disbursements was made for t-shirts (over $2,000) to advertise City Celebrations and the School Reunion. Under Minnesota’s conflict of interest law, a public officer who is authorized to take part in any sale, lease or contract in official capacity shall not have a personal financial interest in it. Only under certain limited circumstances can a city council contract for goods or services (Minn. Stat. 471.88) and then Minn. Stat. 471.89 must be followed.” He also said, “The fact that the events committee sought and received bids and ‘independently’ selected Purchasing Power is not sufficient to satisfy the city’s statutory obligations. The city should have determined a conflict exists and should have followed the procedures in State Statutes.”

Apparently, that wasn’t clear enough and correspondence obtained under the Freedom of Information Act shows Councilor Gail Boyum called the State Auditor for further clarification. The auditor’s January response email to her states, “I have attached material to this email that you may find helpful.” The documents include:

1) An information Memo from the League of Minnesota Cities (LMC) called “Public Purpose Expenditures.”

2) A sample resolution to Contract with a Council Member from LMC.

3) A sample affidavit of Official Interest in Claim from the LMC website.

4) A copy of Minn. Stat 471.89, which requires Cities to adopt resolutions and obtain affidavits when there’s a Conflict of Interest.

At the top of the sample resolution he sent, it states, “Before using this sample resolution, a city should be familiar with the contents of the LMC’s information memo, Official Conflict of Interest (December 2015).”

According to the informational memo, some of the most important regulations impacting local governments address the ethical responsibilities of public office–laws that can apply to both elected and appointed city officials. Such safeguards exist to:

•Ensure integrity in government

•Protect the city’s and/or the city residents’ interests

•Limit the opportunity for elected or .....
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Who is right?

By Col. Stan Gudmundson

Mon, Jul 25th, 2016
Posted in Peterson Commentary

By Stan Gudmundson How many Christian faiths exist? In Rushford alone there are at least seven Christian church flavors, counting two different Lutheran varieties. Wouldn’t one think that Christianity would have a single unified faith if the ..... 
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Biggen’s BBQ incorrectly labeled at council meeting

Mon, Jul 25th, 2016
Posted in Peterson Commentary

By Chad Rich At the July 13 Peterson City Council meeting, Councilor Gail Boyum incorrectly stated that “come to find out, Biggen’s BBQ is not a registered business in Peterson and should not be allowed as a vendor in city celebrations.” I wa ..... 
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City celebrations and events policy at July 13 Peterson City Council meeting

Mon, Jul 25th, 2016
Posted in Peterson Commentary

By Dave Colbenson At the July 13 Peterson City Council Meeting, I brought forward a city policy that would protect and promote ALL businesses within the City of Peterson, whether in-home or located in the downtown area. It also required food vendor ..... 
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One Moment, Please... Finding the truth

Mon, Jul 25th, 2016
Posted in Preston Commentary

Is it fair to say that the Internet is now the judge, the jury, and the executioner? Recently, a 2000 Fillmore Central High School graduate, Kiel Rushton, was erroneously acknowledged as the officer involved in the shooting of Philando Castile on ..... 
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Are there guns in heaven?

By Yvonne Nyenhuis

Mon, Jul 18th, 2016
Posted in Lanesboro Commentary

By Yvonne Nyenhuis Hunting has long been a tradition in our family. The freezer is full of squirrel and venison. When fall comes, the trees burst into brilliant color and the cold air has a clarity which excites the hunters. They don their orange ..... 
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A deeper look at Comey’s report on Clinton’s emails

By Herb Panko

Mon, Jul 18th, 2016
Posted in Chatfield Commentary

Recently Chief FBI Investigator James Comey gave his final report on Hillary Clinton’s emails. In his conclusion, he stated that there was no evidence that Clinton intentionally lied or intended to commit fraud. For that reason, her actions did n ..... 
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One year later: Remembering Cecil the Lion’s legacy and the controversy surrounding his death

By Sara Snipes

Mon, Jul 11th, 2016
Posted in Harmony Commentary

By Sara Snipes The conservation world was rocked on July 1, 2015 as news spread about the death of Cecil the Lion. While Africa may be home to underdeveloped nations with crippling civil wars, it is also the home of many important conservation effo ..... 
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What they’re fighting over

By Lee Hamilton

Mon, Jul 11th, 2016
Posted in All Commentary

By Lee H. Hamilton Barring a surprise at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland later this month, the race for the presidency is set. So this seems a good time to step back and consider just what it is that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump ..... 
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