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Accusations fly at Peterson meeting


By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Feb 2nd, 2015
Posted in Peterson Government

Peterson Councilor Dave Colbenson addresses accusations of open meeting law violation at the January 28 Peterson Council meeting. (L-R) City Clerk Megan Grebe, Mayor Tim Hallum, Councilors Dick Lee, Colbenson, Loren Rue, and Gail Boyum, and resident Chad Rich. Photo by Kirsten Zoellner

Following the appointment of newly appointed Councilor Loren Rue to the Peterson Council on January 14, the Council’s actions, particularly to appoint Rue, have been questioned. Councilor Dave Colbenson requested time to speak, prior to citizen comments, at the beginning of the January 28 meeting, seeking further clarification.

At the January 14 meeting Councilors Dick Lee and Gail Boyum motioned and seconded to appoint Rue to the position. Colbenson then made a suggestion that the city look at appointing former mayor Jennifer Wood to the position, citing her previous experience with municipal work. The vote was called by Mayor Tim Hallum and passed 3 to 1 with Colbenson opposed. “We didn’t get an opportunity to discuss, come to an opinion, vote, and make a decision. I want to make sure there’s nothing fishy or behind the lines,” stated Colbenson at the January 28 meeting.

Colbenson listed concern with Rue having never run for council or had municipal experience prior to his appointment. “Do you know what serial meetings are?” asked Colbenson. Serial meetings are generally defined as a situation in which a governmental group holds a series of meetings, whether in person or via phone or email, with less than a quorum of members to discuss issues in private. Minnesota Statues 13D, open meeting law, is in place to “prohibit actions being taken at a secret meeting where it is impossible for the interested public to become fully informed about a public board’s decisions or to detect improper influences; to assure the public’s right to be informed; and to afford the public an opportunity to present its views to the public body.

“I’d like more information. I don’t want to cross lines or break rules,” stressed Colbenson. “It intrigued me; Rue wrote to City Council and said he was approached to run.”

“All we have to do is petition the state on this and the [explitive] is gonna hit the fan,” said Chad Rich, husband to former Mayor Wood, to the Council.

Councilor Dick Lee attempted to clarify the situation of Rue’s appointment. He acknowledged he’d heard Rue might be interested in serving and went to see him. “I didn’t want to vote for anyone who didn’t want to serve,” explained Lee. “There’s nothing wrong with me going down and talking to him.”

Lee was interrupted by Rich, which prompted Mayor Hallum to ask for quiet. Rich interr .....
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Rushford Village discusses proposed rate hike

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Jan 26th, 2015
Posted in Rushford Village Government

While the Tuesday, January 20 Rushford Village Council meeting was brief, the Council managed to get in plenty of discussion over a City of Rushford sewer rate hike, which will lead to increases for some Village residents. Mayor Gordon Johnson, Co ..... 
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Preston refinances 2007B bond

Mon, Jan 26th, 2015
Posted in Preston Government

Mike Bubany, David Drown and Associates, in his capacity as Preston’s financial adviser, recommended refinancing the General Obligation Improvement Bond issued in 2007 (Valley Street & Corn Cob Acres area project) at the council’s January 20 m ..... 
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Canton sets designations and fees for 2015

Mon, Jan 26th, 2015
Posted in Canton Government

New council member Charlie Warner and returning council member Ross Duckett were sworn into office at the year’s first meeting of the Canton City Council on January 14. Annual designations were approved with no changes from 2014. The official n ..... 
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Harmony Area Chamber of Commerce annual meeting

Mon, Jan 19th, 2015
Posted in Harmony Government

On the evening of Wednesday, January 14, 2015, the Harmony Area Chamber of Commerce conducted their annual meeting at the City Council Chambers in the Harmony Community Center. Pictured above, left to right: Reuben Hershberger (Board Member), An ..... 
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Chatfield discusses recommended ordinance changes

Mon, Jan 19th, 2015
Posted in Chatfield Government

At the annual meeting of the Chatfield City Council on January 12, City Clerk Joel Young administered the oath of office to Mayor Russ Smith and councilors Paul Novotny and Mike Urban. Each of the three had been re-elected in the general electio ..... 
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Harmony City Council swears in new members

Mon, Jan 19th, 2015
Posted in Harmony Government

Harmony City Attorney Richard Nethercut swore in two people at the council meeting on January 13. Steve Donney, who was re-elected as Mayor of Harmony during the November election, and brand new council member Steve Sagen. Building and maintenan ..... 
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Rushford approves sale of HBC building

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Jan 19th, 2015
Posted in Rushford Government

The first Rushford Council meeting of 2015, January 12, brought the expected annual housekeeping of boards, committees, meeting dates, and more. It also brought an opportunity for the city to sell a viable piece of downtown property and get the pr ..... 
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Council meets during blizzard

Mon, Jan 19th, 2015
Posted in Fountain Government

While the area was under a blizzard warning on January 8, 2015 the weather did not stop the Fountain City Council from completing the tasks at hand during their monthly meeting. Mayor Richard Kujath and council members Bryan Ostby and Jim Scho ..... 
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