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Friday, December 19th, 2014
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Rushford reverses decision due to grievance


By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Mar 15th, 2013
Posted in Rushford Government

The on-going debate over staffing needs within Rushford’s Public Works department is on again. Public Works had long lobbied for staff member Curt Courrier’s 36-hour per week position to be transitioned to full-time, based on increasing workload within the department and that the position was budgeted to be full-time in 2013. Public Works director Jeff Copley, supported by Mayor Chris Hallum, noted the city could afford to keep Courrier on staff particularly in lieu of upcoming projects, but some members of the council denied the need. Councilor Vern Bunke has long stated that the department has shown no accountability of time or proof of need.

Last December, the council had agreed to continue the part-time position through the end of March 2013. At the February 25 council meeting, Bunke led a motion to terminate the part-time employment of Courrier, effective March 29. The motion passed, in a 3 to 2 vote, by Bunke and Councilors Robert Dahl and Roger Colbenson.

On March 6, Local 1944 filed two grievances with the city based on this decision. The union cited two applicable violations; the first in relation to seniority and the second to discipline and discharge. Both violations called for an adjustment of reinstatement of Courrier and to “make Employee whole.” Essentially, this means employees are generally treated as though they never left their position. The grievances also requested that the city rescind “improper lay-off” and remove all references of termination from Courrier’s personnel file.

According to City Clerk Kathy Zacher, the paperwork first went to Public Works Director Jeff Copley, who was required to sign off on the document stating there was no action he could take. The paperwork then went to City Administrator Steve Sarvi to take to council for direction. These grievance procedures are intended to allow the resolution of complaints, timely and cost-effectively, before they may result in litigation.

The council discussed the matter in closed session Monday, March 11, following the end of regular business during the council meeting. It was closed under attorney/client privilege to discuss arbitration litigation strategy. Following the closed session, the regular meeting was reopened and City Attorney Terry Chiglo provided a recap of the general discussion before asking the council to take action on the issue.

After discussion, a motion was made to remove te .....
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Rushford puts halt to contract mowing for 2013

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Mar 1st, 2013
Posted in Rushford Government

After a lengthy process to determine potential cost savings of contracted versus public works mowing of the city’s 135 acres of land, the city will sit on the idea of contract mowing for this season. The idea, led by Councilor Roger Colbenson, cou ..... 
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Rushford looks at ambulance service needs

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Feb 15th, 2013
Posted in Rushford Government

While Rushford has a strong, viable ambulance service, other communities are not as fortunate and their need may prompt changes to the service’s coverage area. The state sets the coverage boundaries for municipal services and a lack of rural servi ..... 
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Rushford opens up discussion on Highway 43 project

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Feb 8th, 2013
Posted in Rushford Government

The state has slated 2014 for a major overhaul of Highway 43 running through the heart of Rushford. According to WHKS project engineer Tim Hruska, the cooperative effort between the city and MNDoT must be done due to rapidly aging water and utility ..... 
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Rushford moves forward with potential USDA project

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Jan 18th, 2013
Posted in Rushford Government

The city is drawing closer to a go-ahead for the renovation of the former municipal liquor store to a new city hall. A loan resolution with the USDA Rural Development Office was signed on September 24 of last year in order to fund the proposed proje ..... 
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Rushford sets levy, looks for cost savings

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Dec 21st, 2012
Posted in Rushford Government

Last week, the council tabled setting the levy for the 2013 budget to allow for further review of the budget. Following an in-depth discussion of line item areas, the council proceeded with setting the levy at $740,000, a 0 percent increase from 201 ..... 
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Rushford looking at no levy increase

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Dec 14th, 2012
Posted in Rushford Government

Municipalities within the state must certify the levy to the county auditor on or before five working days after December 20 each year. With that date rapidly approaching, a Rushford budget subcommittee of city staff, Mayor Chris Hallum, and council ..... 
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R-P gears up for referendum

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Nov 23rd, 2012
Posted in Rushford Government

R-P is moving forward with preparations and its Yes Campaign for a new, $15 million pre-K through grade 5 facility. Recently, brochures highlighting the upcoming referendum in the district were mailed out to district residents. There was some concer ..... 
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Rushford considers deer hunting within city limits

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Nov 16th, 2012
Posted in Rushford Government

As a topic of interest that’s been ruminating for some time, the city council once again discussed the possibility of allowing the harvesting of deer within its borders. The city and its residents have been the roaming grounds of an excess deer po ..... 
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