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Lanesboro City Council Report: Administrator gets glowing review

Fri, Dec 8th, 2006
Posted in Government

Seasoned city council member Rob Norby enthusiastically declared, "I've dealt with four different administrators and Bobbie is by far the best!" at the regular Lanesboro City Council meeting December 4. The council members had individually evaluated City Administrator Bobbie Torgerson; the results were then tallied in an official annual review. Mayor Steve Rahn called the review "excellent" and went on to say he was "very proud of Bobbie and Rita (Peterson, Deputy Clerk) too." Torgerson told the council that all the city employees know their jobs and work together well. She admitted her job included many late nights, but she is comfortable taking comp time off, knowing Rita can handle the office.

Noting he wanted to "make sure we keep Bobbie," Rahn moved to give Torgerson a seven percent raise and increase her benefits by forty more hours of PTO (paid time off). The motion passed unanimously.

Torgerson's organization and efficiency led the council to consider the possibility of having only one council meeting a month. With the preparation and agenda Torgerson provides, the regular meetings are short and to the point. Having only one meeting a month could save money and time for the city and staff. Council member Tom Dybing acknowledged that they would need to watch out for time sensitive issues. Council member Joe O'Connor mentioned the information packets might need to get to the members earlier the week before a meeting and they should keep the second meeting night open as a possible meeting date if necessary. Torgerson opined that extra meetings would still be needed for joint meetings of Public Utilities and the council a couple times a year. The council decided to wait to make a decision pending feedback from the citizens.

Torgerson was also commended by Kevin Drake as he gave his Public Utilities report. The utilities will be $38,000 in the black at the end of the year-a sharp contrast to operating in the red in the past.

Committee assignments

The council made their assignments to the city's committees. Joe O'Connor will remain on the EDA to work on the Town Meeting Initiative, Tom Dybing will take over Kevin Drake's spot on the Public Utilities, Rob Norby and Tom Dybing will remain on Planning and Zoning, Steve Rahn will continue on the Parks Committee, and newly elected council member Vince Jeanette was appointed to the Library Board. When asked if he was okay with the assignment to the library board, Jeanette said he was fine with it, good-naturedly commenting, "I can read!"

Jeanette, when asked after the meeting why he'd chosen to run for the council, said he genuinely liked the town as it is and wanted to keep Lanesboro's unique qualities.

Other business

In other business the council:

• decided to have city employees take the afternoons of Friday, December 22nd, and Friday, December 29th as Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve holidays; library employees will have floating holidays;

• learned chief of police Matt Schultz would attend the next council meeting to discuss a complaint about policing in the downtown area during bar closing time;

• passed a resolution to be proactive in supporting tourism in the city;

• received a preliminary budget to review for discussion at the next council meeting;

• heard the city procedure had been followed for snow removal after a recent heavy snowfall. Because Andy Drake was the only employee working, the snow removal took more time and not all alleys were cleared when a complaint was made. Drake mentioned the alley behind the Red Hotel wasn't safe during snowfalls.

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