Binders of Screenshots Redux

September 27th, 2023

I’ve been working on getting copies of the claimed “we’ve got tons of them” screenshots that Mayor Wilson has been waving around in support of these burr-up-his-butt theories of violations of Open Meeting Law and Data Breeches by City Council and/or Commission members. He’s done it before, and he needs to be called on that.

Red Wing adopts Social Media Policy

I’d sent a Data Practices Act Request:

That request was made because of the way Mayor Wilson was waving about what he claimed were screenshots, inferring that they proved his claims of violations of Open Meeting law and that there were data breeches:

The City’s response to that Data Practices Act Request was a denial in search of a rationale:

So I sent “Data Practices Act Request Redux” yesterday:

What do those screenshots demonstrate? My guess is that they show his obsession with the Red Wing Snowstorm fb group, and attempting to shame or intimidate those who speak up and discuss issues in our fair city. His proposal for amendment to the Social Media Policy would limit Council and Commission members’ membership and participation in private social media groups and even blogs! It was deleted.

His behavior is odd, but there’s background to this that’s compounding the weirdness. He has referred to me in at least two orations before the Council, first inferring some nefarious intent in my advocacy for updating the City’s Code of Conduct, and now, tied to adoption of the City’s Social Media Policy, about participation in the “Snowstorm” fb group. Enough. Put up or shut up!

My first noteworthy encounter with Wilson was when he called me after I’d sent a mass mailing quoting the City’s position on the Recall City Hall effort and providing contact info for the Council. One flyer went to him, and he was furious. “DON’T YOU EVER SEND ANYTHING TO MY HOME AGAIN!” He loudly demanded to know where I got the list (public info), who I sent them to (none of your business), how many flyers I sent (why?)… WHAT?!?! What’s the problem? It was the weirdest response ever, clearly hit a nerve, and damn… I wish I’d recorded.

Another example was his previous statements during an earlier Council meeting. At that time, the Council was deliberating changes in the Code of Conduct. See transcript below… What I “find interesting” is his sideways objection to my participation in updating the Code of Conduct. This is something I’ve openly been working on since the Citizens Assembly, circa 2017, and the ejection of Mayor Egan circa 2013, long before Wilson was Mayor. Why this need to make up objections to my work? Why put all this out there in a public statement, on the record, before the Council, that is demonstrably false and downright goofy? In that Code of Conduct Council meeting, he said this:

Really! The City Attorney quickly corrected him, stating that my suggestions were for the most part not adopted! The City Administrator also knew the history and acknowledged the need for an update. Councilor Norton spoke up, she knew of my years long work on this and my push to get the Council to take it up. None of this have even been necessary. A simple comparison of 1) the suggestions I’d been sending in to the Council and Mayor, and 2) the Code update presented to the Council reveals the difference. Apparently that homework wasn’t done, hence the statement?

That evening the Code of Conduct was discussed, I had work to do outstate with a township I’m representing on an Ordinance, so I couldn’t attend, and oh how I wish I could have been in 2 places at once. Wilson’s statement that “she had issues with the Mayor way back when,” ummmm, no, it was former Mayor Dennis Egan who had obvious ethical issues — a clear conflict of interest as ED of a sand mining association when sand loading was before the Council and HE DID NOT DISCLOSE, much less recuse (Mayor Egan Resigns). At that time, I said, “Onward, and hopefully this time we’ll find a mayor with some integrity and ethics.” Perhaps that expectation is Wilson’s objection?!?!

Wilson has repeatedly displayed poor judgment. This is the same guy who wrote an ex parte letter to District Court Judge Lennon, who’s charged with Ordering appointments to the Charter Commission after the Commission forwards names to her. His ex parte, letter, asking that I be denied reappointment to the Charter Commission was full of outright lies and was accompanied bizarre attachments.

Note he writes this letter “As Red Wing’s mayor” and signs it “Mike Wilson, Mayor.” Under color of law much? I do hope someone explained to him how this is problematic. And dig this WTAF attachment, which he linked to his “commissar” comment in the letter:

It seems Red Wing DOES need a commissar!

Just too bizarre…

And I’ve not forgotten the Mayor’s support for the Recall City Hall effort (their website has been completely eliminated, a good decision, no evidence; the fb page sort of present, but mostly scrubbed.). Recall sought to upend the legitimate election of our City Council members, disenfranchising voters. Does this sound familiar? They used a demonstrably false premise in the “250 word statement,” claiming Open Meeting Law violations. DUH, personnel issues are held in CLOSED session. Specifics of the firing are PRIVATE INFORMATION — only the subject, in this case Pohlman, can disclose, and he chose not to disclose. Recall proponents were hollering “Stop the Steal” while stealing slogans and tactics from another equally unsuccessful “Stop the Steal” effort (that effort resulting thus far in how many disbarments and indictments?).

Column: Recall petition is old-fashioned democracy in action

I had a few things to say about that as well, particularly about the Post Bulletin’s promotional toadying coverage, but about Wilson’s support as well:

Letter: Red Wing recall coverage lacking

Another issue is Wilson’s attempt to get City funding to pay for the roof repairs for his Red Wing Marine Museum. building. The lease requires, as do most commercial leases, that the lessee is responsible for repairs. The roof was a known issue when he signed the second lease a decade ago. Wilson says he is no longer the head of it, but he was President until this most recent request for city money came up. He was President at least until 12-31-2021, the date of most recent public IRS 990 on Guidestar.

Also note the claim of “Land and Buildings” as a $214,763 asset. How can that be? It’s a lease and it’s been in default for a decade, now officially declared in default by the City.

FULL DISCLOSURE: Alan Muller is a big boat motor fan, and a big fan of the Red Wing Marine Museum. Alan strongly wants to see this museum continue, he likes it personally, plus it’s a big asset to the city, and he hopes the Board can keep it open.

Overall, this history of Wilson’s conduct has become a pattern, and a few of these instances directed my wa caught my attention, mindful that I’m at least a limited public figure. One thing I do agree with Wilson on: “So I’m just giving everybody a heads up on this stuff. Pay attention from here on in. Of course! I am paying attention!

As to this current Wilson waving of “we’ve got tons of them” screenshots… Mayor Wilson, “if you’re listening,” if you have proof of Open Meeting Law violations, and/or “there’s data breech going on,” let’s see it. If there are violations, you have a duty to report issues to the City for investigation and to address violations, if there are any. If you see something, say something.

Way way back, we’re talking 2017, the Citizens Assembly issued its report, part of which were suggestions to improve city meetings, that “better meetings” and ethics and the City’s Code of Conduct were the areas that were important to me. Why? Because at the last meeting, a concerted effort was made, through a secret meeting and a Resolution from that meeting, to prohibit virtual participation and to eliminate the Statement of Intent.

Notice who showed up for this workshop and notice who DID NOT show up for this workshop:


Here’s the packet for the meeting:

Everything I say about this is flavored by the LONG time it took to get to this discussion, and the flagrant misbehavior of some Council members, disregard for basic concepts of how government operates and DOESN’T and SHOULDN’T operate, and the dissing of the public. That said…

The discussion was a start. They went through the suggestions I’d offered (because I was the only one who’d offered specific suggestions, a few times over the last SIX YEARS), variations of what I’ve been offering since 2017, and they DID discuss them. For the most part, they have focused on two things.

  • Develop “Standard Operating Procedures/Best Practices” explaining how things are done.
  • Update the “How to Participate” flyer that’s on the table in the foyer (there should be an announcement of this handout at the beginning of meetings for folks new to appearing).

That’s a start, good to see, and ONWARD!

Here’s the 2/27/2023 City Council Meeting: youtube:

And here’s a transcript of that meeting:

Here’s the City’s Statement of Intent they want to eliminate:

I put together a handout about “Better Meetings” recommendations in Citizens Assembly Event Report for the meeting:

I also made copies of a Letter to the Editor that Alan and I had written following the ejection or resignation of Dennis Egan as Mayor due to conflict of interest, and as Citizens Assembly was discussing ethical issues and the City Code of Conduct, which is so deficient and needs updating. This last Council meeting was a wake up call for update of the Code of Conduct — discovery of the Gang of Four’s secret meeting, two Council members falsely stating and doubling down that it was an Agenda and/or Executive/Leadership committee meeting (plus “COVID is over,” I mean, really?!?!), and for trying to prohibit virtual comments and eliminating the Statement of Intent? I’d like to see Oath of Office committed to at each meeting!

The story of utility personal property tax goes way back in Red Wing, in Goodhue County. When the latest round of tax notices, the 2021 Proposed Tax, were received, people were whining and crying, and when I asked them what they’d do different, NOT A SINGLE SUBSTANTIVE RESPONSE (“cut spending” is not a response, “VETO” is not a response. Let’s get specific here folks, what would you do different??). It also seems that people do not understand the impact of Xcel Energy’s tax cuts and how their cuts are heaped on US regular property owners!

While putting up some articles today that dropped from the heavens into this Legalectric repository, I ran across some old editorials that are a needed history lesson as people in Red Wing discuss property taxes. Red Wing Budget 2021 page! Here in Red Wing, we’re having to make up for the loss of the utility personal property taxes that our “good neighbor” Xcel has weaseled out of over the years. 20+ years ago, starting in 1995 just after NSP succeeded in its fierce lobbying effort to keep the plant open, they pulled the rug out from under Minnesota’s host communities, slashing utility personal property taxes in every way possible. The most recent episode of Xcel Energy cuts was 2018, done in secret at Dept. of Revenue, they gave Goodhue County, Red Wing, and the school district the finger once again.

Here, in chronological order, are those OLD editorials I found in this computer (click on them for a larger view). History matters.

This first one is particularly obnoxious, as Micheletti’s statement (he was then an NSP lobbyist) that utility personal property tax makes our rates higher is outright lie — our electric rates at that time were far lower than almost everywhere in the country!

(he hates this, so gotta post it!)

And my take on it, after seeing Micheletti’s push, written because people seem to avoid identifying the root of the problem — Xcel screwing us over — was written just a week later, because Xcel is changing the host deal after the fact. They built the nuclear plant in this host community with an agreement to pay these taxes. Now they pull out of that agreement? I mean really, what are they going to do, take their nuclear plant and go? In 1994, they rallied the troops of Red Wing, Goodhue County, and all other host communities to storm the legislature by the busload “to preserve the tax base” and then starting in 1995, they focus their bigger than ever lobbying presence on eliminating that very same tax base. Yup, that’s how they rewarded their host communities. What a good neighbor. Here’s my response to (then) NSP:

And in the Red Wing Republican Eagle, a heads up to the community, long after NSP/Xcel had started, after the post 1994 taxes were slashed, cut, after NSP/Xcel eliminated so much of the utility personal property tax — and we residents had to take up the difference:

It’s hard to stomach anything from Tom Micheletti, who got his and Julie Jorgensen’s Excelsior Energy Mesaba Project and tens of millions of dollars (DNT Investigation – Excelsior Lobbying Cash Questioned) as a perk in the 2003 Prairie Island bill – Chapter 11, Special Session), with cash flow from state coffers for his bogus idea built into law:

We had to fight that IGCC (coal gasification) Mesaba Project bondoggle for over FOUR YEARS before the Public Utilities Commission finally said NO! Meanwhile, Tom Micheletti and Julie Jorgensen financed by millions from the state’s “Renewable Development Fund,” millions from the Iron Range Resources coffers (Iron Range Resources & IGCC take their lumps), and millions from Department of Energy Grants and Loans, giving him enough to retire in style. Boondoggle” is too nice a word for that scam.

Ten years and $41 million later, ‘clean coal’ plant still vapor

Is it any wonder I’d holler seeing Julie Jorgensen, Dennis Egan, and Mark Andrews teaming up trying to get a solar project going in Red Wing? AAACK!

Three Musketeers? Three Stooges?

History is important… facts matter!

Remember Excelsior Energy‘s boondoggle Mesaba Project?  Go to the PUC’s search page and search for “05-1993” and “06-668” for the dockets.

A little birdie flew by today, cocked its shiny eye and said…

So following up… Does anyone find it strange that as of August 3, 2018, the registered office of Excelsior Energy and its agent, CEO, and Principal Executive Office Address of Tom Micheletti, is  THE ABOVE STORAGE UNIT at 4630 Quebec Avenue North, New Hope, MN 55428?

Last known address: 708 1st St., #421, Minneapolis, sold 2017 for $749,900(verified in Metsa for Congress report, 3/9/2018 donation)… and then there’s Orono: Tom & Julie’s house is for sale.

Did you know that Excelsior Energy got their regulatory perks extended until 2025?!?!  Really, look at this, Minn. Stat. 216B.1694, Subd. 3(b)(1), a 2017 legislative boondoggle!

(1) site and route permits and water appropriation approvals for an innovative energy project must also be deemed valid for a plant meeting the requirements of paragraph (a) and shall remain valid until the earlier later of (i) four years from the date the final required state or federal preconstruction permit is issued or (ii) June 30, 2019 2025; and

Yes, Excelsior Energy was doing their lobbying in 2017.

Julie Jorgensen has been hustling with Greenmark, our good friends Mark Andrews and Red Wing’s ex-Mayor Dennis EganThree Musketeers? Three Stooges?

Then there’s Excelsior Energy Capital.  What’s that?!?!  Well, a Delaware corp registered in Minnesota in August of 2017, and inquiring minds found out their HQ is a BOAT SLIP at 21950 Minnetonka Boulevard, #210, Excelsior, MN.

Really.  Could google maps be wrong?  It’s not international waters, but assuredly … ummmm… well, bizarre!  Look at their TEAM (can you say photoshopped?).  I can’t find direct connections to our friends at Excelsior Energy, but with an operation like this, it’s got to be there!  Searching…

Remember AWA Goodhue’s office?  And Secretary of State lets them get away with this?



I found my notes!!  On August 29, 2017, Alan and I went to the Goodhue County Courthouse for the GreenMark Solar v. Wacouta Township (Court Case No. 25-CV-17-1462) festivities — a Summary Judgment hearing.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I’m not a fan of any of the principals of GreenMark, Mark Andrew, Dennis Egan, and Julie Jorgensen.  Mark Andrew is a former Hennepin County Commissioner and a fan of burning garbage. Here’s a thread from the Mpls yak-yak list about Andrew when he was running for Mayor.  Dennis Egan, well, we had a few go rounds when he was Mayor of Red Wing AND was executive director of Minnesota Industrial Sand Council, and at the time silica sand mining issue was on agenda for City of Red Wing. Julie Jorgensen? Her Excelsior Energy Mesaba Project coal gasification plant took up 5 years of my full-time labor before it went to part-time and intermittent, and still just won’t fully go away! Minn. Stat. 216B.1694, Subd. 3(b)(1)(ii).

That said, I’m also a big fan of solar, from way, way back when my father designed the solar on the Minnesota Zoo (that was later taken down, it was hot water! Not quite what was most needed, and they didn’t know much about solar back then).

Here’s the GreenMark Complaint — couldn’t find the Wacouta Answer or the cross-motions for Summary Judgment. The Wacouta Township website is years out of date — what’s up with that?  (2014 is most current minutes, plus a notice of the May 2017 meeting about the solar project. ???)

Greenmark Solar v. Wacouta Township_Complaint 25-CV-17-1462

Here are a couple articles:

GreenMark Solar challenges Wacouta Township | Republican Eagle

Minnesota Developer Sues for Solar Garden Permit

The oral argument started with Greenmark.  Some points (not all inclusive):

Focus on Minn. Stat. 394.33, Subd. 1, that the township decision violates Town Powers Act. It’s inconsistent with their zoning. They can enact more restrictive zoning, but they didn’t, township has no solar ordinance.2

Township ordinance is ambiguous.  Frank’s Nursery case — if ambiguous, allow property owner to do what they want with the property.

“Agricultural community” — Planning Commission and Board selected different definitions.  Current use, peat mining and hay.  Pollinator scale 45, and 85 with solar.  Wetlands. Reduce carbon emissions.

Township argument:

Town Power Act does not restrict township actions. Bergen defines inconsistent, it’s not different.
Township Ordinance, Art. 3, Subd. 10, limits industrial uses that do not support agricultural. Solar is an industrial use. Twp. does allow solar in ag, BUT, it’s more restrictive, and it’s not inconsistnet.

The standard is whether down decision was rational, i.e., legally sufficient, supported by record.

Reasonable — inconsistent with agriculture, exported to the grid. CUP – exported, GreenMark takes issue with def of ag use, but see “Hubbard Broadcasting” denial of Conditional Use.  Review is deferential.  Mandamus (GreenMark’s action) review not to challenge discretionary decisions of local government.

Frank’s Nursery re: ambiguous ordinance, doesn’t require ordinance to be construed to support use. Court still needs to determine rationality.

Greenmark Rebuttal

Mandamus – this is about building permit, a ministerial act, not discretionary.

Does township even have jurisdiction/authority.

Purpose of project — Goodhue County, that’s the area.

Altenberg (?) – Town Powers Act – Twp didn’t adopt a more restrictive ordinance.

Bergum (?) – legislative intent of Town Powers Act.

Township Rebuttal

Cases of Mandamus for building permits

Goodhue – zoned agricultural, township couldn’t zone industrial, that would be inconsistent with county zoning.


Judge Bayley said he has a lot of homework to do, and will do it and issue Order.