Name-clearing hearing?!?!

April 7th, 2021

Just when you think it can’t get any weirder… I know, never say, never even THINK that it can’t get weirder…

I’m going to suggest this be pay-per-view, and that they allow public comment (DONE!). We’d have hours and hours of entertainment.

Charter Commission meeting

April 1st, 2021

VIDEO OF CHARTER COMMISSION MEETING

Agenda with links to attachments

A background Legalectric post:

“Recall” on Charter Commission agenda?!?

So I sent this missive to all, being oh-so-transparent with the ask and intent:

I then sent background info to support the request for recusal of Kent Laugen, Ernie Stone, and Shelley Pohlman, which was added to the agenda #11 documents. These primary documents are the Recall petition with Stone, Laugen (and Rehder) named; the Campaign Financial Report and Amended Report with contributions from Stone and Pohlman; a “Recall City Hall” flyer posted on Pohlman’s Red Wing Minnesota News page; and Post Bulletin article with quotes from Recall principals Ernie Stone and Kent Laugen:

Attachment – Email from C. Overland

I was told, “we will not be adding your requested item to the agenda as your concerns could be brought up under item 11.” You can see how that went.

No problem, if that’s what it takes to get it off the agenda, well, that’s what it takes.

Ultimately, yes, it was tabled. Good. However, the conflict issue was not addressed, and it should be if there are items relating to “recall” on the agenda. Note also that the changes to Charter 5.17 were not “technical changes” to align with the statute, but were substantive changes eliminating the run-off provision, something which needs to be discussed.

And did I mention that Ernie Stone said he’d talked to the City Attorney about me and my questioning of Shelley Pohlman at the last meeting? Wish I were a fly on that wall! Guess he doesn’t think I should challenge her false statements, documented, on refugee resettlement, and her claims of “conflict of interest” of County Commissioner Flanders. Oh well. Those false statements and pot-stirring continue with the recall effort.

Three new Charter Commission members were approved. In the section in the beginning where Peggy Rehder had applied, and was approved, there’s material background that was ignored. Rehder was voted in despite the 2018 formal complaint against her when she was on the City Council, the investigation, which resulted in the Council’s resolution that she participate in mediation with Marshall Hallock, and a firm directive that her out-of-bounds behavior not occur again. She resigned prior to mediation even being scheduled. What has changed to address these behavioral issues? That was not answered.

Watch the 4/23/2018 City Council video of Council deliberation and decision.

Something this serious should be addressed. It wasn’t. Instead, discussion was blocked, putting blinders on to a demonstrated problem.

In discussion of the other two applicants, Shelley Pohlman (a/k/a/ Rena Marsh) demanded to know if the names were their legal names! Shelley then wanted to know of Bjornstad was a member of League of Women Voters or AAUW! (I am not now nor have I ever been a member of…) Bjornstad noted that she was too young, maybe in a few years (SNORT!), but that she was a 5th grade civics teacher for a few years. Kent Laugen was wanting to know if they would be loyal to the Charter Commission, not the City Council, which was weird, questioning their integrity and ethics. Shelley questioned Greg Bolt about his “conflict of interest” because he is a pastor and the Council President is a parishioner, and his role in her election (he marched in a parade with a sign and something else inconsequential). Three people voted against Bolt!

Also, there was discussion of a comment made at the last meeting by Alan Muller, who thought there should be a requirement that committees of the Council be subject to the same charter provisions as the Council, and they asked about that, he was there at the meeting, raised his hand electronically, was ignored, I noted he was there, but they did not acknowledge him to address their questions to him directly. That was weird.

The rest of the meeting was a typical Charter Commission meeting…

Oh, and there is also supposed to be a public comment period at the beginning of each meeting which was not there this time, and I’ve requested that this be in the boilerplate agenda.

City of Red Wing, MN (@CityofRedWingMN) | Twitter

There’s a Charter Commission meeting next week – TUNE IN on Channel 6:

Red Wing Charter CommissionMar 31, 2021 – 06:00 PMAgenda

And look what’s on the agenda (click for larger version):

Here’s what’s at issue:

BFD? Well, not really, because there are at least three people on the Charter Commission who are championing the “Recall City Hall” effort.

So I sent this missive out as notice and request that I want to add an agenda item to the “Approve Agenda” section:

To which Shelley Pohlman, Queen of Conflict of Interest in this recall matter, replied, 7 minutes later:

“This an open meeting violation.”

It’s pretty basic — can’t have people involved in an active (though likely doomed) recall effort voting on changes to the Charter regarding recall!!

Active recall… yeah, it’s a stretch, because there’s a high bar for a recall petition, and after that, a high bar in the number of signatures required:

There’s roughly 2,500 registered voters per ward, twice that where two wards are combined, and roughly 10,000 registered voters for the “at large” Council seat…

Let’s do the math… if they want to recall all but Beise.. SNORT! How many registered voters in that councilor’s ward(s) are needed?

  • Hove – Wards 1 & 2 = 5,249, 20% = 1,049
  • Klitzke – Ward 2 = 2,575, 20% = 515
  • Norton – Ward 3 = 2,617, 20% – 523
  • Buss – Ward 4 = 2,424, 20% = 484
  • Brown – Wards 3 & 4, 20% = 5,041
  • Stinson – At Large – All Wards 9,905, 20% = 1,981

I can’t see them gathering 500, 1,000 or 2,000 voters’ signatures, but there it is, they can do it, it’s clearly allowed in the City Charter, and they’re at least being press hounds, though no evidence of a Petition yet, so get your popcorn and have a seat…

They’ve formed a “Committee to Recall City Hall” and here’s their first report:

Note the large anonymous donations?

Anonymous donations – NOT OK!! The rules clearly state that:

It’s stated pretty clearly… “This itemization must include name, address, employer or occupation if self-employed, amount and date for these contributions.”

Nope, folks active in a recall effort shouldn’t be participating in discussion or voting on Charter Commission recall provision language change.

And then there’s the recall effort itself — folks not wanting to accept that they lost by an “overwhelming majority” vote of 6-1 to fire Roger Pohlman. Just no, what a waste of time, effort, and money. Lots of distractivism, pot-, and outright lies. Lies? Yes, look at this and note the misstated order of things:

Here’s a link to the Pohlman support “petition.”

Above, from Shelley Pohlman’s “Red Wing Minnesota News” page, she states, “In response, citizens presented the counsel with a petition with more than 250 names…” “In response” isn’t true. The properties in the WORD version presented to the City show that the “Petition” was begun on February 17, and last saved and given to the City on February 19, BEFORE he was fired, yet the Petition was demanding Pohlman be “reinstated immediately.” The petition was not delivered to the City “in response” as stated above. Why the misrepresentation? Ummmm… yes, really, BEFORE he was fired. What information were they acting on when they put this “Petition” together and solicited names? Who was soliciting “signers” for this “Petition” before he was fired? What information were those ~250 people who “signed” given? Were they told that Pohlman was applying to be Chief in Lakefield, MN?

Potential for Pohlman to be fired? He knew there were issues, issues that had been raised before. Here are two documents from his 2020 evaluation, retrieved with a Data Practices Act Request to City:

And the termination letter:

Looks to me like ~250 people were played. Pohlman knew this was coming. Someone(s) struck up the band, got the bandwagon rolling, folks jumped on, and they didn’t have the full story. Over and over, as above, they’re continuing to parrot lines that Pohlman wasn’t given time to speak? The potential of firing was not new to Pohlman, and he was represented by counsel, wasn’t he?

Saying that “taxpaying Red Wing citizens were shut out of the meeting” is bizarre. What does that mean, shut out? Employee matters are confidential, is that CONFIDENTIAL closed session what they wanted “open” contrary to state law? Is it that they didn’t attend the open zoom meeting where the Council acted? I’ve heard that some wanted an “OPEN UP” meeting, and IN PERSON meeting, at City Hall where the doors were open and people could attend in person, and that this was denied. Is this what they’re referring to? Let’s get this clarified!

Ya say ya wanna do a recall, and I say, “NO NO NO!” There’s no legal basis for a recall. This is a PR push, and a sham. Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.

Ft. DuPont campground?

March 24th, 2021

The other day, while hanging out over pizza, REAL pizza, at the DNREC park where we used to run the doggies…

MOV00166 – At Delaware City Park

MOV00165 – At Delaware City Park

MOV00164 – At Delaware City Park

MOV00163 – At Delaware City Park

MOV00162 – At Delaware City Park – check Ken running!

MOV00161 – At Delaware City Park – Look at them go!

And now they want to wreck this park with an RV parking lot.

I realized yesterday that I’d not posted about this dreadful idea:

Here’s the powerpoint with the “preliminary plan” from August, 2019. There’s no final plan in the Delaware City Council’s Agenda or Minutes.

Blue Water’s Proposed 422-Site Del. Proj. Receives OK

Delaware City Council okays controversial RV campground near Fort DuPont State Park

Despite that approval, I don’t see any sign of starting construction.

My LTE is in the paper today, on hearing him say he got only 2 emails supporting Pohlman’s firing, and that an “overwhelming majority” was in an uproar:

Letter: An open letter to Red Wing Mayor Mike Wilson

Written By: Carol Overland | 1:50 pm, Mar. 13, 2021

Do recall, I sent three emails to the City address, distributed to you and the Council. The bottom line was “I thank you for doing your jobs, difficult as it can be.” In those emails, I questioned the public letters, petition, and comments regarding Roger Pohlman that implied knowledge of confidential matters, twisting public perception. Because it’s a confidential process, insinuations and innuendoes couldn’t be refuted. Rep. Haley’s interference in city issues, seeking to prevent termination, also alluding to inside information, was as improper as the interference play on the national front seeking to overturn Georgia’s election.

In Red Wing, I hear cries of “witch hunt,” and “we have only begun to fight” and ugly statements about council members — irresponsible speech in light of our political climate (“credible threat” lockdown of Goodhue County building for refugee resettlement vote last year; Sen. Mike Goggin joining Rep. Steve Drazkowski and others, asking Texas A.G. to add Minnesota to lawsuit and disenfranchise Minnesota voters; Jan. 6 D.C. failed insurrection.). There’s talk of a recall effort of six council members. These words and actions will not change the Pohlman decision.

Your column (RE, March 6, 2021) hearkens back to a recent failure to accept election results, and uses the rhetorical gambit of using words of others, words conveying little understanding of the process, i.e., process is confidential, Pohlman was represented by counsel, that it was a lengthy process with iterative opportunities for change.

Not one of the supporters’ comments you quoted substantively challenged the examples cited in the council’s Feb. 19 letter, nor do you make any substantive challenges of your own.

“Remember, if it’s important to you, it’s important to me.”

The flurry of inflammatory charges during confidential proceedings prior to his termination was important enough, concerning enough, that I wrote three missives. And now? It’s important to me that decisions of the council be acknowledged, and not undermined. A 6-1 vote is not a close call. That is an “overwhelming majority.”

Red Wing has a weak mayor system, with the position being that of a bully pulpit. Using your position for a column of this fomenting tenor is divisive and increases rancor in our community.

In short, based on the information stated in the 2/19 letter, what’s been reported in the papers including your words, and a viewing of the short 2/19 council meeting, I support the City Council in its 6-1 decision to terminate Pohlman.

Carol A. Overland, Red Wing

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Here’s what Mayor Wilson had to say:

Column: Red Wing mayor fields questions about police chief’s departure

“The Mayor is IN” is a monthly column that appears in the Republican Eagle and online. Written By: Mike Wilson, Red Wing mayor | 7:00 am, Mar. 8, 2021

Mike Wilson

Mike Wilson

With COVID and so much else going on, it takes a lot to get people any more worked up and worried than they already are. But I’m really getting an earful about the City Council’s decision to fire our now former police chief, Roger Pohlman.

Red Wing citizens are calling, emailing, and stopping by my Third Street office. They are puzzled about the process, or lack of it, and furious about the outcome.

From what I see and hear, community support for him is overwhelming. In fact, I’ve received exactly two – yes, just two – emails from people who thought the council made the right decision. That’s it. Checking my notes from folks who have stopped by the office, called, or emailed, these points come up again and again.”

“The chief didn’t get a fair shake.”

“What ever happened to due process? Why weren’t citizens allowed to speak at the council meeting?”

“Why wasn’t Chief Pohlman allowed to attend and speak in his own defense? What kind of a kangaroo court is the council running?”

“Chief Pohlman treated people with respect, honesty, and kindness. I can’t believe what they did.”

“Looks like they had their own agenda and fired him for reasons that remain secret. Why weren’t citizen taxpayers allowed to weigh in?”

You get the idea. And when I met with members of our police force, to a person they expressed support and admiration for Pohlman. Quite frankly, I’m concerned about morale on the force, and about our ability to keep the top flight cops who have served Red Wing so well.

I’m also hearing plenty about what some are calling the taxpayer funded, multi-million dollar proposed “Bridge to Nowhere” that would link Bay Point Park to West End businesses. More on that later.

When “The Mayor is IN” sign is out at 327 Third St., feel free to stop in and share your ideas and opinions.

Or email me anytime at: mike.wilson@ci.red-wing.mn.us. Remember, if it’s important to you, it’s important to me.

Don’t forget to tune in to KCUE Radio 1250 at 9 a.m. on the second and fourth Thursday of every month for “A Conversation With Mike.” It’s a live interview where you get to ask the questions. And I’ll also share the topics that were discussed, and what will be discussed, at the Council meetings the second and fourth Monday of each month.