So Mayor Wilson says!! Just can’t make this up… today I received packet with letter from Judge Lennon, requesting information about how the Council selects members for the Charter Commission and responses from two Charter Commission applicants and my reappointment regarding Campaign Finance violations, including moi:

My part of this, #4 above, is interesting, well, it makes no sense, as I was not campaigning and had no “campaign finance violations from the November 8, 2022 election cycle.” The Campaign Finance issue for me that Wilson raised was way back, the Order dated June 25, 2003, TWENTY YEARS AGO!

Twenty years ago, intervenors before the Public Utilities Commission were not registering as lobbyists. This docket was a transmission docket applied for in 2001, Northern States Power’s first big transmission line in their transmission build-out, the “SW Minnesota 345kV line” docket, the company’s prelude to CapX 2020, to see if it could fly, what level of opposition they’d encounter, and what it would take to buy off the funded groups intervening (the answer was “not much,” here’s the Settlement Agreement.).

Mayor Wilson was the one who brought up this ancient history:

Look at the start. “As Red Wing’s mayor…” Under color of law much?

Here’s the radical thing I pushed through the Charter Commission, and which the entire Charter Commission passed, way back in September, 2021, trying to lock in NOTICE and PUBLIC PARTICIPATION, and unfortunately, it could not be approved by the Council because one member was MIA and it required unanimous approval:

Back then in 2001, in the SW MN 345kV line docket (01-1958), of the many intervenors and attorneys in that SW 345kV docket, I was singled out for not having registered as a lobbyist, and for not having disclosed money received from the McKnight Foundation prior to the time of registration. The other intervenors and associations who had not registered were Peter Grills and Carl Williams and their clients Izaak Walton League, Michael Noble and ME3 (now Fresh Energy), and John Dunlop and AWEA, and Paula Maccabee and her client Sierra Club, Kevin Walli and Dave Benson and the Rural Energy Task Force — that’s a lot of them!!! I’d drawn up a chart with attorneys and intervenors and groups who had not registered as lobbyists, passed it around at the hearing, and I pointed this out and named names. Doug Kelly, presiding at the hearing, said, “Oh, there’s my good friend Pete Grills…” Really!! Nothing was done about all the others who did not register because it was moi, and moi alone, that was the subject of the Complaint.

Sooo… yes, I was indeed found in violation, twenty years ago, with these Findings of Facts and specifics in the order. I complied with the order points of the Campaign Finance Board, registering, disclosing, and filing:

Since that time, 2003, most intervenors before the PUC do now register as lobbyists! Funny how that works. For the most part, I regard that Reinhart Complaint as a measure of success — it didn’t knock me out of the docket and Art Hughes, Ph.D.E.E., got to testify.

Also in the packet today with Wilson’s letter (and note he did NOT serve all parties, looks like only the Judge got his letter) was this odd redacted email:

Discovery needed — who sent this, and that “Second Prehearing Order” is what?

My “dictionary” has a somewhat different definition:

It’s hilarious, even if ALJ Lipman stated that “Red Wing does not need a Commissar,” which I don’t recall, and which he could have, chuckling as he’s prone to do… folks, PAY ATTENTION: Each of those Respondents in my Campaign Finance Complaint about the Recall principals and organizations, EACH OF THEM, the group Recall City Hall, Tom Drazkowski’s Citizens for Responsible Government, Janie Farrar, Ron Goggin, Don Kliewer, Ted Siefert, and Jason Snyder were found to be in violation of campaign finance law, with Tom Drazkowski’s Citizens for Responsible Government getting hit with the largest fine for the flyer Tom Drazkowski sent around with so many false statements — but there’s no law against lying in campaign lit:

Citizens for Responsible Government Flyer

Back to Wilson’s letter to the judge… Is Mike Wilson is calling me a “Communist” Commissar, perhaps? Am I a strict or prescriptive figure of authority? Are these fighting words or just defamation? Pardon me while I SNORT! SOL! SOL! SOL!

With each of the Recall City Hall principals found in violation, with Tom Drazkowski and Jason Snyder who were appointed to the Charter Commission by the Council found in violation, it appears Red Wing could use a Commissar!

The judge also wants me to explain my April 24, 2023 missive to the Red Wing City Council and Mayor about Charter Commission appointments — here it is in full:

Sure, with pleasure, although the timing rather sucks. But I have lots of thinking time between Red Wing and Rochester these days.

I just can’t decide which version to use… the more the merrier?

And as if I have time and energy to deal with this now. Garden, house, and dear dog to deal with around hour commute to Rochester Mayo. Good thing I can multi-task…

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: 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.