After wading through the bullshit last night, it feels a lot better this morning in Red Wing. Watch the video, particularly Agenda Items 7, 10C, and 10D:

Red Wing City Council Meeting – June 14, 2021

In order of appearance:

  • Agenda Item 7 – Terri Cook appointed to Charter Commission, no discussion, no muss, no fuss.
  • Agenda Item 10C – Recall – Brown and Buss – once again, no malfeasance or non-feasance. DOH!
  • Agenda Item 10D – Shared space – Mayor Wilson does not have exclusive rights to the shared space at City Hall.

There was a call to SHOW UP and support the Council, that’s the folks in white shirts, who far outnumbered the “RECALL” folks, about the same percentages as in the Presidential votes in our fair city. Overflow crowd.

In the Republican bEagle:

4 things to know about the Red Wing City Council meeting

In the Rochester Post Bulletin:

Recall committee loses another round at Red Wing city council meeting

Rules apply only to some?

May 11th, 2021

Last night, the Red Wing City Council had just one substantive item on the agenda, a request for vacation of an easement from Tom and Anne Wilder. The land in question is that graveled area with driveway and car on it, and a wider section on the parcel to the north, also owned by the Wilders:

It looks like the City did not provide mailed notice to landowners owning property within 500 feet of the Wilders’ property! In particular, I’m looking at the landowners with contiguous parcels, those at 1231 – 5th St. W and 1268 – 6th St. W. They have smaller homes and lots, valued lower, and they just might appreciate the opportunity to add that land to their parcels.

Vacation of an easement is one of those things, like “cartway” that in law school was a big snooze. Yet it’s something to consider. Back on 2019, we got notice about vacation of the easement adjacent to Daniel Sturgeon’s property here on West. I was not pleased about this when he had bought a lot for, according to the County GIS site, “under $1,000” and that he was now asking the City to give him more land. We got a notice in the mail and so I looked into it then, and spoke against it at the public hearing.

After Sturgeon got the land, he turned around and put it on the market for many, many times what he paid:

He’s had some reality orientation since and the price is now at $25,900, still many times more than what was paid:

Anyway, the Notice for the Wilders’ easement vacation request was very different from that for the Sturgeon easement vacation request. Note the “NOTE” at the bottom:

At last night’s meeting, Jay Owens stated that Notice was published in the Eagle, but that was all, and he expressly stated that there had been no contact with the adjacent landowners, in particular, the ones on the other side of the easement.

The Charter has this notice requirement — publication, but no mailing of notice requirement in the Charter:

The timing of the Wilders’ request is odd, as they asked for the city to give them this land some time in March, based on the dates in the packet:

Agenda Item 10A – City Council Packet – 5-10-2021

The hearing was scheduled by the City Council at the April 12, 2021 meeting (9P – Attachment).

As you may recall, Anne Wilder drew this RECALL CITY HALL “cartoon” that was published by the Red Wing Republican Eagle — it was published days after scheduling of the hearing was placed on the Council agenda at the “Agenda Committee” meeting:

  • I used to trust their judgment… Now I’m not so sure! What will they do next?
  • I worry that this is just the beginning… Are we inviting big problems to our community?
  • Great job City Council. My once-peaceful neighborhood just started FIGHTING over your decision to fire the Police Chief.
  • This is the kind of thing that makes people move away…
  • Shouldn’t a City Council always work to build a stronger, safer & better community instead of TEARING IT APART???

Just wow…

Here’s Tom Wilder right at the top of the initial Andy Klitzke – Ward 2 RECALL CITY HALL petition:

To ask for this easement vacation from the City while at the same time principals in the “RECALL CITY HALL” effort is, well, tone deaf, ballsy, to put it mildly.

My Letter to the Editor about this:

My question to the Wilders… shouldn’t this easement vacation wait until there’s a City Council you trust? Asking for a handout now (for the nominal fee of $425) seems a bit much given you want to “RECALL CITY HALL.

6-1 vote? You LOST!

Here’s another recall, recall denied 6-1 by City Council.

Blue Earth denies recall petition

BLUE EARTH — After nearly an hour of discussion which included a report from an attorney and input from members of the public and the council themselves, the Blue Earth City Council voted 6 to 1 to deny a petition calling for a recall election of a council member. The decision came at the beginning of the regular City Council meeting last Monday night. A group of citizens had previously presented the petition calling for a recall election of councilman John Huisman. The reason given was that Huisman had violated the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution due to his co-signing a letter to KBEW radio station concerning removal of a radio program. The letter also threatened to organize a boycott of the station if the program was not removed. At a previous special council meeting the council decided to postpone a decision on the petition until after having an independent attorney study the legalities. At Monday’s meeting, attorney Christopher Kennedy of Mankato gave both a verbal and written report. At the end of Kennedy’s four-page report, he stated the members of the recall committee on this matter had done everything that was required of them to institute the recall of the council member, following all the requirements set out in the City Charter.“The language of the Charter, however, is in conflict with the provisions of the Minnesota State Constitution that there must be an allegation of malfeasance or nonfeasance in order to remove an official,” Kennedy stated. “The allegations in this matter do not meet that definition ­- so the recall petition should be denied.”Kennedy also stated he felt that if the council did accept the petition, councilman Husiman’s attorney could take the matter to District Court and would win a decision that the petition was not valid. Mayor Rick Scholtes was the lone vote against the motion to deny the petition.“I feel we need to follow our City Charter now,” Scholtes said. “And in the future change the Charter to follow the constitution.”Kennedy had stated earlier in the meeting that in the future the city of Blue Earth should amend the Charter to include language that is consistent to the Minnesota State Constitution.

https://www.fairmontsentinel.com/news/local-news/2021/04/07/blue-earth-denies-recall-petition/

This article has a little more meat on it:

BE Council denies recall petition

Vote is 6-1 after hearing attorney’s opinion on the legal issues

This is the part that is most important, the notion of malfeasance or non-feasance:

At the end of Kennedy’s four-page report, he stated the members of the recall committee on this matter had done everything that was required of them to institute the recall of the council member, following all the requirements set out in the City Charter.

“The language of the Charter, however, is in conflict with the provisions of the Minnesota State Constitution that there must be an allegation of malfeasance or nonfeasance in order to remove an official,” Kennedy stated. “The allegations in this matter do not meet that definition ­- so the recall petition should be denied.”

Once more with feeling… Ya say ya wanna do a recall, but I say NO! NO! NO!

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.

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.