7 p.m. February 25, 2013

Red Wing City Hall

Tonight’s the night — be there or be square!  Tell the Red Wing City Council what you think about having the “voice of frac sand mining” as Mayor of Red Wing.  Should he be allowed to remain in office until April Fools Day?,,,,,,

Tonight the Red Wing City Council will be addressing the Mayor’s offer to resign as of April 1, 2013.  April Fools?  I hope not.

If you can’t attend the meeting, CLICK HERE FOR LIVE WEBCAST:

IS HIS RESIGNATION IN WRITING? There’s no reason to wait so long — he should resign immediately.  He should resign before the legislative session goes any further.  He should resign before any meetings where he’d be going to represent the City of Red Wing.  He’s tainted.  This is about character, and he’s had many opportunities to display his character, and what I’ve seen is disturbing.  If he doesn’t resign, he should be booted out, as the City Council has power to do under the City Charter.


The agenda item about Dennis Egan begins at 36:13.

Dennis Egan’s comments 51:26 – 1:03:55.

Throughout, he remains resolutely firm in stating there is no problem with his actions, and very long-windedly states when put on the spot, that he will not consider resigning.  No direct answers.

Egan begins not by addressing his own egregious behavior, but by objecting to emails sent that questioned the ethics and motives of City Administrator Kay Kuhlman, that it was “out of bounds and out of line, unfair and uncalled for.”  WOW.  Here’s what was in the STrib, from Egan, about talking to Kuhlman about his frac sand mining lobbying job:

Egan said he talked to City Administrator Kay Kuhlmann before signing his employment contract last week with the sand council. He declined to say how much the group is paying him.

“She didn’t raise any red flags at that time,” said Egan, who was re-elected in November to a four-year term.

Kuhlmann did not return a phone call Tuesday afternoon.

And in the Post Bulletin, he also raises Kuhlman’s involvement:

Egan said he informed Red Wing City Administrator Kay Kuhlmann of the job offer prior to accepting; Kuhlmann was not available for comment.

He seems to be using her to hid behind, that “She didn’t raise any red flags at that time,” and that he “informed” her “prior to accepting.” Maybe that conversation didn’t happen, she wasn’t informed, and she’s collateral damage.  Maybe he’s dropping her name to help bolster his position.  Whatever occurred, he’s putting her in a bad position.  What was that conversation, the subject, the date, what all did he disclose to Kuhlman?  The City Council and the public should know.

Based on the Kuhlman reference in the STrib and Post Bulletin, here’s a Comment of mine on the Post Bulletin site:

Hmmmmm, my comment disappeared… here we go again: It’s not just Egan’s duplicity that’s on the Council agenda Monday, the city’s legislative position on frac sand mining is also to be decided. There’s a lot of passive and minimizing language in this article. Egan didn’t “find himself” lobbying for frac sand mining interests, he put himself there. He didn’t disclose to the Council, nor apparently did Kuhlman. Administrator Kuhlman is not an attorney or does a City Administrator have any authority regarding conflict-of-interest issues — to not raise the impropriety of Egan’s actions brings Kuhlman’s ethics into question (though we don’t know much about their discussion). Recusal by Egan is not sufficient. It’s time to resign. That he doesn’t regard it as improper is astounding. Egan may not care, but this constituent and many others do. Maybe after Monday’s City Council meeting he’ll have a sense of the ethical issues and the line he’s crossed.

The bottom line is that Not-soon-enough-to-be-ex-Mayor Dennis Egan did not disclose to the City Council.  If Not-soon-enough-to-be-ex-Mayor Dennis Egan did disclose to City Administrator Kay Kuhlman, she did not disclose to the City Council.  If he’s tossing her name around to bolster his position and he didn’t disclose his position to Kay Kuhlman as he said he did, then it’s even worse for him.  Because he raised this issue so defensively right out of the gate (CLICK HERE, at 51:26), I think there’s more going on here.  What’s the rest of the story?

This is about character.  This is about Dennis Egan’s value system.  Dennis Egan has demonstrated his character and value system, and he is not fit to be Mayor.  He should not represent the City in any way.

Timing is important.  The legislature is in session and will be until after April 1, 2013.  Egan should not be Mayor while a registered lobbyist for the frac sand mining industry.  I believe there is a national conference in March that Egan is to attend representing the City of Red Wing, and if so, the City should send someone else.

Keep those emails coming to the Red Wing City Council members — tell them what you think of this situation, let them know whether you think Egan should remain in office until April Fools Day (in previous posts, I’d not copied the “j” of — APOLOGIES — it’s correct below):,,,,,,

Tonight — 7 p.m. February 25, 2013 at Red Wing City Hall.  Be there or be square.

Not only is it Hizzonor’s Birthday today, but he now says he lives in Red Wing!  Imagine that!  Maybe he’s learning something in his old age?

More importantly, today both the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the Minnesota Department of Health said in Comments to Winona County that a full blown Environmental Impact Statement is needed for the Dabelstein Yoder frac sand mine proposed in Winona County.

Minnesota Dept of Health Comment Letter February 6, 2013

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Comment Letter February 4, 2013

This snippet from the MPCA letter pretty much says it all:

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) staff believes that the information provided in the EAWs is insufficient to fully identify and assess the environmental effects of the projects.  The MPCA believes the necessary information can be obtained and evaluated most effectively by preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).  Consequently, we respectfully recommend that Winona County make a positive declaration on the need for an EIS for both projects and include within the scope of each EIS appropriate studies to abtain the lacking information as provided in Minn. R. 4410.1700, Subp. 2a, Item A.

The MPCA focused on “phased and connected actions,” looking at the multiple projects in the immediate area, operated by Minnesota Sands, LLC, and “cumulative potential impacts” addressing other projects that may interact with this one.  MPCA also listed many items where there was “insufficient” information.  What’s particularly surprising is that the applicants didn’t address air emissions, something that is so obvious, and which was an issue in the North Branch mining processing plant that was fined and shut down for operating without a permit.

The Dept. of Health was particularly interested in water,  including wells and groundwater quality, and again, air quality.  The MDH recommended a “Health Impacts Assessment” which would be a good way to characterize the issues and impacts on human health — as a part of the larger EIS — not in place of it.

This is an encouraging start.  Two state agencies have recognized the potential for significant impacts associated with frac sand mining.  Now let’s get to work and “do some digging.”  Can ya dig it?

KARE 11 was down here in Red Wing yesterday, and they caught up with Alan.  “It makes a laughing stock of Red Wing, that the Mayor would do this, would think that he can get away with this.”  Here’s the video — City Council President Lisa Bayley said it very succinctly, “you have to choose one or the other.”  Showing a big file of emails, she said  “You have to be very, very careful, those two things just cannot touch.”  Egan looks like he’s feeling the heat, steadfastly saying there’s no problem, that “the people of Red Wing knew I lobbied for controversial subjects when they voted for me.”  “These mines, those family owned Minnesota businesses, are not looking at mining the bluff, they’re not looking at mining the area.”

maidenrocksand_stribPhoto of Maiden Rock frac sand mining operation across the river

Oh, right, Mayor Egan… get a clue!  This is NOT acceptable.  It’s time to resign.

MN mayor’s new ‘frac’ job stirring up controversy

Keep those emails coming to the Red Wing City Council members — tell them what you think of this:,,,,,,

And copy the Mayor and City Administrator too:,

Faux News 9 has a poll — weigh in!

Faux News – Red Wing mayor hired for frac sand lobbying poll!

On Minnesota Public Radio today:

Red Wing mayor lobbies for silica sand industry