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 Mayor Dinnel Works Through Controversial Issue

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PostSubject: Mayor Dinnel Works Through Controversial Issue   Tue May 04, 2010 7:11 am

Mayor Dinnel had his hands full at last nights meeting with many parties seeking entitlements but there is a lack of money for all that claimed these entitlements.

The city gave a condtional approval of hiring Lucinda McMahon in the Media Center. It is hoped that the county would pick up the difference.

There were about 45 people present consisting of family members, friends, Chamber members and EDA members. Many spoke on behalf of Vicki Oakes. Her position was eliminated so that the Lakeside Park project could be completed at the last city council meeting.

Many spoke on a variety of positive things Ms. Oakes has done for the community. One item was missing. What was the alternative funding for the Park? Not one who spoke came up with a viable alternative for funding for the project.

The city attorney pointed out that the EDA was a separate entity from the city and pointed to alternatives that were legally correct.

It was apparent through this discussion that the real problem was EDA administration. It turns out that EDA had promised to pay for half of Ms. Oakes salary but apparently former City Clerk, Dave Lang overlooked this payment. Burt Nypen also failed to bring this up at EDA meetings and now the EDA was attempting to make corrective steps to correct the problem.

It was also disclosed that part of the funding for Ms. Oakes position was to be from a grant that created the position. Unfortunately that money was outsourced to Ivanhoe, Minnesota, thus creating the shortage of funds. Why do we continue to outsource to Ivanhoe?

As the citizens complained to the council it was very apparent that this city council was attempting to correct problems created by lucrative spending habits during the past years. It was apparent that the EDA has lacked leadership and committment to remain within budget restraints.

I was impressed with the fine and even-handed method the mayor handled the meeting, the reasoning of Angela Doren and the conservative budget approach of Mike Dorry. Steve Berkner was able to fund Lakeside Park and also pointed to mistakes that were made in the past.

The decision to retain Ms. Oakes part time to be funded by the EDA appeared to be a fiscally responsible decision.
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PostSubject: The EDA should open its books to the public.   Tue May 04, 2010 10:29 pm

scratch One thing, that I am told was brought up at the meeting, is curious to me. The EDA has repeatedly come to the city to pay for one project after another. How is it that the EDA suddenly shows up with an account of, what was it, $60,000? The EDA was going to use some of this this to pay Vicki Oakes for working 19 hours a week. Are they going to use any of it to pay for the park so the city doesn't have to? It seems to me not to long ago we reported about an EDA meeting where Blair Johnson stated one of the bank accounts was overdrawn and they were going to borrow money from Fairway View. Now we find an account with $60,000 in it? What else do they have that they don't know about? Suspect

For over six months former City Administrator David Lang refused to produce a Profit and Loss Statement or Balance Sheet for the EDA. The fact is that none exists. Why didn't David Lang admit that instead of stalling? The EDA has been financially accountable to no one. They mix their books in with the city and therefore what they spend is not visible. Their accounts should be separate from the city so that there is no mistake as to what is theirs and how they spend it. janitor

This latest shenanigan with money in an account miraculously appearing should be a wake up call to the City that the EDA needs to be audited separately and they need to have a Balance Sheet and Profit and Loss Statement. No business would survive without one. These people have proven that they are fiscally irresponsible. Until the EDA fully discloses their finances to the public the city should not pay one more dime to them. Who knows how much else they have misplaced. guilty



There is another issue that appeared at the City Council meeting and that was all the people there. That will be addressed on another thread. See Ortonville Big Stone Lake Area Chamber working for the government?

_________________

Our citizens may be deceived for awhile, and have been deceived;
but as long as the presses can be protected,
we may trust to them for light.
- Thomas Jefferson
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