Today’s news update | The CVB, 2013 Rules of Business and Work Plan on agenda; Bly on budget; Test drive the City’s new website

 The CVB, 2013 Rules of Business and Work Plan on agenda

The City Council meets tonight in closed session at 6 o’clock to discuss union negotiations.  They’ll then meet for a work session at 7.  The agenda will start with a discussion they didn’t get to last week.  The structure of the Convention and Visitors Bureau.  It has been run by the Chamber since 1987.  The last council considered splitting up marketing duties.  Board members of the CVB will be on hand to discuss their vision.  The council will go over 2013 Rules of Business and Work Plan.  They’ll start to prioritize projects and possibly give direction to staff.  City Administrator Tim Madigan sent an email to councilors asking for their opinions on what issues are important to them.  What items don’t get discussed will carry over to their Council retreat scheduled for the 29th.  Madigan said there would be an outside facilitator and they’ll start with an ice-breaker.  Council had some suggestions for the retreat which they will flesh out tonight.  The meeting will be streamed live online at kymnradio.net.

Bly on budget

District 20b representative David Bly had open heart surgery just weeks before being sworn in.  Yesterday he spoke with Jeff Johnson saying that he was feeling much better but taking it easy so as not to over-do.  The Governors budget was released this morning.  Bly will be involved in a joint meeting with the Senate and Governor Dayton to listen and give feedback.  Later he’ll meet with other individual committees.  Commenting on the budget, Bly said that he is hoping Dayton will increase education funding and he’s also interested in Dayton’s Health Exchange.  Tax reform has also been a topic for Dayton.  Bly says Minnesota has one of the most complex tax systems in the country and it will be a challenge to reform.  You can contact Bly at davidbly.com.

16 years for man who plotted Dakota County Attorney’s murder

The man who plotted to kill Dakota County Attorney Jim Backstrom has been sentenced to 16 years.  50 year old John S. Woodward plotted the murder while in prison on drug charges, blaming Backstrom, a judge and a drug associate for his incarceration.  Had he just done his time, he would’ve been released in March of 2014.   Woodward was convicted in 2007 for felony drug crimes, including selling methamphetamine.  A jury in Rice County District Court in Faribault convicted Woodward in December of conspiracy to commit first-degree premeditated murder against Backstrom.  Woodward will have to serve at least ⅔ of his sentence before he’s eligible for release.

Test drive the City’s new website

The City of Northfield invites you to test drive their new website.  It’s not yet live but is ready for preview at City Hall.  They’re asking for community input.  Website open houses are schedule for this Thursday from 9am to 4pm in the IT room on the 2nd floor.  Two more are scheduled for next week.  Monday the 28th from 9am to 4pm and Tuesday the 29th from 5pm to 7pm.  If you can’t make it during those hours, you may email your suggestions to Elizabeth.Wheeler@ci.northfield.mn.us .  The news site will feature a community wide events calendar, an automatic bill pay function for paying utility bills, a feature that allows you to register suggestions, concerns and questions AND to track the city’s responses. The new site is designed to search and find information on any City project in just one or two clicks! The site promises to literally put information on City projects and policies “at the fingertips” of the public – and to make it easier for the community to be informed and engaged in the work of the city.  No previous computer experience is required – the site is easy to use for new users. But staff will be on hand at the open houses to introduce folks to the site, and to field suggestions and questions.

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