The Northfield Charter Commission voted to amend the Charter adding language that would require the Mayor to report once during their term on the operations and administration of the City, to the Council. While the Charter already provides for that, there was no requirement as to when. Right now, the amendment reads that it would be before the last day of the 3rd year of their term. A public hearing was held this week. Mayor Pownell commented Wednesday morning, “the Council’s now being given an opportunity to weigh in. Is this a good idea, not good idea, do we want to give different direction to the Charter Commission?”.
The amendment seems simple but there’s a history of resistance to any opinions the Commission has shared with Council. Past Chair Tim Clack resigned after attempts to communicate faltered. He cited “Council behavior and the majority’s complete lack of respect for the Charter”. The same council members were seated, Pownell being a Councilor-at-large at the time. New Chair Lance Heisler wrote in an email that it is his goal to change that culture while preserving the independence of the charter commission. Pownell said, “I’ve seen in the past where it’s been far more collaborative, you meet in work sessions, you really talk it through and there’s significant work in terms of working together because ultimately you really need both bodies to be working well together and to really vet what is our Constitution”. In the email, Heisler, said Mayor Pownell may be referring to an unwritten process or protocol adding that, since the first step in the process is to try to get their consent, this makes sense and in the future that is how he intends to proceed. However this was not mentioned in the 2 Charter meetings Pownell attended where they discussed the amendment. After his initial introduction of the amendment to Council July 11th, he reached out to each council member. Only one (Nakasian) did not speak with him. Heisler said, “I believe it is important to keep open lines of communication with the mayor and council, to invite their input, and to work together to the extent possible, but the council does NOT tell the charter commission what to do. We are a separate and distinct commission not appointed by nor approved by the mayor, the council, nor the city administrator”. My questions and Heisler’s email: Heisler email
AA rating means $ savings
The City of Northfield has a very impressive Double A credit rating. Administrator Ben Martig commented that that makes a big difference in selling bonds. He said the non-taxable rate they got for the street bonds is 1.8%. He said it’s a tremendous rate and we’re fortunate the Feds haven’t increased the interest rate. It allowed them to lower the actual amount of the 2017 street reclamation bond from $970,000 to $945,000.
DJJD Ambassador coronation tonight
The 2018 Defeat of Jesse James Days Ambassadors coronation is tonight at 6 o’clock at the Northfield Middle School Auditorium. Nine young women are vying for the 3 positions. They were each briefly interviewed on the Wayne Eddy Affair August 3rd. You can find them HERE. The Jr. Ambassadors will also be chosen. Ten children between 6 and 8 years old are in the running. This is a button event. Click on the above link to djjd.org for more information.