The Northfield Human Rights Commission presented to a packed Council Chambers during last night’s Council work session to discuss Municipal ID’s. While the Mayor and most of the council were ready to move forward, Councilor DeLong urged caution as Northfield would be the first city in Minnesota to consider municipal ID’s. DeLong wanted further investigation into the actual cost of implementation, potential liability and what the laws are on data retention. Mayor Pownell said there are 3 main purposes of the ID, “to allow residents in the City to have access to a picture ID, that that’s really important no matter their age, their gender or their country of origin”. This includes the college students whose
student ID’s carry no weight within the City. International students must carry their passport to prove their identity and age. She continued, “it also signals to all residents that they belong in the City and we are all equals. Municipal ID also creates a more cohesive community and supports our local economy”. She cited businesses who could choose to accept the ID such as pharmacies and banks. The HRC spoke of what the ID is and is not. For example, it’s not a source of taxpayer benefits or would allow them to vote. HRC members Mar Valdecantos and Angelique Dietz gave the powerpoint, which I have posted on kymnradio.net. 2 – Municipal ID presentation Work Session City Council Sept 12 2017 Administrator Martig commented on implementation saying, “where is it issued? We do have, fortunately, a machine, preliminarily that we might be able to use that we use for city employees id’s. What’s the cost? What paperwork will we check?” They have sample ordinances as well. Questions such as are background checks done and if so, who does them? Is it a librarian who will decide if their foreign ID matches what they look like? What liability is there? There must also be proof of residency. There was talk last night that the LINK Center may be involved. Martig plans on bringing it back for a vote in late November/early December. According to wikipedia, there are 16 cities and/or counties that have municipal ID’s across the country. Most of them are on the coasts. Phoenix just voted 5 to 4 in favor of the ID which they’ll implement in Feb. 2018, more cities are voting yes. You can view the entire work session on the City’s website.
JoyRide a “huge success”
Many took advantage of a JoyRide Saturday night. Rice County Safe Roads Coalition, TZD coordinator Kathy Cooper said the pilot program to give Northfield residents a free ride home Saturday night from Defeat Days celebrations was a huge success. She commented that they had no idea how many would take advantage but were thrilled when there were 6 riders lined up at 10pm. The bus ran every 15 minutes for the next 4 hours. They took home 71 people. A Hiawathaland Transit bus with a driver was $600 for 4 hours. JoyRide is a program that’s been sponsored by the State of MN in various areas. Cooper added that next year they’d like to have 2 buses sponsored! They plan to add a billboard at the bus stop area next year. Sponsors included College City Beverage, Rice County Sheriff’s and Attorney’s offices, Northfield police, Northfield Hosptial and Clinics, Deb Purfeerst.
Nfld students outperform the Nation
Northfield Schools Superintendent Dr. Matt Hillmann gave a State of the Schools Address last week. He shared a comprehensive report that included some statistics, such as 84% of the 356 advanced placement tests taken at NHS in 2017, allowed students to qualify for college credit. Minnesota outpaces the national average and and Northfield outperforms the State. Hillmann added.that nearly 80% of students are in at least one Raider activity. A challenge will be implementing the 2nd phase of their social/emotional learning curriculum. The entire video of his address is on the Districts website.