Graham and Zweifel will seek re-election
Mayor Graham was unable to make it in this morning for his council recap but did call to say he will seek a 2nd term as Mayor. His seat along with 3 council seats are up for election this year. Councilor at Large, David Ludescher, Ward 2 David DeLong and Ward 3, Erica Zweifel. Zweifel came in studio this morning. Click HERE to listen to the full interview. This would be her 3rd term if she wins. So far no word from Councilors DeLong or Ludescher. Filing begins May 17th through May 31st. I have a link to the City’s website for further information on filing. You must be at least 21 and live in the Ward whose seat is up. The Councilor-at-large position is open to all residents. UPDATE: in an email, Councilor Ludescher said he will know for sure if he’s going to run at the end of the day on May 31st.
Hospital Audit clean but GASB gives heartburn
The Northfield Council met last night for a work session. Auditor Rob Schile presented the Northfield Hospital’s audit. He commented that they were looking for misstatements, errors or numbers that are wrong. “We didn’t identify any during the course of the Audit”. Their financial records and reporting processes were clean. He said not a lot of audits get to that level especially considering the complexity of the healthcare system. Schile added there was a significant impact with new public pension accounting rules GASB68 – Gov’t Accounting Standards Board, “it reduced their net assets and net worth of the organization by $27 million”. Ludescher asked what the challenges are with GASB. Hosp. Pres. Steve Underdahl said it scared them when they first heard that number but right now, PERA which is affected, is actually healthy. Underdahl said, “my understanding of these calculations is that part of what makes them kind of unrealistic is that they make the assumption that if, on any given Thursday, we said all stop, pay up that’s what these dollar amounts would be and that’s just not likely to happen”. The changes to GASB are what prompted talk of the hospital pulling away from the City. Underdahl will be in studio tomorrow. For website: The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) issued new public pension accounting rules (commonly referred to as GASB 68) that will take effect in fiscal year 2015 for local and state governments. The most significant change is that a “net pension liability” will be calculated by PERA’s actuary, and a pro-rata share of the liability will be reported on each employer’s “Balance Sheet” in the government-wide financial statements. This liability is not reported in governmental funds and will not have an effect on fund balance. A two-page document explaining the impact of these new requirements can be found here.
Budgets cuts unlikely for 16/17 school year
The School Board talked budget history this week. Superintendent Dr. Chris Richardson says schools were receiving about $1,000 more per student in 2003, State Aid at that time, they received $9713 per student in State Aid. Calculated for 2016 it’s $8897. He says that’s why operating levies have doubled and more around the State. Northfield passed their last levy in 2011. At that time they figured they’d be good for 3 to 4 years. Now 5 years past, “and we’re really not looking at making cuts for 2016/17 but beyond 16/17, it’s very likely that the Board is going to have to come back and look at budget reductions”. The 2016/17 general fund budget will be presented at the May 23rd Board meeting. All the budgets will get formally approved at the June meeting.
Nfld. BTYR honored at Twins game
Northfield’s Beyond the Yellow Ribbon organizers were recognized by the Twins organization last night before the ball game. Virginia Kaczmarek was part of a group of 15 who worked so hard to get the designation for our City and continue to help our veterans and their families. She said “last night was an opportunity to take a breathe, smile and enjoy life a bit. Life is about moments that make you happy and full.” I have a link to Northfield’s Beyond the Yellow Ribbon on our website, kymnradio.net. If you’re a veteran or military family member with a need, they have a list of resources. If you would like to donate or have a service to offer, you can find out more information on their website.
Click below to listen to the 5/11/16 NEWS podcast:
Listen for news updates on-air at 6, 7, 8, Noon, 3 and 5