Just after noon yesterday, Northfield Officers responded to a vehicle crash involving a pedestrian. A vehicle traveling south on Division near Woodley, struck a postal worker crossing the street. Deputy Chief Mark Dukatz said 46 year old Matthew Swanson was not in a crosswalk when 90 year old Barbara Shefveland struck him. He hit the hood and windshield, then came down when the driver immediately stopped. Swanson was transported to Northfield Hospital, with non-life threatening injuries. Dukatz said it didn’t appear that he’d broken anything.
Shefveland was not cited at the scene, as the incident is being investigated. Dukatz said because Swanson, “crossed at an angle in the middle of the road”. Dukatz is waiting for the City Attorney to decide if there should be a citation for the driver. The area was closed for about 20 minutes and traffic rerouted.
A hit&run on 19 and a rear-end collision on I-35
Another crash reported on Hwy 19 east of I-35 is being investigated. The Northfield News reports that a vehicle struck a pick-up around 4:30 yesterday, causing the truck to take the ditch and then fled the scene. According to Rice County Sheriff Troy Dunn, the driver of the vehicle that allegedly caused the crash was apprehended by law enforcement. No other details are available yet. There were no injuries and no one taken to the hospital. In another crash reported by State Patrol, two were taken to District One Hospital after they were struck from behind by a pick-up truck traveling north on i-35 and hwy 60 just after 4pm. The injuries are non life-threatening.
A Charter with no Teeth?
The City of Northfield’s Charter includes a rule called the “Right of Recall”. Current Chair of the Commission, Lance Heisler explains that, we can, based on a petition signed by as few as 5 citizens, can begin a process to remove an elected official that they believe may be guilty of malfeasance or “nonfeasance“. Now comes the part about enforceability. He said, “we have this great document that’s specifically tailored to our City but there’s no internal enforcement authority built into our Charter, and so the issue always is if the Charter is being violated, how does that violation get addressed”. Heisler says they’re trying to find a balance that doesn’t disrupt government operations yet, also makes sure the Charter isn’t just lip service. The problem is, if a provision is on the books but ignored, “that weakens the confidence in the entire document, in my judgment”. There have been rumblings to simple drop the Charter altogether. Heisler believes we should stay a Charter City because he “really values the freedom that we have to tailor this document for our own specific needs”. While the idea is to work with the Council, they repeatedly did not want to hear opinions from the Charter on other contentious items, and have yet to agree to language regarding the Mayoral oversight we reported yesterday. Charter Secretary Scott Oney said there will be a meeting between Council and the Charter sometime the week of Aug. 13th. Heisler’s full interview is online at kymnradio.net.
Absentee voting available
Ballots are now available for eligible voters wishing to vote by absentee ballot for the Primary Election being held August 14th. Voters in Rice County can vote by absentee by mail or in person. Go to the Secretary of State website or Rice County website. You can also go to Northfield City Hall. They’re open daily business hours and will also be open on Saturday, August 11th from 10am to 3pm and Monday the 13th until 5pm.