The Farmington City Council will vote tonight on a separation agreement with longtime Police Chief Brian Lindquist. And many citizens are not happy about it. According to the Star Tribune, Lindquist is being asked to step down due to what the mayor and the chief called personality conflicts, though the nature of the conflicts isn’t clear. Mayor Todd Larson said Lindquist didn’t choose to leave but wasn’t fired either. The agreement states that Lindquist will resign with his last day August 24th. There is a monetary portion to the agreement and
also a line that reads, “Lindquist releases all of employees claims against the employer that he now has, whether or not he knows about them”. The Chief told the Strib, “I thought I was doing a good job. I think the citizens thought I was doing a good job. Twelve years as chief, no
discipline, no troubles, safe community … I don’t know, what else you can do?” Lindquist has been with Farmington’s police department for 20 years and served as chief for 12 years. An online petition through Change.org has over 2355 signatures by 11 o’clock this morning. According to the petition, the organizer, Andy Schmidt, the Mayor and Councilor Donnelly disagree with letting the Chief Lindquist go. Schmidt hopes to get up to 300 people at tonight’s City Council meeting to support Lindquist. That meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Farmington City Hall. Larson told the Strib that he didn’t know of any complaints filed against the Chief: “I’ve worked with him for 10 years and I have nothing but positive things to say.” He added that he was “bummed out”. The city will hire an interim chief and then begin searching for a new Chief. “It’s been sort of a whirlwind,” Lindquist said. “I don’t know if I quite understand it yet.” You can view tonight’s meeting live online. The agreement, with link below, states that the “The City Council desires new leadership in the department to move the department into the future”. Note the date of the draft. Separation_Agreement_-_Final_draft_7-19-18
Fossum says courts “need more resources”
Court calendars are so crowded it’s hard to get cases to trial, says Rice County Attorney John Fossum. He said, “when we reset them and reset them and reset them, victims get upset and quit wanting to cooperate. For me, I would like to look for a solution where we could have cases tried in a reasonable time”. If the accused demand a speedy trial demand, they’re supposed to be able to get it in 60 days. But, over and over, he says it doesn’t happen. The question is how do they upgrade the court system to do what our constitution says. Fossum’s solution is to provide more resources, which means talking to legislators for that kind of funding. He added that for 40 years, they’ve relied on 90% of cases settling and that’s just not sustainable, as some cases must go to trial.
Nfld Council meets after 4 weeks off
The Northfield Council hasn’t met for a regular meeting since July 17th. Tomorrow night’s meeting will include four presentations. There are 8 items on their consent agenda. These are items that get no public discussion and are approved with one single vote, unless a Council member requests an item be moved to the Regular agenda for discussion. Included is a response to the Charter Commission’s allegation that the City violated the Charter in regard to the Fairfield Inn & Suites project wherein the Council approved a number of business incentives. In a letter to the Charter Commission, City Attorney Chris Hood, tells them they have no authority over the Council. There are 2 items on the Regular agenda, including adding Paid Parental Leave to City employee benefits. Go to the City’s website ci.northfield.mn.us and look under City Council. As you scroll down the page you’ll see Meetings. Click there and you’ll find the agenda along with links to materials regarding each item. You will also find a space for eComments. That link is open for public comment on any item through noon on the day of the council meeting.