The Northfield Council voted unanimously to offer the Community Development Director position to Mitzi Baker. Baker comes from Rochester where she worked in the Planning Department for 22 years, rising to the Director Position in 2014. She gave a powerpoint presentation last night outlining her career and accomplishments. Baker essentially reported to the City of Rochester, Olmsted County and the Transportation Board. After Baker left the room, the Council discussed moving forward. Administrator Martig commented, “gives us an opportunity with a pretty high caliber candidate, somebody who worked her way up in a large organization in a community that’s going through a lot of dramatic changes. You don’t work your way up in a complex organization with a number of staff without having some skills
and abilities”. DeLong asked about her Administrative Leave and resulting resignation. Martig commented that she was honest and forthcoming about issues within the multiple entities she worked with and the changing dynamics of the complex environment. A final background check will be done and, barring any issues, Mitzi Baker will start her new position on December 3rd. Mayor Pownell said this morning, “so I’m just so excited to have her on board. She’s going to be a great team player for our City Staff. Her perspectives, her values, she knows and understands Northfield, I think, already. They’ll be key players that she’ll need to get to know but she’s going to be such a tremendous asset”. Council praised Martig on his process for hiring which included key players such as those on our Boards and Commissions. DeLong even suggesting creating a policy based on Martig’s process for hiring.
Dundas Dome gets more time to get things done – Hester St. parking restrictions to come
Earlier this Summer, the City of Dundas spoke with the owners of the Dundas Dome regarding required work such as enhanced landscaping. Administrator John McCarthy said the submission was finally done but the work is not complete. Some changes to grading meant changes to the plantings. Additionally, there have been issues with their parking area. McCarthy said, “the grading below wasn’t prepared properly and they had problems with their parking lot deteriorating really fast, it basically fell apart in less than a year”. Dundas council gave them another extension to complete the work required but they also asked for additional security to make sure the job is finished. The parking lot must be complete by October 1, 2020. The Dome is on Cannon Rd. which was subject to an improvement project at a cost of $348,000. The Dome owns three of the parcels and will be assessed over $30,000. A public hearing on assessments will be held November 13th at 7pm in City Hall.
Rice County Commissioners approved banning parking on the north side of Hester Street between 2nd and Railway Street due to increased traffic at Chapel Brewing. It’s a county road. Signage is coming.
Flex time working as “destresser”
The Northfield School district implemented a Flex Schedule for the High School this year. Superintendent Dr. Matt Hillmann said it’s the first schedule change in 41 years to the school which gives some flex time in the middle of the day, offering options for the students ranging from, “more kids can just use the time to do their homework,to a time where they can be with their friends where they can do some destressing activities like a little singalong or some very serious things like tackling issues such as mental health”. At the end of the first quarter they’ll survey, specifically on the Flex time. So far, word in the halls is that the kids like it.