By Teri Knight, News Director
The Dundas City Council formalized the hiring of Jenelle Teppen as their new City Administrator. With a salary of $80,000 a year, Teppen will come on board on June 3, 2019, days after current administrator John McCarthy “officially” retires. The council also approved what’s called a “phased retirement” agreement with McCarthy. He said, “That allows a person to work with the community or the government they work with to help transition the new person into the position.” McCarthy commented that due to a number of issues including the possible incorporation of Bridgewater Township, having his institutional knowledge will benefit Teppen as she takes over on June 3.
FiftyNorth and Bridgewater incorporation on Northfield’s work session
The Northfield City Council will hear from representatives of FiftyNorth tonight at their weekly work session. FiftyNorth’s Board of Directors formed a future planning committee and reached out to their membership focusing on programming and space needs at the Northfield Community Resource Center, which houses FiftyNorth and is city-owned. The current space will change as the school district relocates its early childhood education program to Greenvale Elementary after the new school is built. FiftyNorth intends to hire a consultant to assist them in space planning and cost estimates.They’re asking the council for input and support and, to a broader degree, will discuss their lease agreement with the city. Council will also be discussing the incorporation of Bridgewater Township. Assistant City Attorney Robert Scott will be presenting a summary of the statutory proceedings. He and City Administrator Ben Martig will talk about next steps as they relate to Northfield’s interests. And finally, the council will hear an update from staff on the Strategic Action Plan. Council meetings begin at 6 p.m.; they are open to the public, however, there is no public comment taken for work session items either at the meeting or online. Administrator Martig will be in the studio tomorrow morning at 7:20 a.m.
Draheim discusses “revenue source” in opioid crisis
Minnesota District 20 Senator Rich Draheim serves on the state’s opioid crisis committee. He commented that it’s the tougher of the three committees he’s on, explaining, “Because it’s creating a new revenue source, so a tax or fee. And as a Republican, that’s always hard to support that.” The fee is on the drug companies. There’s also the question of where they spend the money that comes in, about $20 million a year. The Republican plan is to divvy it up among all the state counties with a small portion going to Native American communities. He added that the last piece of the puzzle would be creating a commission with stakeholders all over the state deciding what programs get the rest of the funding, “so kind of a three-prong approach.” The difference between their bill and the Democrats’ is the Republicans would have a sunset on it due to several lawsuits currently in the works. So that, if there’s a payout, the Republicans would drop the current $20 million collected to $13 million. Democrats would keep the current amount and give “fully half” to the Native American community. Draheim said, “Which is very important but there are 100,000, approximately, Native Americans in the state and we have 5.6 million people so we want to spread it out based on population and abuse.” Currently a pharmaceutical company pays just $235 per year to operate in Minnesota. For comparison, a bar and/or restaurant pays closer to $5,000 per year. Republicans would charge the drug companies the same. Draheim said they’ll continue to work on this bill.