By Teri Knight, News Director
The Northfield City Council was presented with the 2020-21 budget calendar by city staff. City Administrator Ben Martig encouraged the council to identify priority areas, including more of the city’s cost drivers such as personnel costs, by their July work session; he also suggested that they move through policy direction more quickly so that when November approaches they “pretty much” know what they plan to present to the public. Martig said the city is also planning on more engagement with the public; in particular, improving on information sharing at key points. Mayor Rhonda Pownell said this is an area the city has been trying to improve on and, as they work on action on their strategic
plan, it’s important to connect that with the community, adding “The work of the city has to then integrate into what our budget actually is so we can get the work of the city done.” She encourages people to sign up for Polco, saying the city wants a broad representation of the community to be accessing that tool. Polco is an online platform designed to increase civic engagement, improve government transparency, and inform municipal governments of constituents’ input. It’s easy to sign up for. Google P-o-l-c-o, polco and you register. Your information is kept private. There are a number of questions you can answer or skip and you can add comments to your answers.
NAFRS gets 25 candidates for firefighter positions
The Northfield Area Fire and Rescue Service held an open house for firefighter recruitment. Fire Chief Gerry Franek reports they had 25 candidates, and a number of families toured the fire hall and talked with staff and board members. From this point, there will be cognitive testing on June 1, with a makeup day of testing on June 3. Those who pass a minimum requirement will move on to physical testing on June 15. Franek said the testing is similar to what they have to do on the job, “and I thought that’s the best way to do it. Putting hoses together, balancing on a beam, advancing a fire stream, dragging a dummy, carrying things and that type of thing. So if you can do this in a certain prescribed time you make the cut.” After passing the physical test, candidates are interviewed, then NAFRS will do background checks. Selections will be made in August.
Lippert happy with education funding and provider tax, says legislators “acting like adults”
The legislative session has ended. District 20B Representative Todd Lippert commented that now the Senate is in overtime, as a special session is in play. As for their agreement so far, he said, “I feel good about overall. The key takeaways there are we have solid education, we have 2% per pupil increase for both years which will go a long ways towards solidifying funding for our schools, support for special education funding. They kept the provider tax which keeps access to healthcare for a million Minnesotans.” He added that the Senate saw the Democratic Governor, Democratic Speaker of the House and the Republican President of the Senate, “coming together for a deal, acting like adults, showing us democracy at work so that’s good for us.”.Lippert said this is a real victory for Minnesota. Both sides have significant wins and had to give on some priorities. Governor Tim Walz intends to get agreements completed by tomorrow morning.
St. Dominic gets STEM grant and new logo
St. Dominic School was awarded a $7500 grant through the Minnesota Independent School Forum for their STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) program at the 2019 Minnesota Private and Independent Education Awards on April 28, 2019. Advancement Director Katie Reak said this STEM grant will specifically fund STEM classes in grades 6-8 as they are expanding their Middle School program to full-time in the 2019-2020 school year. Click for the full press release.