Meeting Minutes of the Richmond City Council

Thursday December 16, 2010

Council Workshop

Item #1:  Call to Order 


Mayor Hemmesch called the meeting to order at 6:34 p.m. at Richmond City Hall and asked those present to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance.


Council Members noted as being present:  Mike Mathiasen, Andrea Nestor, Tim Paczkowski and Jeff Mackedanz.


Also present were:  Daniel Coughlin, City Administrator; Adam Ripple, City Attorney; Martin Bode, Finance Director; Gordon Dingmann, Public Work’s Director; Administrative Assistant Marilyn Zenner; Kathleen Murphy of Murphy Management Consultants; and Donald Kulzer, Resident.


Item #2:  Approval of Agenda


Mayor Hemmesch asked if there were any additions or corrections to the presented agenda.  None were noted.


Motion to Approve Agenda.  Motion by Mathiasen.  Seconded by Nestor.  Motion passed unanimously.


Item #3:  Approval of City Minutes of December 1, 2010.


Mayor Hemmesch asked if there were any additions or corrections to the draft meeting minutes.  No corrections were offered.


Motion to Approve the City Council Minutes of December 1, 2010 as Presented.  Motion by Mackedanz.  Seconded by Mathiasen.  Motion passed unanimously.


Item #4.  Consent Agenda.


Mayor Hemmesch read aloud the list of the following consent agenda items:


a.           Just and Correct Claims

b.           Purchase Requisitions / Allocations & Transfers

c.           Resolution 194-10 – Approval of Updated Copier Contract with Marco, Inc.

d.           Resolution 197-10 – Lawful Gambling Permit for Cold Spring Area Hockey Association on March 26, 2011 at Grandpa Jerry’s Bar & Grill

e.           Resolution 198-10 – Reappointment of Sheldon Lang to the Richmond EDA

f.            Resolution 199-10 – Approval of the November 2010 Journal Entries


Motion to Approve the Consent Agenda as Presented.  Motion by Nestor.  Seconded by Paczkowski.  Motion passed unanimously.


Item #5.  Annual Budget Hearing


After a general overview of the 2011 City of Richmond Budget by Administrator Coughlin in which he noted that the general fund levy would again be frozen at 2010 levels and the expenditure budget cut by 10% in anticipation of additional local government aid cuts in 2011, Mayor Hemmesch opened the meeting to take public comments at 6:43 p.m. 


Donald Kulzer of 145 Hall Avenue NW expressed concern over the valuation of his home and how it impacts his property taxes.  The Council said they understood his concerns and thanked him for bringing it to their attention.  They encouraged Mr. Kulzer bring his concerns to the Board of Equalization meeting in the spring where his valuation concerns could be addressed directly by the Assessor’s office.


Mayor Hemmesch asked if there were any more comments from the public regarding the proposed budget.  No other comments were received.  At 6:54 p.m. the Mayor declared the public hearing closed.


Motion to Approve Resolution 195-10 – Adoption of 2011 Budget and Associated Levy.  Motion by Paczkowski.  Seconded by Nestor.  Motion passed unanimously.


Mayor Hemmesch recessed the regular meeting at 6:55 p.m. in order for the Council to discuss the following workshop discussion items:


A.      City Administrator Search Process – Kathleen Murphy

Kathleen Murphy worked with the Council to create a plan to proceed with an executive search process.  The Administrator job description was updated slightly but all other aspects of the position in terms of title, responsibilities and compensation range were left as they presently exist.  Councilor Nestor assisted in crafting a well worded position opening announcement that would be published in area newspapers and the League of MN Cities job posting page on their website. 

It was agreed that the Council would establish a 5-member search committee which included two members of the council, two from the business community, and Paul Hetland, city administrator of Cold Spring who is well respected in the region for his knowledge of public administration issues and duties.  The search committee would interview around 5 candidates and they would forward the names of up to three finalists for the Council to interview for the final step of the process.  The Council reiterated its goal to have a new administrator in place by April.

B.      Review of 2011 Annual Resolution Appointments – Dan Coughlin

Administrator Coughlin reviewed the 2010 annual resolution with the Council and asked for their input on the various appointments and designations they wished to alter going into 2011.  The Council settled on the following appointments for 2011:

Police Personnel and Policy Advisory Committee – Mike Mathiasen and Tim Paczkowski

Planning Commission – Jeff Mackedanz

Parks and Recreation Commission – Tim Paczkowski

EDA – Mike Mathiasen & Jim Hemmesch

Human Resource Committee – Mike Mathiasen & Jeff Mackedanz

Tri-City Cable Commission – Marilyn Zenner and Maxine Weismann

Stearns County Municipal League Representative – Jim Hemmesch

Fire Relief Association Ex-Officio Members:  Jim Hemmesch, Martin Bode and the 2011 Fire Chief

Rocori Trail Construction Board Representatives:  Kevin Mooney and Tim Paczkowski (Jim Hemmesch, Alternate)

The Council noted that there were a number of appointments / acknowledgments in the annual resolution which referred to Administrator Coughlin.  They asked that the position title remain in those slots so that when the new administrator was hired it would be clear that they would be responsible for those listed areas.

C.     Discussion of 2011 Commission Appointments – Dan Coughlin

The Council discussed a desire to retool the makeup of the Parks & Recreation Commission in order to include representatives from active recreation groups such as the baseball, hockey and soccer associations.  The consensus was to have the Commission’s executive Director discuss options for updating the commission structure with the current commission chairman and for the Council to consider this matter again at an upcoming council workshop.

D.     Preview January 5, 2011 Council Meeting – Dan Coughlin

Administrator Coughlin briefly discussed how the Council wished to handled the “changing of the guard” process at the January 5th meeting.  He said that State Statues indicate that elected officials technically hold their positions until their replacements are certified and sworn into office and after the last two election cycles he has asked the departing members to sit in their council seats in order to help convene the meeting, approve the meeting minutes of the previous meeting, and then swap seats with those being sworn in.  The Administrator said that departing members are then recognized by the Mayor & Council for their service to the community.

Councilor Nestor indicated she would be in attendance at the next meeting and was happy to keep the changing of the guard tradition going.  The consent of the Council was to proceed with the transition process as had been done previously.

E.      Discussion Regarding Naming Martin Bode as Interim Administrator / ClerkAdam Ripple

With the upcoming departure of Administrator Coughlin, City Attorney Adam Ripple discussed the need for the Council to designate someone as the clerk for statutory reasons.  The Council unanimously agreed that Finance Director / Deputy Clerk Martin Bode should be named to that interim position and that his wages should be adjusted upward for that short service period to compensate him for the additional responsibilities and duties he would have to shoulder.

F.      Rural Service DistrictAdam Ripple / Dan Coughlin

Attorney Ripple reviewed the status of the rural service district discussions with the Council.  Administrator Coughlin provided a report on the draft map the Planning Commission had generated which outlined their thoughts on where the district boundary lines should be initially drawn.  The Council directed Attorney Ripple to work with City Engineer Randy Jenniges and other city staff in order to provide more land use map details for the proposed district and to report back to the Council at a future workshop meeting.

G.     Other Matters of Concern and Related Items:

Adam Ripple briefly discussed the legal services retainer.  The Council indicated they would discuss this matter further at a future meeting.

Mayor Hemmesch reported that he had met with the fire department members to continue having discussions regarding the future of the department and the attempt by the area townships to form their own department.  He highlighted the fact that statutes and regulations pertaining to fire relief associations were such that if the city were ever to agree to the demands of the townships to enter into a joint powers group with the townships holding controlling interest (for example), the current relief association and all of its current investments would have to cease and the funds put in a special account to pay the retirements of those vested.  He said that those with less than 10 years of service would lose all retirement benefits and would have to start over from the ground level with a new department. 

The Council discussed various issues related to the attempt of the townships to build a new fire hall and the apparent improper / illegal bidding process they were utilizing.  It was noted that a number of local contractors had expressed anger regarding bid awards being guaranteed to certain individuals even before the bid deadlines had been reached.  The Council reiterated their position that the city was moving on with the assumption that the townships were going to attempt their own fire and rescue service, and that the Council was simply going to proceed with plans of working with area cities and the individuals and organizations that sought to partner with the City regarding quality fire and rescue services.

Director Bode discussed the need for handicap accessibility upgrades to be done with the City Hall front entry.  He reminded the Council that the remaining grant funds from the Central Avenue project were able to be used to offset the costs of those improvements.  The Council referred this item to the additional purchase requisitions section of the regular meeting agenda.

Councilor Mackedanz and Councilor-Elect Scott Kron reported that they had attended a recent City of St. Martin council meeting in order to keep the lines of communication open between the two cities in regards to a possible sewer line connection from St. Martin to Richmond. 

Mayor Hemmesch noted that the Nick Keller / Snowball Cancer fundraising dinner would be held on December 17th and he encouraged council & staff to attend.

Item #6.  Additional Purchase Request, Allocation & Transfers


Mayor Hemmesch reconvened the regular council meeting.


Motion to Approve Additional Purchase Request of City Hall Front Entrance Door Handicap Accessibility Upgrades not to Exceed $8,000 and to Submit Invoices for Grant Reimbursement.  Motion by Mathiasen.  Seconded by Paczkowski.  Motioned passed unanimously.


Item #7  Consideration of Resolution 196-10 Naming Martin Bode as Interim Administrator / Clerk


Motion to approve Resolution 196-10.  Motion by Paczkowski.  Seconded by Mathiasen.  Motion passed unanimously.


Item #8  Other Matters of Concern and Related Items


Motion to approve Resolution 200-10 - Hiring Kathleen Murphy of Murphy Management Consultants to Provide Executive Search Services and Authorizing Her to Proceed with the Search Process as Listed in her Service Proposal Utilizing “Option A” which Calls for a Group of Three Finalists the Council will Interview at the End of the Search Process.  Motion by Mackedanz.  Seconded by Nestor.  Motion passed unanimously.


Councilor Nestor said she wanted to take a moment to express her thanks and appreciation to her colleagues on the Council and to the residents of Richmond for her four years on the Council.  She said that she felt the group had been successful in sorting through a number of difficult issues facing the City and that she was proud of the work that had been done.  The Councilor said that she would continue to be involved in the community with the EDA and Arts & Music Council and that she was looking forward to stepping down from the council if only to free up more time for her involvement in those other groups.



Mayor Hemmesch asked if there were any additional items for the Council to consider that evening.  Hearing no further comments, he asked for a motion to adjourn the meeting.


Motion to Adjourn.  Motion by Mathiasen.  Seconded by Paczkowski.  Motion passed unanimously.


Mayor Hemmesch declared the meeting adjourned at 9:26 p.m.




Respectfully Submitted,




Martin M. Bode

Finance Director/Deputy Clerk