Mayor intends to serve out term; Council votes 6-0 calling for his resignation, keys, office space, further investigation by County Attorney

Northfield City Council Audience in Council chambers Mayor Lee Lansing

Before Mayor Lee Lansing recused himself from running this morning’s Northfield City Council meeting, he read a brief statement announcing his intent to serve out his term. Mayor Pro-tem Kris Vohs took over the meeting (left photo) and Lansing took a seat in the audience (center).

Lansing then read a longer statement (right) during the open mic part of the meeting. After 18 or so citizens spoke to the council during open mic, councilors took turns explaining their rationale for supporting the resolution calling for him to resign.

The council then voted unanimously for the resolution (see pages 7-9 of packet PDF) which includes having the Mayor vacate his office at city hall and turn over his keys, and that “a copy of the Everett Report be sent to the County Attorney for review to determine if Mayor Lansing’s conduct violated state law.”

Those three paragraphs sound very boring. There was considerable drama throughout this meeting.  The audio is well worth listening to.

Click play to listen. 1 hour 53 minutes. Or download this 52MB MP3.

2:15 – Lansing’s statement of intent to serve out term

3:55 – Discussion of Everett Law fees

11:00 – Start of discussion on the resolution

12:15 – Lansing at open mic

14:30 – Interruption of Lansing by Davis; audience yelling to allow Lansing to continue

17:20 – Interruption of Lansing by Cashman; more audience yelling

18:30 – Interruption of Lansing by Vohs

19:00 – Olivia Frey

21:30 – Victor Summa

22:45 – David Roberts

24:55 – Peggy Prowe

25:55 – Ron Griffith

27:15 – Rhonda Pownell

28:45 – Linelle Olson

29:45 – Martha Cashman

31:15 – Randy Lutz

33:45 – Beth Closner

36:30 – interruption by Vohs, Cashman suggestion

37:30 – Dan Dimick

38:45 – Kiffi Summa

40:00 – Rick Vanasek

42:15 – Jerry Rice

43:15 – Norman Butler

45:20 – Jon Denison

47:50 – Scott Davis

54:45 – Margit Johnson (email read by Deb Little)

56:45 – Felicity Enders (email read by Deb Little)

59:10 – Noah Cashman (1:15:40 – 1:16:00 audio interference accidentally by me)

1:20:30 – Arnie Nelson

1:22:00 – Jim Pokorney

1:35:10 – Kris Vohs

1:42:30 – Jim Pokorney (1:44:30 – audio cut accidentally by me)

1:44:30 – Noah Cashman (partial remarks)

1:45:50 – Arnie Nelson

1:46:25 – Scott Davis

1:47:20 – Jon Denison

1:50:15 – Discussion of and voting on resolution

1:52:00 – Discussion of closing of mayor’s office space, keys

1:52:45 – Motion to adjourn

184 thoughts on “Mayor intends to serve out term; Council votes 6-0 calling for his resignation, keys, office space, further investigation by County Attorney”

  1. Lee Lansing’s appeal as a shopkeeper in no way forgives his inappropriate activities as mayor. I don’t think he should resign as owner of Lansing Hardware; I believe he should resign as mayor.

    None of us knows what Northfield as a whole thinks. Cox’s resounding defeat shows that the local blogosphere is not an accurate reflection of Northfield public opinion as a whole. There will be many steps in the political process before any of us will have any hope of knowing where public sentiment towards Lee Lansing, as mayor, truly lies.

  2. Patrick : You may not have intended it, but I sense a certain condescension in your phrase: ” Lee Lansing’s appeal as a shopkeeper in no way forgives his inappropriate activities as mayor”. That is so cruelly stated ( IMHO) in relationship to a man’s, and his family’s, entire life and relationship with a community.
    The years of community service of both Lee Lansing, and his wife Kathy, cannot put them in a category where those actions are not evaluated as part of a lifetime’s picture.

    You may feel that the Mayor has made mistakes, even serious mistakes, but to dismiss him as a”shopkeeper” in a somewhat Dickensian manner, and with no forgiveness, is looking at a world which is seen to be only black or white, rather than all shades of gray.

  3. Patrick, I agree that this is not about Lee Lansing’s personal appeal.
    The mayor may be a nice person, but he attempted deliberately and with much forethought and planning to steer hundreds of thousands of tax dollars to his family. In the process he prevented other equally nice people, honest citizens and business owners from receiving that money. He violated the state conflict of interest regulations and the city’s ethics policy. He sued the city he is sworn to uphold and lied about withdrawing from the case and then continued to negotiate against the city for his family’s gain.
    This is not just a simple lapse of judgment but a deliberate pattern of putting his own needs above those of the citizens he represents.

  4. Kiffi,
    I was not being condescending towards the mayor. I was responding to David Henson’s immediately preceding post, which suggested that support for Lee Lansing as mayor may run deep, and as evidence, he offered several examples of positive interactions he had observed between the mayor and his customers.

    I initially considered the word ‘businessman’ in place of ‘shopkeeper’, but I decided to change my word choice because the examples David used entirely related to Lee as the public face of his retail business, and also because Mr. Lansing’s activities as a business/property owner have actually been a subject of contention.

    My point is that when considering what Mr. Lansing has done as mayor, the fact that he is an extremely personable businessman is irrelevant to the matter at hand. I would be happy for Lee Lansing to continue to run a very successful hardware store to the end of his days, and I bear Mr. Lansing no ill will as a person.

    I simply want our government not to be run by a person who has worked actively and secretively to steer a lucrative government contract to his own front door. He should have known better, and the fact that he has no idea what he did wrong only reinforces my conclusion that he is not fit to hold the office of mayor.

    This does not make him a bad person, just one who is not suited for the office of mayor.

  5. Patrick, I’m curious how you reach your STRONG conclusions about Lee Lansing as an elected official, a business man or indeed a fellow traveler on this planet. I assume your assessment of the business tactics you’ve attached to Lansing as an Official, are predicated on the Everett Report. I’m sure you’ve read it.

    I’m not sure you have much context by which to judge its veracity .

    And I’d like to caution you [sincerely … without sounding condescending] I don’t think it is reasonable to try separate the business man and the citizen father, from the mayor in your personal characteristics assessment of the man.

    He is what he is – they all is!

    Of your conclusions, I used “strong” while I’m inclined to read them as vitriolic – but I fully understand the written word often lacks clarity of tenor and tone – and the reader can or must add his interpretation to that which he reads. Presumedly “great“ writers bring a skill to their pages that mere mortals may not.

    Still you use phrases such as:

    when considering what Mr. Lansing has done as mayor,

    And it is precisely that: “Considering what he has done” that I’d like to question you on … that is, your irrefutable knowledge of what he has done.

    Even my lengthy observations and involvement, my understanding of the political process in Northfield and my read of many documents available to the public, make my certainty of his action unclear.

    But I can read the Everett Report and see in it literal flaws, misinterpretations, and questionable professional conclusions – which I find troubling in their implication – which I assume you have embraced. [granted, along with many others]

    So, we have a need and an area on which to base a discussion.

    Frankly, I’m inclined to feel, were the Lansing actions tried in a court … by a jury of peers, that he would be cleared of any wrong doing – [granted, this is mere speculation]

    Nevertheless, from my read of your remarks, I doubt that you’d say your initial judgments were changed by the jury’s decision. As in the O J Simpson trial – much of the public did not agree with the jury’s verdict – in one sense, it almost makes the entire process a mockery. Who is guilty and who is not?

    So, when you write:

    … “the fact that he is an extremely personable businessman is irrelevant …. I would be happy for Lee Lansing to continue to run a very successful hardware store to the end of his days, and I bear Mr. Lansing no ill will as a person.”

    I’m not convinced of your sincerity. And, I don’t mean to say I think you’re being untruthful … I guess I mean I think it’s the easy way to verbally strike out at him while not feeling that you’ve exposed your true anger… all this subject to interpretation.

    Then you added:

    “I simply want our government not to be run by a person who has worked actively and secretively to steer a lucrative government contract to his own front door. ”

    And end with:

    “This does not make him a bad person, just one who is not suited for the office of mayor.”

    My opinion, you are a thoughtful and articulate person with high values and principles for how the game’s played. Oddly enough I feel I am too… that is, a person of high values and principles … and a stickler for process

    My read of the available documents is that Lansing struggled with the appropriate processes – made every reasonable attempt to toe the proper line – recused himself, did not vote, was transparent etc. and ran and was elected when judged by the voters as “suited for the office.”

    And, I’ll add here, I have had verbal battles over principle with Lansing – as well as all recent former Mayors – all recent City Administrators – and many next level senior staff… and as well, locked horns with many maneuvering self serving citizens. I want, and work for the greater good of this community.

    Not to say you want anything less… but what I hear from you is an angry resounding cry from someone who perceives the process as corrupt… and want’s your pound of flesh.

    So, before we start hacking at the body … I ask again, how you reach your strong conclusions about Lee Lansing as an elected official? Please don’t say the Newspaper.

    There is so much more at stake for Northfield than whether Lee Lansing makes the perfect Mayor or not.

    Clearly, he ran as a well known individual. Was elected by a community that while they might have never articulated it in succinct terms … was looking for someone to bring the governance of the city back to the people. Somehow the question of a liquor store and the impact of the Big Boxes on downtown economics and an overzealous staff have tilted the game board… and Staff and Council personalities have gotten bent into weird alliances.

  6. Kiffi…Being new to town I am not aware of the mayor’s ‘years of community service’? What does that community service entail?

  7. I’ve been lurking here from the start, reluctant to wade into the morass in which this issue is mired, but I can stay quiet no longer. It pains me to have to disagree publicly with people I know and respect deeply (Kiffi, Victor, Ross, Norman, Mike B.) and others who I don’t know personally but obviously care deeply about the community (e.g. David Henson). However…

    It is abundantly clear that much more has been going on in and around City Hall than has yet met the public eye. Perhaps, as some of Lee Lansing’s defenders suggest (explicitly or implicitly), at some future time “all will be revealed,” and we will find that some City Hall cabal has been engaged in nefarious activity. Perhaps these revelations will flow from the Goodhue County attorney’s office or other quarters. If so, appropriate sanctions or civic or criminal charges should be brought against the perpetrator(s). Then again, perhaps all will never be revealed. Perhaps there is little or nothing to reveal. We, the great unwashed, simply do not know at this time.

    What remains clear to me is that the Everett report contains unequivocal evidence of wrongdoing by Mayor Lee Lansing, amply documented by his own words (in internal memos and interviews with Everett alike). Dispute Everett’s conclusions if you like; I can not.

    I know and like Lee Lansing the individual and local small business owner, and have patronized his hardware store for many years. However, I can not abide having him continue to represent Northfield as its chief elected official given the information in the Everett report. I believe the community’s interests would be best served by Lee’s prompt resignation. Failing that, the recall process should begin ASAP.

  8. Victor,

    You have asked many questions, and unfortunately the fact that I am at work, as well as the fact that I am a hunt-and-peck typist, precludes an
    adequate response today. I will try to address them coherently and carefully when I have the time.

    I just want to assure you that I feel no vitriolic dislike towards the mayor. If you have read that in my words, then you have seen something in them that I did intend.

    I am not judging whether Lee Lansing is guilty of a crime. Given the necessary threshold of proof needed to convict a person of a criminal act, I expect that he will never be convicted of a crime for his actions as mayor. And I don’t want to see him jailed, or otherwise punished in his person or in his private life.

    Asking the mayor to resign, or initiating a recall election, is not a criminal matter. It is a democratic action based on the personal judgement of each citizen.

    As a voter and a citizen, I have decided that his actions are suspect enough that I believe he should not continue to serve in his current public office. This conclusion has also been arrived at by an independent investigator. The fact that you see it differently is fine by me.

    I support measures calling on the mayor to resign, and I will support efforts to initiate a recall election by which the people of Northfield may decide whether or not he should still be mayor. That’s the way to sort out these democratic decisions. If 850 people cannot be found who want a recall, I am fine with that. If a majority of voters says Lee should stay in office, I’m fine with that, too. This is a democratic process, and I am doing what I believe is right, as a matter of principle. I hope that you will do what you feel is right, and through the democratic process, we will all come to a resolution that we can (or at least will have to) live with.

    This is not personal. I am not being sarcastic when I say that I wish Lee Lansing well as a private citizen. This is about an imperative as a citizen to respond to what I (and some others) believe are grave errors of judgement. This is about bringing an end to particular, concerning actions carried out by an elected official of Northfield, which I believe ran contrary to good governance, and contrary to the interests of the city. I am doing so because I believe Northfield is a great city, and because I always want it to remain so.

  9. Bruce & Patrick- Very good posts, IMNSHO. I agree wholeheartedly.

    Victor- You said, “Of your conclusions, I used “strong” while I’m inclined to read them as vitriolic -…” You also said, “…but what I hear from you is an angry resounding cry from someone who perceives the process as corrupt… and want’s your pound of flesh…” Hmmmm. How are your conclusions about Al Roder, the council members and the Everett Report not the same?

  10. Jaci also has a disturbing piece on her blog saying that the city is refusing to release videotape of the mayor being stopped for speeding and driving on a suspended license.
    God knows, anyone can speed and call it a momentary indescretion. But driving on a suspended license requires forethought and disrespect for the law.
    Those of use who asked for the mayor’s resignation said the main concern was his refusal to admit the laws apply to him. It seems he doesn’t feel traffic laws apply to him either, proving our case.
    Is there no end to his disdain for the law?

  11. Jaci Smith’s blog post about the mayor being cited for driving with a suspended license is titled: Side effects

    The most recent example relates to a traffic stop the city of Northfield Police made of Mayor Lee Lansing on Dec. 29. Lansing was pulled over by a Northfield officer, who was in the process of citing the mayor for driving with a suspended license, when he realized who he was about to cite, and called in the county sheriff’s officer in the area. This is common practice in law enforcement agencies all over the country.

    Is the fact that the mayor got a ticket newsworthy? About a brief’s worth on our Records page. But here’s the rub: we had heard that the mayor tried to use his position to get out of the ticket.

  12. Northfield News:
    “…But here’s the rub: we had heard that the mayor tried to use his position to get out of the ticket.”

    Who HEARD and from what source? Where are the facts? This is very disturbing. Not whether it is true or not, but because the Northfield News is publishing something that could be slanderous, to a man who is already in a difficult situation, with NO facts to back it up!

    Jaci goes on to say…

    “It’s too bad, really. Mayor Lansing’s a smart man. I’d be quite surprised to find that he asked a cop to overlook a ticket that he knew he deserved. But I think the public deserves to know for sure. To us, it was never a big deal.”

    If it has “never been a big deal” why print it, at least until there are facts?

    The Northfield News, IMHO, has done nothing but “stir the pot”. Can’t they find anything good to say?
    In my, albeit limited, experience with the Nfld News, what is printed is not very close to actual truth/facts.
    What happened to innocent until PROVEN guilty?

    I hope Lee stays strong in the face of such adversity.

    Griff, Ross & Tracy,
    I have spoken with several people who read locally grown and would love to comment but are afraid of the consequences (attack from other bloggers. Not, a differing of opinion, but actual personal digs.) This is sad.
    Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t this venue a forum to express one’s opinions and read, consider and respect other’s opinions? We do learn from each other (and this blog).

    Thanks for all the work you put into this and keep the topics coming!

    Julie

  13. Julie,
    Ordinarily, I’d think the mayor getting a speeding ticket would be no big deal.
    The point is that the mayor ignored the law enough times to get his license suspended, then deliberately ignored the law by driving on a suspended license, then ignored the law by speeding.
    This comes just weeks after the mayor said he had learned his lesson and that ignoring the law in the past was just a mistake.
    He ignored the law to put Christmas trees on the boulevard in front of his store, ignored the law to intimidate employees and try to force the city to buy his family’s land. He sued the city, then said he withdrew and then was found to be lying by still negotiating against the city on behalf of his family against the city.
    For months we have had to deal with the mayor’s many ‘mistakes.’ When is enough enough? Is there no violation too egregious, too blatant, too unethical?
    We have two colleges that pride themselves in teaching young people how to be good citizens and ethical human beings. We have dozens of ministers and retired ministers who have devoted their lives to ethics and morality.
    Yet this is acceptable. I don’t get it.
    If he didn’t attempt to influence the police, then he should demand they release the damned tape. Of course, even if the tape shows him trying to get out of the ticket, I guess it won’t matter.
    I like the joke about taking away the wrong keys. I’m just too disgusted to laugh.

  14. I thought perhaps I should comment on one portion of Ms. Smith’s commentary. Let me first disclose that I am an attorney in the office of the city attorney. Citing no contrary authority whatever, Ms. Smith indicates she and an unnamed lawyer had a “good chuckle” over the “ridiculousness” of Mr. Morisette’s interpretation of the statute that applies to whether or not the tape in question can be released.

    Mr. Morisette researched the questions, and gave an informed opinion compete with statutory authority. The statute is clear. The tape cannot be released until the case is completed, or the tape is introduced into evidence in the case. There is no distinction made for “traffic” arrests. It would be error for the tape to be released at this time. Competent law enforcement and prosecution requires scrupulous observance of laws designed to protect the rights of people charged with crimes. It often means the difference between a successful prosecution and an unsuccessful one. An exception cannot be made just because the local newspaper would like to have the information sooner than the law allows.

    In my experience, when judges are confronted with law enforcement authorities who violate disclosure and evidence laws, they most assuredly do not “chuckle”. The fact that Ms. Smith and the attorney she consulted consider this a laughing matter indicates they clearly do not understand either the law or what is at stake. I note that nowhere in her article does she indicate in what particular Mr. Morisette’s opinion is incorrect. It is exactly those cases where prosecutors ignore such statutes that problems arise. Mr. Morisette’s job is to strictly observe these laws, and that is exactly what he did.

  15. Julie, thank you for your comments. I’m distressed by the uninformed opinions and vitriolic bullshit on Locally Grown, too, and I’m not sure what the answer is.

    We’ve tried to strike a balance between free (and mostly unmoderated) discussion while trying to maintain a tone of civility. I don’t think we’re succeeding with the civility, but we’re not yet convinced we should impose more control (heavier moderating, approving posts before posting) in order to achieve it. Like so many other things in civic life, we have to weigh the relative virtues of individual freedom on one hand, and the common good on the other. I had hopes that the people in Northfield who participate in a forum such as this would be able to police themselves, but unfortunately too often that’s not the case…. or at least it can appear that the inmates are running the asylum.

    PLEASE encourage your hesitant friends to speak up. We won’t know what they think unless they participate! And as anyone who’s ever tried to make changes or get anything done in this town can tell you, there will always be the gripers, complainers, and nay-sayers who will criticize anything and everything, without offering any real solutions (or doing any work themselves). It’s a psychological tactic – criticism as a means of control. You just have to ignore them.

    “The dogs bark, but the caravan passes on.”

  16. Anne,

    I totally relate to your feelings with the news regarding the mayor’s actions. Hopefully this a wake-up call to this town that the mayor will continue to make poor choices, and he needs to resign.

  17. Anne- You said, “But driving on a suspended license requires forethought and disrespect for the law.” I’m not sure where you draw this conclusion from. I tried to see if there are any public records indicating how Mr. Lansings diver’s license cam to be suspended, but I’m not very good at finding those types of things, and I could not find anything. Was this an oversight of just not getting his license renewed? I can identify with that type of memory lapse. In fact, my father, many years ago, before the advent of computer records and research, forgot to renew his license for 5 years. This was in Iowa where there was a renewal requirement each year on your birthday. A patrolman happened to notice this in a routine equipment safety check. He told my dad that he must be a pretty good driver to have gone that long and not been found out. I could understand this on the mayor’s part, what with all he has been under this past year. Without knowing what circumstances precipitated the suspension, I don’t think I could use this as evidence of a casual approach to or disrespect for the law. Sorry, but maybe I’m missing something here.

  18. Julie, I also know many people who are afraid to speak at council meetings or join the conversation here. Many have talked to me and e-mailed me about their concerns. On the other hand, I am thrilled to see how many new people have piped up here in recent weeks. And so I’m grateful to Tracy and her cohorts for donning the striped shirts and playing referee when things get tough. You guys do a great job when I get out of line, so I’m guessing this big cast of characters keeps you pretty busy.
    I think the frustration level is high throughout the community, but it seems the investigations are working their way through the system and things slowly are getting resolved. I was very encouraged by the civil and thoughtful discussions among the councilors at tonight’s meeting.
    And while the issues are difficult, people are keeping a sense of humor. (I really did like the joke about taking the wrong keys.) I’ve had lots of good response to having a ‘bloggers’ bash’ later this month so we can get to know each other better — or meet F2F for the first time. It’s harder to attack people you know than faceless online sparring partners.
    I’ll have more details soon.

  19. Julie wrote:

    I have spoken with several people who read locally grown and would love to comment but are afraid of the consequences (attack from other bloggers. Not, a differing of opinion, but actual personal digs.) This is sad.

    Julie (and anyone else), can you contact me via email or use our Contact Us form and point me to which comments in which message threads that you think contain ‘personal digs’? I try intervene whenever I see them but I know I do miss them sometimes, especially when it gets very busy.

  20. John…Wouldn’t that be an ‘expired’ license, if the mayor had forgotten to renew?

    Anne…Right on! As a scofflaw myself, I’m begining to recognize the mayor as a fellow traveler, if not an (unregistered) comrade.

    Julie…Tracy’s comments notwithstanding, I think this is a very civil venue. Seems to me that folks measure their words down to the millimeter. Great caution is taken to insure that opposing viewpoints are respected. The ‘good intentions’ and ‘common cause’ of all sides are duly noted.

    And even with that, if someone still comes away offended, he or she will likely receive an apology. These range from, ‘sorry if I disagreed with your argument, but…’ to ‘sorry if I hurt your feelings, but…’. Whether or not that apology is sincere is another matter, but what the heck, it seems to make everybody feel better.

    You would be hard-pressed to find political internet forum that was more civil than this one. If you don’t agree…well…I’m sorry.

  21. Mayor Lansing’s defense of his actions on his son’s behalf – Gee, I really had no idea that anyone would see my actions as involving a conflict of interest – are at best disingenuous and at worst contemptuous of Northfield’s citizens. It’s akin to saying, “Was that the cookie jar I had my hand in? I had NO idea!!”

    I am disappointed that there doesn’t appear to be an active recall action proceeding vigorously. Mayor Lansing should resign. If he won’t, he should be recalled, even if he is recalled only one day short of the expiration of his term in office.

  22. Griff, maybe you can arrange a ‘policy and a pint’ night discussion of civil discourse online. You could pick a few threads and use them to see what people see as vitriolic and what seem to work well. You also could show examples of other sites with good and bad discussions. It could help.
    Of course, a lot of people are just nervous about speaking in public, in person or online. I came to three council meetings before I got the nerve to speak last night — and I’ve been going to meetings all my adult life. Putting yourself out there is a scary thing. Perhaps the discussion could be used to give people a safe place to spread their wings and speak without recriminations…

  23. I see the today’s star and tribune editorial is about the Northfield mess…’…council’s censure of Lansing appears justified.’

  24. Dang, you beat me to it, Curt. Here’s my embellishment… and I don’t see any connection to growth either.

    Today’s Strib editorial is all about Northfield’s City Hall woes: As Northfield grows, its problems mount; leadership issues plague one of state’s most admired cities.

    IMG_0177For now, the council’s censure of Lansing appears justified. The mayor and hardware store owner insists he adequately disclosed the conflicts he’s accused of by the council’s hired investigator, but his ability to provide effective leadership is clearly compromised.

    The final say is likely to come from Northfield residents, either in a recall election or in the fall — presuming Lansing seeks reelection to an increasingly demanding part-time post that pays less than $10,000 a year.

    Today Northfield seems caught in the painful transition from small town to Twin Cites exurb. As the city continues to deal with the myriad challenges of growth, its residents deserve stable and effective city leadership. Right now they’re not getting it.

  25. I have another problem with the Strib’s article. It says:

    “Before taking the leave, Smith completed a preliminary investigation of Northfield City Administrator Al Roder. It’s not clear what Roder is alleged to have done, but Goodhue County Attorney Stephen Betcher is handling that case.”

    I think this is an exaggeration of Smith’s investigation. If I remember correctly, when the investigation was originally handed over to Goodhue county, it was handed back to Northfield, with the Goodhue guy quoted saying that the investigation was more a broad list of concerns or issues than an investigation. There was no completed preliminary investigation. Later, someone from Goodhue agreed to investigate. (If I got this wrong, please correct me.)

    When the Goodhue investigation is completed, I hope to find out when Smith turned it in, and what Smith’s “investigation” said.

  26. William- Good point on the terms “expired” and “suspended”. I’m never quite sure how terms are going to be applied anymore, but your definition makes more sense. It would definitely seem that if the State suspends a driver’s license, there would be some comminication to that effect. My example probably doesn’t fit the scenario, but I would like to give a person the benefit of the doubt.

    Curt & Griff- Concerning growth and ethics, I agree with you. I don’t see a correlation between the two, either, unless your growth is in a higher population of the Mafia. Take a look at Elko. They have been growing by leaps and bounds, but I haven’t heard anything about problems with the local government like we have here.

  27. Griff, Ross & Tracy,
    I did not intend to infer that YOU should do anything about what people say or how they say it. This is a great forum and you all do a great job! Thank you.
    I should have addressed my comment to all bloggers so we can all be aware of our words and how they may come across to others. For the most part, I do feel people are civil and respectful.
    I did encourage those who I have spoken to, that are “hesitant” to blog, to blog anyway.
    Remember what our mothers told us, “sticks and stones may break your bones, but words can never hurt you”. It must be a physical thing mom meant!

    Julie

  28. Anne, regarding your comment #171 above on your plans to have a ‘bloggers’ bash’ at your house, people should know that this is something you personally are trying to arrange and is separate from anything Locally Grown might host or organize.

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