Tag Archives: Tim Madigan

A Bikeable Community Workshop in Faribault indicates what Northfield should be doing

KYMN Anderson, President, Faribault Area Chamber of Commerce and TourismBikeable Community Workshop BrochureBikeable Community Workshop, Faribault MN
Northfield City Administrator and Faribault resident Tim Madigan alerted me to a Bikeable Community Workshop hosted by the Faribault Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism last week.  I contacted Kymn Anderson, Chamber President, to see if there was room for any Northfielders and she graciously allowed me to attend. Northfield City Councilor Suzie Nakasian was there, too.

The Bikeable Community Workshop brochure (PDF) states:

A Bikeable Community Workshop trains local, county and regional staff, and advocates on how to plan and support more Bike Friendly Communities to encourage more people on bikes more often in Minnesota. Participants enjoy a short bike ride with the best bike locks to assess their community’s bicycle facilities to base an action plan on. Target audiences include engineers, law enforcement, planners, public health practitioners, school administrators, elected officials, and advocates. The course includes a short bicycle ride auditing your community.

Bikeable Community Workshop, Faribault MNBikeable Community Workshop, Faribault MNBikeable Community Workshop, Faribault MNBikeable Community Workshop, Faribault MN
The workshop was presented by staff from the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota, the Minnesota Department of Health, and the Minnesota Department of Transportation. These folks knew their stuff and presented it well.

Bikeable Community Workshop, Faribault MNBikeable Community Workshop, Faribault MNBikeable Community Workshop, Faribault MNBikeable Community Workshop, Faribault MN; photo by Rebecca Rodenborg, Faribault Daily News
After the morning session, we broke up into three groups for a bike audit ride around Faribault.

See the May 14 Faribault Daily News by reporter Rebecca Rodenborg (@FDNRebecca): Faribault leaders take on bikeability issue. Also see her earlier article on May 4: How bike-friendly is Faribault?

My take-away?  We need to begin working immediately with the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota to form a Northfield area bicycle advisory committee so we can begin tackling a myriad of bike-related issues. The City of Minneapolis’ Bicycle Advisory Committee page spells much of it out:

Advise the Mayor, City Council, and Park Board on bicycling related issues; help advance the state of bicycle infrastructure; encourage more people to bike; educate the public; work towards more compliance with traffic laws; help the City and Park Board make bicycle plans; work to increase equity between bicyclist and other modes of transportation; review and suggest legislative and policy changes; recommend priorities for the use of public funds on bicycle projects; help ensure Minneapolis keeps and improves its status as a bicycle friendly community; serve as a liaison between Mpls communities and the City and Park Board, coordinate between difference agencies that interact with bicyclists.

Props to Kymn Anderson at the Faribault Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism and the Faribault area bicycle advocates for hosting the session. It was inspiring.

A new blog reflects a shift in my consulting business: Engage Citizens

I’ve been a bit of a laggard here on LoGro lately. For years, I’ve had something new on the blog everyday but in the last month, I’ve only had a few new posts/week and have not been very active in the comment threads.

What’s up?

Engage Citizens - Vertical - 185wI’ve created a new blog called Engage Citizens as I’m shifting more of my Wigley and Associates consulting work to helping local units of government (state, cities, counties, townships, school districts) use online tools and services to—you guessed it—engage citizens.

I’ve been doing online citizen engagement as a citizen since the early 90’s in my work with Northfield.org and continuing here on Locally Grown Northfield since 2006.

Grandview-Development-Framework-finalGriff Wigley, Scott NealBut it was my consulting contract with City Manager Scott Neal and the City of Edina back in April of 2011 when we created the Edina Citizen Engagement project that helped me see how other local units of government could benefit from something similar.

The Grandview District Development Framework project in particular was enlightening because of how the online tools complemented the face-to-face work of the steering committee, consultants, and city staff over the course of 9 months.

Griff Wigley at  League of MN Cities annual conference, 2012Tim Madigan at  League of MN Cities annual conference, 2012Last summer, I presented and facilitated a session for the League of MN Cities annual conference about my work with the City of Edina titled Government 2.0: New Strategies for Engaging the Public.

One of the people in the audience that day was Northfield City Administrator Tim Madigan who, a few months later as most of you LoGro readers are aware, hired me to manage the online engagement for a Developing a parking management plan for downtown.

Chris Richardson, Griff Wigley, Matt HillmanShortly thereafter, when I heard that the Northfield Public Schools District had a calendar project in the works, I approached Superintendent Chris Richardson and HR/Technology Director Matt Hillman about adding an online citizen engagement component. I just finished up the Transformational Technology project for them and last week started another online engagement project with them titled A school calendar conversation with the Northfield community.

I’ll continue to post client updates on my Wigley and Associates blog but most of my consulting-related blogging energy will be devoted to the Engage Citizens blog. I’ve also changed my Griff Wigley Twitter username to @EngageCitizens. I’ll tweet all my new Engage Citizens blog posts but you can also subscribe to Engage Citizens via email or RSS.

Now that I’ve got all this in place, I’ll get back to posting more regularly here on LoGro. I’m scheming on a new doodad for y’all.

A lunch portends changes for LoGro

Tim Madigan, Ross Currier, Griff Wigley, Chris Heineman

I had lunch at Chapati last week with Northfield City Administrator Tim Madigan, NDDC Executive Director Ross Currier, and Chris Heineman, Northfield’s Director of Planning and Community Development. We were discussing the details of my proposed contract with the City to provide online citizen engagement services for two-month project starting Real Soon Now.

I’ve long contended that if I ever was appointed to one of the City’s boards or commissions, it would change the nature of my blogging about the City.  And I’ve recently written that this would also be true if I ever got a consulting contract with the City.  I think both situations demand that my relationships with the City’s leaders take priority over my public opinionating about them or the City.  And in the case of a contract, I’ll have a conflict of interest when it comes to opinionating on city-related matters.

If I blog about anything related to the City of Northfield or its leaders, the tone of my blog post will be along the lines of "Here’s something interesting. What do y’all think?" Essentially, my role will be more of a moderator. The opinionating (praise or criticism) will have to come from all of you.

I may stumble, as I’ve been freely opinionating about the City here on LoGro for seven years. If you catch me going over the line, speak up.

Tim Madigan wants to tell you about the U.S.-Dakota Conflict of 1862. My ancestors will be listening.

Tim MadiganI stopped by Tim Madigan’s office at Anna Dee’s Cafe in Faribault this morning to get a promo photo.

At 6:30 pm next Thursday, October 18th, he’ll be removing his Northfield City Administrator hat and putting on his history teacher hat for his Northfield Historical Society presentation titled The Fog of War: Perceptions and Realities of the US Dakota Conflict of 1862:

This presentation, given by local amateur historian Tim Madigan will focus on the prism used by various groups and individuals to view the Conflict and its aftermath. Madigan was a history major in college, and Tim taught high school history and social studies for four years before entering the city management field. Three years of his teaching experience was in Morton MN, site of the start of the US Dakota Conflict. While at Morton he designed a local history class and became familiar with many of the sites and events of the Conflict. He has also lived in Mankato and Faribault, cities with close ties to the events of the Conflict.

US-Dakota War of 1862I’m 1/16 Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota so I’m keenly interested in this.  Was it a war or a conflict? What role did the ‘loyal Mdewakanton’ play and was it significant? Was there a ‘concentration camp’ and ‘ethnic cleansing’ after it was over? If it had never happened, what might have been the result?

I’m hoping to get to the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862 exhibit at the MN History Center before Tim’s presentation. 

Attorney and Parks board member David Hvistendahl: 3-minute mashup of trash-talking Northfield City Hall

David Hvistendahl David Hvistendahl David Hvistendahl David Hvistendahl Roger Schroder and David Hvistendahl
While listening to archived Law Review radio shows on KYMN recently, I noticed that Attorney David Hvistendahl, a member of the Northfield Park & Rec Advisory Board (PRAB), was particularly disparaging of the Northfield City Council, Northfield City Administrator Tim Madigan, and Northfield Safety Center Director and Police Chief Mark Taylor.

Here is a compilation of some of these remarks, all rolled together into a single 3-minute audio clip.

If you have trouble with the above audio player, try playing and/or downloading this MP3.

Northfield area race results for Birkebeiner

Birkie
The 39th annual American Birkebeiner cross-country ski marathon was held over the weekend. The Birkie (50K for Skaters, 54K for Classic Skiers) and Kortelopet (23K) attracted 9,000 racers.

See the results for area code 5507.  Notable finishes:

With a time of 3:57:57.5, Northfielder Bob Nesvold took 2nd place in the Men’s 70-74 age category for the Birkebeiner Classic (22 racers), 414 out of 1635 overall.

With a time of 2:07:10.6, Northfield City Administrator (Faribault resident) Tim Madigan took 20th place in the Men’s 60-64 age category for the Kortelopet Classic (611 racers), 311 out of 1,080 overall.

The deep street hole at 6th & Division: the government was involved

I was walking downtown just after noon yesterday when a Federal government employee (postal worker Tom Kotula) asked me if I’d seen the deep hole in the street at 6th & Division.

deep street hole at 6th & Division deep street hole at 6th & Division deep street hole at 6th & Division Repairs to deep street hole at 6th & Division

Repairs to deep street hole at 6th & Division Repairs to deep street hole at 6th & Division deep street hole at 6th & Division Repairs to deep street hole at 6th & Division
When I arrived to take photos, a City government worker was directing a private contractor (who had been hired by City government Streets and Parks Supervisor TJ Heinricy) to dig up the hole to, um, get to the bottom of it.

According to a story on Nlfd Patch (the Northfield MSM—Nfld Patch, Nfld News, KYMN—had been alerted to the issue via email by City government Administrator Tim Madigan) the hole likely opened up after a Federal Government National Guard vehicle drove over the street.  (Nfld Patch has patch photos. Heh.)

After excavation, City government workers filled the hole and tomorrow will investigate how storm water (created and unleashed by a non-governmental source but rerouted by City Government) caused the hole in the first place.

Where would we be without government?

Northfield Fire Department under fire: Consultant issues critical report

In the packet for next week’s Council Work Session is a Northfield Fire Department Operations Review and Risk Management Assessment (PDF) of the Northfield Fire Department by a consultant hired by the City earlier this year after an OSHA inspection raised issues. Public Safety Chief Mark Taylor wrote in his intro to the Council:

Northfield Fire Department Operations Review and Risk Management AssessmentThe City Council is being asked to receive the attached report that is a result of an in depth overview of city fire department operations.

There will be some future action items where the council will be requested to make fire department operational changes. That formal request will come at a future city council meeting.

The Nfld News has this story in today’s paper:  Report: Fire Department not complying with state, federal regs:

A report issued this week could forever change the Northfield Fire Department. In the 21-page document, consultant Michelle Soldo found that the department failed to meet federal Occupational Health & Safety Administration standards regarding the establishment of a fire department, its structure as well as its training schedule.

Soldo found 19 other areas of concern dealing with a lack of Standard Operating Procedures, governance, selection of the fire chief and departmental leadership, physical agility, hiring, performance reviews, compensation, discipline, record-keeping, facility maintenance and use, space needs and equipment maintenance.

City of Northfield has no plan to make flood information flow

I discovered over the weekend that the Northfield News did file a story about the Feb. 28 flood preparedness public  meeting.  For some reason, it’s not on their website.

NFld News: City hears calls for more information during floodsWhile city leaders want residents to take precautions now, property owners want the city to give them more information before and during future flood events. "Where can we get accurate information?" asked Alex Beeby, who works at the Just Food Co-op on South Water Street.

Others who attended the meeting were critical of what the saw as the city’s inability to share necessary information with property owners along the river during last September’s flood.

And while city leaders, including Public Safety Director Mark Taylor and Tim Madigan understood residents concerns, disseminating real-time information during a crisis, they said, can be a challenge. The city will connect with local media outlets, said Taylor, and update its website as time allows.

City of Northfield spring flood preparedness public meetingI spoke at the meeting, too, pointing out that the City’s new flood preparedness information site is not set up for facilitating near-real time information flow. There’s no RSS feed, no email signup list, no blog. They don’t plan to use Twitter or Facebook. It’s a 1999 style web site, chock full of information and links but not set up at all to allow residents and local media to help new information flow virally through the social media landscape. City mothers and fathers don’t seem to understand that 1) the City is its own information channel; and 2) that its audience has audiences. It was more than a little ironic that the notice for that Feb. 28 public meeting was NOT posted to the City’s own flood preparedness page.

Straight River at Faribault 03.21.11It doesn’t appear that we’ll experience severe flooding this spring. But who knows?

After the rain this weekend, the Straight River was near 10 feet in Faribault at midnight, the second highest level in the past decade, according to the Sunday Faribault Daily News.  (See the U.S. Geological Survey real-time data site for the Straight River.)

A winter storm is a possibility this week.  Heavy thunderstorms in April could change things in a hurry.

Why not prepare now to make rear real-time flood information flow?