City Administrator Joel Walinski’s Friday Memo of August 14

Joel-WalinskiThe Friday Memo, written by Northfield City Administrator Joel Walinski and various department directors, managers, and supervisors, summarizes many of the staff activities for the week.

The BIG NEWS in this week’s memo is something Griff and I have been bitching about for years… City Hall now has wireless internet! (Thanks to Melissa Reeder and others at City Hall who made this happen.)

The Friday memos are published and archived in PDF form at the bottom of Joel Walinski’s web page. Friday’s memo can be found on the memo page for the week.

NOTE: There will be a City Council meeting on Monday and a community meeting about the new zoning ordinance draft on Tuesday.   You can view all City meetings here on the City calendar.


  1. Stephanie Henriksen said:

    The last item in the packet for tonite’s Council meeting is the timeline for annexation and development of the 456-acre West Armstrong Business Park in Bridgedwater Township. I see the annexation is expected to be complete in a minimum of 10 months and the master plan for the area in a minimum of 6 months. Review by Northfield boards and commissions (the Planning Commission hearing is key) will be coming up shortly. The chart is so complex, I would imagine no council member could analyze it by tonight.

    I don’t think the Planning Commission hearing should be set until the Master Plan is done so there is something to respond to.

    August 17, 2009
  2. kiffi summa said:

    Stephanie: Some of the council had major problems with the “timeline” as presented, and also with the “small bullets” inside the larger boxes…
    Councilor Buckheit expressed real dissatisfaction with the structure of the plan, and it was finally passed with the idea of removing the word “timeline”, and accepting a ‘process’ of steps instead, those also with much less specificity, but rather an outline of increments to be accomplished.

    So if you take the times out, (6 months, 10 months, etc) and the smaller bulleted points, you’re left with the “process” they could, and voted to, accept.

    There were many , many issues raised during this discussion; you might want to look at the LWV website for more info…

    August 19, 2009
  3. Stephanie Henriksen said:

    I read your LWV observor report. Joel Walinski was showing us various City reports this morning related to stream protection at our weekly meeting (Friday 7:30-8::30 am at third floor Regents Hall meeting room at St. Olaf). Rhonda Pownell was saying the public will have chance to comment at various points. I then asked Walinski when the Nfld Planning Commission hearing will be and he said Nov/Dec. I believe that was on the timeline (now called process). l said the Master Plan will not yet be available at that point and he agreed that was so.

    He had referred to a “concept plan” in his remarks and I asked if the map was had gotten in January was now obsolete or still relevant. He said it was in play, but since it was somewhat lacking, the Council had waived the requirement for another one.

    Since Mayor Rossing and other Council members were saying there was no concept plan, this had been confusing. In fact, it is still clear as mud.

    August 21, 2009
  4. kiffi summa said:

    Stephanie: I must admit to agreeing with your confusion: “as clear as mud”.
    Frankly, when I hear the council speak about the Annexation (s),or the EDA for that matter, I do not believe that any policy discussion which would give meaningful direction has happened.

    It is somewhat like the acquisitive angst that is pervasive in the fall when each big new Christmas Toy offering comes out. (Kids or adult ‘toys’, Crash and bang or i-phones).

    I don’t think this is cynicism; I hear a lot of these council discussions and I haven’t yet heard one that is not predominated by jargon.

    This is way too serious to mess up …

    August 21, 2009

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