Podcast: Northfield Mayor Lee Lansing

Lee Lansing
Northfield Mayor Lee Lansing was the guest this week, mano a mano with Ross Currier, as both Tracy and I were out of town. I’ve not listened to it yet, so I have no idea what they talked about. I’m guessing the Twins.

Click play to listen. 30 minutes.

Our radio show/podcast, Locally Grown, usually airs Wednesdays live at 5:30 PM on KYMN 1080 AM. You can also subscribe to the podcast feed, or subscribe with iTunes. We seek your comments and suggestions


  1. Felicity Enders said:

    I only moved to Northfield this spring, and already I’m up in arms about the city leadership. When is Al Roder going to be invited to Locally Grown? I don’t think it’s right to have the mayor on without asking the administrator to give his views, as well. In my view, that should happen sooner rather than later.


    October 6, 2007
  2. kiffi summa said:

    Felicity: Fresh eyes on a subject are always enlightening; could you tell us what about city leadership puts you “up in arms”?

    October 7, 2007
  3. Griff Wigley said:

    Tracy and I are out of town again this week so the current plan is to do like the Vikings and have a ‘bye’ week on the show, lest Ross files a grievance with the Podcasters Union.

    October 8, 2007
  4. Felicity Enders said:

    Why am I up in arms about the city leadership?

    The mayor, the city administrator, and the former chief of police (and possibly the city council) appear to be focused on fighting one another more than on moving the city forward. I haven’t come to terms with my feelings on the other two, but I am very disturbed about the mayor, because of 1) the impact of his financial situation on his intent to influence the choice of location for the liquor store, 2) his denial of attempting to influence the liquor store discussion after apparently attempting to do so behind closed doors, and 3) his attempts to set the agenda for the city council meetings. I’m glad I now understand why the chief of police took a leave of absence this summer (and I hope he’s doing better now); I wish I understood why he initiated an investigation of the city administrator. I am glad to hear Al Roder was on Locally Grown last winter, but that was before much of these concerns came to light, so he might have more to say if he were asked on again. Finally, while I’m glad the city council has requested a state-level investigation of the mayor’s impact on the city, I wish the questions had been less vague, since an outsider may not understand their import.

    I’m also quite concerned about the whole heroin discussion; it certainly sounds like the initial report was overblown, but at the same time the comments from students at the Northfield High School make it clear that there is a problem which has been swept under the rug for some time. I know there’s been discussion of this at the school level, but it’s not at all clear to me that the situation has been resolved. I come from Washington DC and Baltimore, both cities that have been ravaged by drugs, so I can’t understand not taking a serious look at a concern before it’s a big problem.

    On some other topics, I don’t see why the liquor store should move – what’s the problem with the current location, and what’s the cost/benefit to moving? I’m sad that the library intends to move, I wish could stay downtown. I don’t think safety has taken a big enough role in the discussion of the Woodley Street renovation. Also, I do think the code requirements in the historic downtown buildings needs more discussion; perhaps a pool of money for assisting with renovations, or somewhat limiting the requirements. The continued success of downtown is critical for Northfield’s future. I wasn’t crazy about the rental code solution, but then I don’t think there’s any solution that will please everyone in that debate.

    Sorry, that was a bit of a ramble, but it’s been quite a summer in Northfield!


    October 9, 2007
  5. kiffi summa said:

    No, Felicity, that wasn’t a ramble, just a long list of deep concerns /subjects that have been bothering a lot of people in this community for some months now. I think it’s great that a new resident has the interest and the perception to identify all these issues.
    Please don’t let anyone tell you that “you haven’t lived here long enough”; that’s a frequent comment to newcomers, and some people think you have to be born here to not be a “newcomer”!
    Phone your council person, and ask for answers; come to open mic at the council meetings and ask for answers. You may get some on the phone; you won’t get any at the open mic (not their policy to respond!!!)
    Everyone needs to get more publicly involved to straighten out some of these problems. When citizens who don’t usually get publicly involved, start have meetings in their homes about “What to do about what’s going wrong in our city?”, it’s SERIOUS.

    October 9, 2007
  6. Felicity Enders said:

    Hi Kiffi, thanks for the support – particularly the part about not having to live in Northfield from birth in order to not be a newcomer! I’d like to think that my plan to retire here someday should count for something.

    It’s really great to have all these resources (online and radio and print) to help get up to speed with what’s going on in the town. And to let ordinary people voice their opinions.

    October 9, 2007
  7. Griff Wigley said:

    Glad to have your participation here, Felicity. I look forward to hearing more from you.

    October 15, 2007
  8. kiffi summa said:

    And I’m glad to have had your participation at the council meeting last night, Felicity. Wow, what a great addition to our (now troubled) community. A new resident who comes and speaks of her concern for the town she, with deliberation, chose to move to.
    I was also encouraged by the open mic comments of another longer-time resident.
    All of you who have these concerns, about the current situation, please come and tell the city council, in person. That committment to the personal , public, face to face comment, is, or should be, a powerful tool.

    October 16, 2007

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