Two EDA members score liquor store proposals

Victor Summa and Steve Engler, members of the Northfield Economic Development Authority (EDA), reviewed five municipal liquor store proposals at 3 p.m. on Thursday and scored them on 28 criteria, which were devised by City Council and city staff.
Click play to listen to the EDA’s discussion on the liquor store proposals. 23 minutes.

Jody Gunderson, the authority’s director, also scored the proposals. Last week, officials expected to score seven proposals, but two ultimately did not meet the requirements listed in the request for proposals document.

Late on Thursday, Engler said he found the scoring process much simpler than he anticipated. City Councilor James Pokorney said on Friday the score sheets are just one tool the City Council expects to use in making its decision about which proposal is best.

The four members of the Economic Development Authority met at 7:30 a.m. Thursday to talk about which members would fill out the score sheets. Originally, members Rick Estenson and Marty Benson had volunteered to fill out the sheets, since they are also members of an EDA subcommittee called the infill development committee.

However, the city’s attorney determined Estenson and Benson had a conflict of interest in the matter because each works for one of the city’s banks. Those banks have a financial interest in some of the proposed liquor store sites. The proposed locations are: 618 Division Street; the property containing The Crossing residential building off State Highway 3; the “Q-Block” off Highway 3; the southwest corner of Fifth and Water Streets; and 717 South Water Street.

Three other groups are expected to fill out score sheets. There is a city staff group comprising Joel Walinski, interim city administrator; Brian O’Connell, community development director; and Steve DeLong, liquor store manager. Donnelly Development representatives form a second group and Northfield Enterprise Center representatives form a third.

During the Economic Development Authority’s morning meeting, Engler and Summa asked some questions about the proposal scoring process.

Engler asked if there would be someone present during the scoring meeting who could answer any questions he had about the criteria. He said, for example, he had little knowledge of how to judge the quality of stormwater systems.

Gunderson said he believed Joel Walinski could attend the meeting and answer questions. Engler said later Walinski did not attend but DeLong did and he provided some information.

Estenson told Engler if he felt he could not give a good opinion on any particular item, he should simply not give an opinion.

Summa asked if Donnelly Development representatives and DeLong could also present conflicts of interest.

The request for proposals document reads: “The City of Northfield has retained Donnelly Development to provide real estate services throughout the municipal liquor store development process. Accordingly, please provide for a seller-paid fee equal to three percent of the purchase price of the land and/or a $4 per square foot fee on a lease of 10 years. For lease proposals greater or less than a 10-year term, please adjust on a prorated basis.”

Victor said DeLong could also conceivably be biased since he has to work in the new liquor store. Gunderson said Walinski could have an answer to that question. However, Walinski was out of his office.

On Friday, O’Connell said staff did not ask the city’s attorney if Donnelly and DeLong could present a conflict.

“We did not see it as a problem,” he said. “The fee paid to Donnellly is to help us negotiate with the developer after we select who it is we want to go with. We’re going to do decide on a particular development project based on our criteria. As for Steve DeLong, he’s a salaried professional and he’s not going to be paid more or less based on the site we select.”

Update 12/12 1 p.m.: Here is the Request for Proposals document in PDF file format, city-liq-rfp-final-9-24-08-with-changes-1


  1. Griff Wigley said:

    So the two proposals that “did not meet the requirements” were eliminated by staff or by the EDA?

    This would be proposals by A.K. Kayoum and Virginia Gleason.

    November 21, 2008
  2. victor summa said:

    Griff asks:

    So the two proposals that “did not meet the requirements” were eliminated by staff or by the EDA?

    This would be proposals by A.K. Kayoum and Virginia Gleason.

    These were pulled from the pool before the proposals were given to the EDA committee, with little explanation … more speculation … at least for the Gleason property.

    The “RFP requirements” included a prohibition on sites outside the C1 or C2 zones. The Gleason site[s] are along the west side of Hwy 3 across from Target, south of Heritage Drive.

    There is a narrow slit of possibility in the RFP for some C3 sites, that being, to qualify, a site must be within a quarter mile of a C2 zone. I’ve not paced it off, but I assume the Gleason location is outside the 1/4 mile boundary.

    RE: the A K Kayoum site, it’s just south of Third Street and Hwy 3, (C2) and was not so obviously lacking, as it is the building[s] that in part house the Chamber of Commerce, The Northfield Enterprise Center and specifically the Three Pines Gift Shop, already comprising a small area of activity. Located on Hwy 3, it shares much the same attributes that a site on the Q Block might.

    A good read of the Kayoum RFP (we did not see it) might reveal to an analytical mind why the site did not meet the minimum requirements … or, perhaps, the owner pulled the RFP for his own reasons.

    From a location-location-location perspective, an essential consideration (urban myth tells us … ) in making a Real Estate decision, I was baffled, as this site has many of the same attributes that the other near or on Hwy 3 sites might have. That is, if you like Hwy 3, as it is currently zoned on the DT’s fringe.

    An interesting location that was not included for consideration is the existing location at Fifth and Water Street.

    An innovative staff proposal might be to make the case for doing the OSHA required retrofits for this site ($150K, round figures?) or perhaps to look for an innovative way to fully expand the store on that site.

    LG participants might want to weigh in on this …. a virtual charette to redesign the current location, like much of this Blog’s dialogue … no limits, merely shooting form the hip with unsophisticated point[s] of view. Sort of an Editorial Opinion[s].

    I’d would suggest that those who would vote for NO MORE City Liquor Store involvement, not clutter such a dialogue, as that would surely constitute thread drift from the Get-Go. Perhaps the case for NO Liquor store is an adjacent but separate thread.

    Such an LG discussion would be interesting and timely as any City Council decision on a Liquor Store should not be made by the seated Lame Duck group, in 2008!

    Mayoral elect Rossing would be VERY MUCH on point to make a statement of that sensibility now. It is her administration that will proceed with, modify, or reject this issue.

    RELATED FACT: The EDA (the entire body) will be holding a retreat of sorts on December 11. It is my hope that we will briefly discuss at that time the need for a more complete discussion, economically based, on this issue, following the four criteria put in place by the current City Council years back, buried now in the debris of the past discussion, litigation and character assassination.

    ANY citizen perspective is valued … to the EDA discussion and the Council’s (present … or future perfect)


    November 23, 2008
  3. Griff Wigley said:

    Thanks, Victor. 

    I’m interested in your opinion (as well as other EDA members) on what problems, if any, could result if the proposals are released to the public.  ‘Twould be best, tho, to have comments on that on the other blog post here.

    November 24, 2008
  4. Griff Wigley said:

    Nfld News editor Jaci Smith published a non-print article last Friday night about this RepJ liquor store story titled: Sticking to the plan

    There are many comments attached to it, some anonymous, some nasty. I’ve not yet read them all carefully but the issue is worth a civil discussion here.

    December 8, 2008
  5. Patrick Enders said:

    Interesting discussion over there. The actual content is similar to discussions that have taken place here, but the difference in tone that comes with anonymity (and lack of moderation) is quite shocking.

    I’m glad that some people post under their own names over there – Victor, Kiffi, Jaci (obviously), and Anne. It’d be nice if others would do the same.

    December 8, 2008
  6. Martha Cashman said:


    I too have posted under my own name. Selective or over-moderation are every bit as problematic as anonymity. Perhaps the shrillness and absence of a civil tongue is because they are frustrated that they have no other forum for their opinions to be heard and respected for what they are — their opinions. Anonymity — retribution and vindictiveness are to very good reasons for using this “veil’.

    December 8, 2008
  7. kiffi summa said:

    Griff : could you please create a link to the NFNews guidelines for comment on their site; every time I try to access that information it just reverts to the initial ‘home’ screen.

    December 9, 2008
  8. Griff Wigley said:

    Kiffi, I don’t know that the Nfld News has a policy page about reader comments on their web site. Sam Gett wrote a column about it in April:

    Maybe Anne Bretts or John Thomas or someone else who’s on their Citizen Advisory Board can answer your question.

    December 9, 2008
  9. Anne Bretts said:

    Patrick, this site serves its purpose, but I’m fine with the tone and the anonymity of the other discussion. We all should have choices. Readers are smart enough to judge the comments and the people who make them.

    December 9, 2008
  10. Patrick Enders said:

    I’m fine with reading the inflammatory stuff over there – I’m just glad that there’s a slightly more civil sandbox over here. I’m also glad that a few of you (add Martha to my previous list) choose to post non-anonymously over there.

    December 9, 2008
  11. Anne Bretts said:

    Patrick, I don’t work or socialize in town any more so I no longer have reason to fear retaliation or intimidation. I have experienced it in the past, however, and know others who have, so I don’t blame some people for wanting to remain anonymous. As a writer, I find it easy to see the personalities behind people’s writing, and the same characters post from exactly the same points of view in each conversation. I already know their personalities, so their names don’t matter. As for the vicious ones, their comments say so much more about them than their victims that they are harmless. It’s what they can do offline that justifies anonymity. And the obsession some people have with finding out the names is very disturbing to me.

    December 9, 2008
  12. Ross Currier said:

    Anne –

    I don’t think that Patrick was asking whether or not you feared retaliation or intimidation. I think he was expressing his shock at “the difference in tone that comes with anonymity (and lack of moderation)”.

    Then, it seems to me, Griff was asking you, as a member of the Northfield News’ Citizen Advisory Board, to comment on the tone of interaction on the News’ site and the impact of anonymity on that shocking (at least to some) tone. Perhaps you could directly answer that question.

    Thanks much,


    December 10, 2008
  13. Patrick Enders said:

    I’m not opposed to anonymous posting (or opposed to being shocked). I was just noting that it’s quite a different vibe over there.

    Interestingly, many of the non-anonymous postings over at NfldNews aren’t any more civil than the anonymous ones. Do I think ending anonymous postings is a good idea? No.

    But I do respect the courage that goes with speaking in one’s own name.

    December 10, 2008
  14. Anne Bretts said:

    Ross, I think I was able to read Patrick’s comment clearly. He was shocked but fine with the inflammatory content at the paper and praised my decision to use my name. I said I can only do that because I no longer fear retaliation.
    Given the unbelievably cruel behavior of some people in this town, I am surprised you would find the comments on the News shocking. People are just putting in print the hate they spew privately in the endless gossip circles around here. I find it refreshing that the veneer of civility is stripped away and their true colors are visible. (And I admit that after years of working within the severe restraints put on reporters,
    I am now a private citizen and have succumbed to the temptation to vent from time to time. And if you think this is tough, I can tell you Chicago political discussions are brutal, as the governor there is realizing.)
    As for the paper’s policy, the publisher and editor have explained it adequately and I agree with their position. I would not attempt to speak for them. The advisory board is simply a chance for a diverse group of people to give their opinions, and I have made mine clear many times. We are quite a civil group, despite our differences, although issues surrounding the mayor tested us sorely.
    The comments on the News are an issue of freedom of speech, of protecting the individual’s right to speak truth to power — or make an ass of himself. You have a private blog that reflects your opinions and political positions and you have a right to do so. You have had some exercises in journalism at this site, but by and large this is not journalism. That’s fine. It’s not wrong, it’s just not journalism.
    I prefer inflammatory freedom of speech to civil censorship. I think people are smart enough to make their own decisions about what they read.
    And let’s be perfectly honest, this whole debate — and 99 percent of the hostility in the News comments — is about the Summas and Mr. Lansing and the handful of anonymous commenters who support them and the handful of anonymous and named commenters with whom I usually agree. The fight has been going on since I moved here and you first called me a knucklehead or some similar term of endearment back on the old Issues List at
    If you think the fear issue is exaggerated, I can tell you that’s not so. I routinely get e-mails from people who are too terrified to comment even anonymously but agree with me. I’m sure folks on the other side have people who quietly support them.
    BTW, I don’t know who any of the anonymous commenters are, although obviously I like some better than others. My friends and I have fun trying to guess who they all might be. Since they have distinct personalities, they have identities, whether they use their names or not. As I have said many times, I believe the tone of the demands to learn names is quite frightening, and I don’t scare easily.
    Do I wish the News site was more civil? Sure.
    Would I trade it for another version of this site? Not in a million years.
    Both have a purpose and point of view, and the differences give the city a healthy choice.

    December 10, 2008
  15. Ross Currier said:

    Anne –

    I never called you a knucklehead. The fact behind your, in my opinion, offensive accusation is that four years ago, on, I said that the ideas offered in the comments ranged from brilliant to bone-headed.

    My comment was not directed at any individual or comment. However, Griff was concerned that some people might feel threatened or intimidated by my comment and put me in moderation mode. You subsequently sent me an e-mail, saying that you hadn’t taken my comment personally.

    However, as you have so often done before, you are dredging up a real or perceived slight against you from the past and are using it to justify your harsh tone. And once again, you use that tone, and whatever subject is being discussed, to take a shot (or “vent” as you call it) at a few individuals in particular and the Northfield community in general.

    The Triumvirate has often discussed your comments, both style and substance. The “voting process” for responding to those comments is, in that Minnesotan term, “interesting”.

    But back to the subject at hand. Patrick clearly answered the question posed; he supports anonymous postings. Reading your lengthy post, I could not find an answer to the question.

    So let’s try again, Anne: do you support the Northfield News’ policy of allowing the anonymous expression of opinions?

    Thanks much,


    December 10, 2008
  16. Anne Bretts said:

    Bone-headed, that’s the word I was looking for, which is why I hedged my comment. Thanks. It was so long ago, I couldn’t recall. I just used it to make a point that this is a dispute among a small group of people over a long period of time. We differ on our assessment of the situation and nearly everything else, as I said above, and I’m fine with that. Because we differ so strongly, comments you think are funny I find offensive and things I think are witty you see as vicious. It’s all about perspective.
    As for the question of anonymous comments on the News, I feel I have answered the question many times and very directly above. I don’t have anything to add.

    December 10, 2008
  17. kiffi summa said:

    Patrick: Two questions: 1. If anonymous and non-anonymous commenters on the Newspaper blog were making comments about you that were absolutely untrue, and were by that obfuscation, defaming you, would you say “thank you very much, I love having people tell lies about me”. What would be your reaction, initially , and if it persisted.? In thinking about this before you answer, posit a situation that would actually be damaging to your profession or character.
    2. If you were on the newspaper’s advisory board and comments on the blog, either anonymous or non-anonymous, were absolutely untrue and provable so by public record, would you remove the comments from the blog, or let them stand?

    December 10, 2008
  18. Anne Bretts said:

    Technical point: the advisory board doesn’t have anything to do with the operation of the newspaper. As many of us have explained repeatedly, we are a group of citizens who come in a handful of times a year to give our feedback.

    December 10, 2008
  19. norman butler said:

    Kiffi; I followed Griff’s prompt at #5 and spent two hours reading all the thread on “Sticking to the Plan” on the NNEWS website. I’m left battered, bothered and bewildered.

    Two things occur: first, the exchange is the finest example of why anonymous blogging should not be countenanced; second it is obvious that ‘they’ are totally unconcerned with your sound reasoning, your fine intelligence, your precise references, your revealing questions, your worthy motives – they seek only your (and Victor’s) ‘demise’ and, to this end, will say anything to keep you involved, responding, offended, agitated and sleepless.

    You are casting pearls before swine and, as I’ve said before, the best thing about banging your head against a brick wall is that it feels marvellous when you stop.

    So, please, Kiffi, ignore it and them. And by the end of the year, they will have torn each other’s throats out for the want of a target. Stick to Locally Grown (unless and until the ‘anonymous’ policy is discontinued – in which case most of the current commentators will have nothing to say, methinks).

    December 10, 2008
  20. Patrick Enders said:

    I said I don’t mind anonymous posting. However, I am in favor of moderated message boards – like the ones here. If a message is inappropriate, it should be removed. If a registered poster (anonymous or not) makes repeated problematic posts, they should be subject to preapproval for their posts – or banning from the site.

    Such a policy, if it were implemented over there, should be able to deal with the kinds of problems you cite – without requiring names to be attached to posts.

    December 10, 2008
  21. norman butler said:

    Patrick; read “Sticking to the Plan” on the NNEWS website (all of it, mind you!) and despair of anonymous comments.

    Or…on this point, Patrick, you have your head firmly up your ass…by Anonymous (please, Griff, let this stand ‘cos the impact of that is what Kiffi has to deal with on the NNEWS website). No offence, Patrick.

    December 10, 2008
  22. Patrick Enders said:

    I’m very sorry that you feel that way about me. I have no such negative thoughts towards you.

    I suggest that your post remains, as written, right where it is.

    December 10, 2008
  23. John S. Thomas said:

    I too am on the Northfield News Advisory Board…

    And Ann has it exactly right. The advisory board doesn’t have anything to do with the operation of the newspaper. As many of us have explained repeatedly, we are a group of citizens who come in a handful of times a year to give our feedback on some of the news stories, layout, style, and other issues directly related to the paper.

    We only provide them with opinions and feedback.

    Ross, to answer your question, our being on the board is irrelevant to your question. Who cares? If we do support it, what difference does it make, and if we don’t, its not like we have any “pull” to do anything about it.

    The only opinion you will get from me is that I spent 20 years in the service of this great country to protect everyone’s first amendment right to free speech… So if you wish to go out in public and make a public spectacle of yourself (anonymous or otherwise) then so be it.

    However, I also like to think I am a person of honor and integrity, and if I am going to say something bad about you, it will be face-to-face, and one-on-one.

    Yes, I have made my mistakes in this forum on occasion, and have been moderated, but I have learned from them, and I do not recall engaging in harsh personal attacks. I do however speak up when I think something is not right, or someone made a poor decision. That is not a personal attack, that is one mans opinion of another persons actions. You can still like the person, or not… and still not approve of what they do.

    I am headed over to read the “Sticking to the Plan” thread now, as I have not had the time previously. I am sure I will see something that will bother me in some way, as there is more than likely something there for everyone.

    Ross, can you explain further why Anne’s opinion or my opinion, and being on the NNAB makes any difference to the postings on Northfield News? Its not like we can change the policy of the Northfield News. All we can do is express an opinion either way, just like everyone else does… Feel free to e-mail or call Jaci or Sam… the number is on thier website.

    And Ross, great picture of you with the doughnut and the shirt!

    December 10, 2008
  24. John S. Thomas said:

    Interesting so far… hindsight being 20/20, is it possible that the city could have done this differently and had a team of neutral folks do the scoring based on the criteria?

    I mean, have it scored by someone other than the EDA? Just trying to get a feel for why the EDA was used, especially when there were delays in the scoring based on the fact that some EDA members were asked to not score due to possible conflicts of interest.

    Again, just trying to understand the process.

    December 10, 2008
  25. John S. Thomas said:

    Question for the group…

    Northfield News is reporting that Mr. Movies is closing.

    Would that location work in regards to square footage, location, delivery access, handicap accessibility, parking, etc. etc?

    Seems like that location is a bit bigger than the muni, but you would have to take some space for storage and coolers.

    Is the RFP criteria available somewhere so that I can become educated on what it is looking for?

    December 10, 2008
  26. Griff Wigley said:

    FYI, I’ve asked Norman and Patrick to discuss with me via email their exchange above in comments #21-22.

    December 11, 2008
  27. victor summa said:

    John Thomas (IN #24) asks a really good question, of the process used in seeking public direction. Was there a better way?

    As a member of the EDA, I asked similar questions of staff, re their process for the scoring etc., not to challenge, but more for clarity in what is expected. AT that time, answers were slim in detail and slow in coming and ephemeral in nature (I thought) and over the weeks of our various EDA meetings, lacked continuity [sic] clarity. In fact, I even brought up the point, I had a strong preconceived feeling about the re-siting, and had expressed it publicly as a citizen and a candidate, and indeed held it as one of seven of the EDA’s, not knowing the other’s

    As I recall, my perspective was not viewed by staff, as a problem. Or, at least unique!

    Those “FAILINGS” (lack of complete and well thought out directions) are the kind of syndrome that many of the more observant persons commenting here on LG (IMHO) …. might have issue with, and in perhaps in someway, inadvertently, due to my questions at the EDA, passed (or at least posed) the LG Test, that being a more influential (or informed) vetting than many issues receive in the N News.

    What was lacking here In my humble opinion was good leadership and innovative thinking.

    John’s question of WHO might have better scored the locations is also RIGHT on.

    I’d put that under the heading of, Innovative Thinking.

    Way back before I was on the EDA, I frequently commented (at council open mic and when there was public opinion taken at the EDA) that, receiving Council direction,the EDA should weigh-in on the controversy of the Liquor Store siting and using their broader partnership relations, seek recommendations.

    Frankly, the EDA response to that, expressed the concern: “Why would we (EDA) want to get into that?

    NOTHING came from the council in response to my Open Mic comments. Not even from the Council’s two EDA members.

    In response to John T’s question, I’d speculate that a simple and better process, on multiple levels, could have been as follows:

    1. Council asks their EDA to take-on the economic questions of possibly re-siting the LiqStore.

    2. The EDA, having the time to focus on the question and, having cost saving methods, use one of their tools, its partner organization, the NDDC, to do the leg work. One obvious improvement, a broader and more diverse scoring group than the EDA In Fill Committee alone.

    SEE Jon’s question

    is it possible that the city could have done this differently and had a team of neutral folks do the scoring based on the criteria?

    I mean, have it scored by someone other than the EDA?

    3.USING THE NDDC: The NDDC, the quintessential task oriented organization, and incidentally already on the EDA pay role as it were.

    This would have included much of the (non specialized) expensive consultant WORK answering questions so closely associated to the community, and its goal(s) in this, WORK completed by local citizens who know the “territory” and in this case, are fully informed and equipped in meeting the council FIRST criterion: Keeping in the LiqStore DT.

    This has been a process used in the past. One that quickly comes to mind was the leg work on the Walker Associates Parking Study of a few years back. Saved the city a lot of money.

    So, bringing this comment up-to-date, THE SCORING, how it might have been?

    The NDDC ER committee would likely have been the team scoring the RFP proposals.

    PROBLEM!: Kiffi and victor are both card carrying members of the ER!

    Which begs another question .. one that Kiffi asks here frequently, Why don’t more of you get involved?
    How do you do the smiling face thing?

    Just in closing, John T, I’m curious whether those of you who are on the N News’ Advisory group would comment on the outcome of your effort. I understand that you John, as well as Paul Fried, Bill McGrath, Phil Spensley and Anne Bretts … all frequent users of this BLOG are members of that group. You must have a sense of “purpose” and a “success failure” ratio in bringing influence. We’ve read Anne’s feelings, and a bit from John. Might any others comment? It seems to me the N News is part of the controversy … a big part. Are you helping?

    And of course, Anne and John are welcome to add more of their perspective.

    December 11, 2008
  28. Tracy Davis said:

    John – for purposes of discussion, I’ll post details from Joel Walinsk’s Friday memo of 11/21 regarding RFPs:

    With interest in the 7 submitted Requests for Proposals, I’ve asked the City Attorney to provide some information on the release of data pertaining to these RFP’s. There is clear law in the data practices act, which the City must follow and makes most of the RFP proposal data nonpublic until the evaluation process is complete because of the City potentially negotiating for the purchase of property. This classification is mandatory; the city cannot waive this classification.

    Our City Attorney provided a summary of the relevant provisions of Minn. Stat. Sec. 13.591, Business Data:

    1. All data in the responses is nonpublic until the responses are opened.

    2. Once the responses are opened, the names of the responders are read and become public.

    3. All other data in the responses is nonpublic until completion of the evaluation process.

    4. “Completion of the evaluation process” means that the city has completed negotiating a contract with the selected vendor.

    5. After that point, all remaining data submitted by all responders are public with the exception of “trade secret data” as defined and classified in section 13.37. However, all responders to this RFP were asked
    1to sign a consent for release of response data, so there should not be any concern about releasing the data after a contract is finalized, except for any financial statements submitted to the city under separate confidential cover (this exception appears in the consent for release of response data).

    6. If all responses are rejected prior to completion of the evaluation process, all data other than the names of the responders remains nonpublic until a resolicitation of the RFP results in completion of the evaluation process, or a determination is made to abandon the purchase.

    7. If the rejection occurs after the completion of the evaluation process, the data remain public.

    8. If a resolicitation of proposals does not occur within 1 year of the proposal opening date, the remaining data become public.

    9. Data created or maintained by the city as part of the selection or evaluation process are protected nonpublic data until completion of the selection or completion of the evaluation process, at which time the data are public except for any “trade secret data” (there should be none in this case because of the consent for release signed by the responders, except that financial statements may remain confidential).

    December 11, 2008
  29. John S. Thomas said:


    Thank you for a great response to the question. Very enlightening in its background nature and process. All things can be improved if a group looks back on what they did.

    In response to your question posed about the NN in post #28:

    Just in closing, John T, I’m curious whether those of you who are on the N News’ Advisory group would comment on the outcome of your effort.

    You must have a sense of “purpose” and a “success failure” ratio in bringing influence.

    1. What effort? We basically get together to discuss how a story was covered and end up in a heated face-to-face debate, somewhat like here, only IRL.

    2. The only purposes for me joining the group are:
    a) gets me out of the house.
    b) gets me off-line, and communicating with real humans
    c) allows me to meet interesting people.
    d) lets me ask questions directly of the NN, get perspective, and better understand some of the things that are going on by getting additional information or asking questions.

    I hope that the NN gets something out of listening to my opinions, and I am not sure there have been any actionable items that come from our meetings.

    Much of what we discuss other than the stories, has to do with layout, style, continuity within the paper, and of course, the website. However, the website comments are usually limited to the posting of articles outside of the paper, and the limitations of the web system they are using.

    I do not have a purpose or motive, other than trying to meet new people in new settings to broaden my understanding of Northfield and network with others. Success / Failure is based upon the enjoyment of the interaction and debate.

    It seems that 90% of my day between work and working on my masters, is in front of “the square headed flat-panel mistress”. Any opportunity to interact with folks in a manner other than online, and other than at work is a treasured commodity. Even online, we do many online live meetings, so you do not actually get to meet folks.

    Griff, (and LGN) thanks for the allowance of this digression from the original topic everyone. And Victor, thanks again for the response. It shed some additional light on the process.

    Back to debating the proposals… Any idea if the Mr. Movies site would meet the RFP?

    I need to read the RFP post from Tracy. And Tracy, thanks for posting it as well!

    December 11, 2008
  30. John S. Thomas said:


    That helps, but I am looking for the baseline criteria, such as location, zoning, square footage criteria, accessibility, parking, etc. that was asked of the individuals submitting to the RFP.

    Anyone know where I can read a copy of that? I am not looking for the submissions. I am looking for the required criteria of the property to be submitted.

    I just want to get a little more educated about it. Perhaps a visit or call to city hall? (I will bring a roll of quarters for copies… [Grin!] )


    December 11, 2008
  31. Tracy Davis said:

    John, the City has taken the RFP off its proposal page:

    The public notice for the RFP can be found on the Northfield News site:

    The salient details, from the public notice:

    TO OBTAIN PROPOSAL INFORMATION: Proposal information is available on the City Web Site ( or a printed copy may be requested and obtained at the Northfield City Hall, Engineering Office, 801 Washington Street, Northfield MN 55057 for a (non-refundable) fee of $5.00. Please contact us at (507) 645-3020.

    Knock yourself out! And I’d love it if you’d share your views with the rest of us if you actually get a copy of the RFP. I haven’t seen it.

    December 11, 2008
  32. David DeLong said:

    John, for a copy of the RFP you could try what I did which this morning which was – google northfild mn liquor store proposal that brings up a screen where one entry says more results from northfield when I clicked on that it pops up another screen that that has PDF file RFP but since I have an old slow computer, very compatible with it’s old slow owner , I clicked on the HTML version thing and the RFP came up . When I then tried the PDF one, it does come up page not found. I was searching for the councils’ “optimal business model” apparently lacking in all the proposals. They didn’t accept any proposals . They didn’t “abandon” any proposals. They just added a new requirement. So if they didn’t accept any proposals how can it be too late to add one?

    December 12, 2008
  33. norman butler said:

    Patrick: I am very sorry for causing you such offence by saying what I said in my comment #21 above.

    If honor is not satisfied I suggest wet fish at 10 paces. Either that or a pint on me at P&P.

    December 12, 2008
  34. Patrick Enders said:

    I accept your apology for offending me. However, I wasn’t offended, just disappointed.

    December 12, 2008
  35. I put the RFP file in an update at the end of the original post!

    December 12, 2008
  36. Anne Bretts said:

    Bloomberg News reports: “The Federal Reserve refused a request by Bloomberg News to disclose the recipients of more than $2 trillion of emergency loans from U.S. taxpayers and the assets the central bank is accepting as collateral.”
    Sorta makes the liquor store confidentiality argument pale in comparison.

    December 12, 2008
  37. […] The latest online discussions surrounding a proposed new municipal liquor store subsided about three weeks ago (There are three discussion threads. “Gleason offers land…” has had the most activity, followed by “EDA talks about trust…” and “Two EDA members score…“). […]

    December 29, 2008
  38. […] Northfield Economic Development Authority, posted a comment on under a story I wrote about the authority’s participation in a decision to build a new municipal liquor […]

    January 27, 2009

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