Northfield 4th Ward City Councilor Jon Denison voted against the appointment of Andrew Berglund and David Geist to the Rental Board at last Monday’s Council meeting, even though he abstained on a similar vote last September. According to Jane McWilliams’ LWV Observer report:
Councilor Jon Denison had requested that the second reading amending the Rental Housing ordinance be removed from the consent agenda, and placed on the regular one. At a previous meeting he had opposed the first reading, and now said the membership should be increased to 7, rather than reduced to recommended 5 (in order to avoid potential tie votes). His concern at this meeting was there were not sufficient stakeholders, specifically tenant’s represented. He later requested that the council take action separately on the mayor’s nominees for membership on the board (Andrew Berglund, landlord and David Geist, contractor) because they were not tenants. Councilors Denison and Zweifel voted against the appointments of those candidates.
In an article in the Sept 16, 2008 issue of the Northfield News titled Appointments to boards are made:
The council also OK’d five appointments — Andrew Berglund, David Geist, Don McGee, Kenneth Malecha and Bill Simonet Jr. — to the new Rental Code Board of Appeal 5-1. Davis voted no. Denison abstained due to a legal issue with one nominee.
The legal issues mentioned in that article were evidently with Denison’s landlord Andrew Berglund. Other Northfield News articles:
A comment on the article titled Council OKS board appointments on the Northfield New website by someone name Pietro says:
Online district court records reveal that on October 24, 2008 Berglund, once a Denison landlord, was awarded a judgement of $1,471.25 stemming from Councilor Denison having been substantially arrear in his rent. The same records indicate that an order to show cause hearing is currently on the calendar of Judge Thomas M. Neuville for next Thursday, January 15, 2009 at 1:30pm, apparently in the matter of Councilor Denison’s refusal to comply with the court ordered award.
There is also a comment there by reporter Suzy Rook that includes an email from City Attorney Maren Swanson.
Here’s the video from the Council meeting.
0-13 minutes: discussion of 5 vs 7 members on the Rental Board
13-25 minutes: discussion of Rental Board appointments.