This is a PDF of Northfield City Councilor Kris Vohs’ letter to his fellow councilors last week. In it, he addresses issues related to:
Inaccuracy of information from citizens
Comprehensive Plan and Land Development Code
Business Park Master Plan
The short paragraph at the end addresses his concerns about council relationships:
Bulling [sic] is a big focus among young people now. I don’t think it’s a council we are doing a very good job in this area. We have bordered on bulling at some of our meetings. We call it disrespect and we are setting an example for our young people. This is my opinion.
Vohs, who holds one of the council’s two at-large seats, says that the stress caused by the regular battles between council members is wearing thin and that if they don’t abate he’ll call it quits. “It’s just not worth it,” Vohs said on Thursday after issuing an open letter to his fellow council members.
Vohs said he would have preferred to speak publicly, but recent agenda changes gave him no forum. Now in his third term, Vohs said this council — out of all he has been part of — is the “hardest to work with.” And, he added, “They just don’t like each other.”
Vohs’ vague statement about bullying in a letter and then detailed critical comments to a newspaper reporter seem to me to be a very poor approach to trying to solve relationship problems.
Whether or not his complaints are justified/accurate, why wouldn’t he bring this up at the end of a council meeting? Why not call individual councilors on the phone or meet with them 1 to 1?
Northfield City Councilor Jon Denison held a Ward 4 meeting on Saturday morning at 9 am in Tyler Park. Over the course of the 90 minutes, 7 citizens attended. In addition, Councilor Kris Vohs was there at the beginning for 20 minutes or so. Councilor Rhonda Pownell came at about 9:30 and stayed till the end. City Administrator Joel Walinski was there for the entire meeting, as was League of Women Voters City Hall observer Jane McWilliams.