North Mankato city council member John Freyberg told a local radio station he isn't upset with mean comments from a citizen, but rather is distressed by accusations against a city staff member.
In short, he is so not a snowflake.
Freyberg shared his explanation with KTOE radio. Read and listen to his remarks in North Mankato councilman says he left meeting due to angst from personnel accusations:
North Mankato Councilman Bob Freyberg walked out of Monday evenings meeting after accusations of sexual harassment and a hostile work environment at the City.
Landlord and former County Attorney Nancy Evans recommended on Monday during a public hearing on the budget that the Council set aside money to address the work environment in the City.
Freyberg says where his angst comes from is when someone gets up and makes a case on an employment issue on North Mankato personnel who are not in a position to defend themselves.
“I don’t have any tolerance for that because that has to go through a personnel committee and it should not be aired in the public. Our employees are not elected officials. If they want to criticize me or any other council member or the Mayor, I have no problem with that. That’s what we’re there for, you know. We take the good with the bad.” . . .
Earlier this week, Trey Mewes reported in the Mankato Free Press article, Council member walks out of North Mankato meeting as tension mounts:
. . . Landlord and retired lawyer Nancy Evans took the council to task during a public hearing on the 2018 budget over the city's response to allegations City Administrator John Harrenstein has created a hostile work environment among North Mankato staff.
Evans, a former county attorney who has dealt with workplace harassment issues in the past, told the council they needed to address concerns from current and former workers who have told her about religious and sexual harassment within the city.
"You've got a powder keg here," she told the council.
Council members spoke up to urge Mayor Mark Dehen to cut Evans off, but Evans told the mayor she believes the city needs to start setting aside funds in case of a lawsuit.
Evans said Tuesday she had hoped the council takes the issue more seriously.
"What they choose to do about that is their business," she said. "It can be expensive, and that's why I tied that back to the budget." . . .
There's nothing like a reporter willing to name names that are part of the public record.
Bluestem looked at the incident in our post, Snowflake alert: North Mankato city council member walks out after citizen gets sassy.
In the past, Evans and Harrenstein have clashed about citizens' ability to speak at public meetings. The Center of the American Experiment's Tom Steward cited one episode last September in Another Minnesota City Restricts Right to Rent Out One’s Home:
But the proposal has generated a backlash over property rights among some taxpayers, who dressed down city officials at a recent public meeting over the controversial plan, according to a local news account.
Not everyone was a fan of the way city officials ran the meeting, however. Several residents wanted to have an open forum to discuss the cap, while city officials wanted to use a small-group exercise the city previously used in similar community meetings.
City Administrator John Harrenstein got into an argument with one landlord, Nancy Evans, for more than five minutes early in the meeting over how it should be run. Though several residents said they found the exchange off-putting, Harrenstein said after the meeting he was responding to a small group of citizens who like to “hijack public meetings,” which has happened in the past.
“I think communication among people who came for a true dialogue was had, and had very well,” he said.
How lovely that the government should have such a firm benchmark about who communicates in a "true dialogue," especially when it comes to other people's property. Nice.
Video still: Via Mankato Free Press--North Mankato City Council member Bob Freyberg walks out during Tom Hagen's comments at the council's public meeting Monday. Video still courtesy of the city of North Mankato.
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