Born in Mankato, Bluestem's editor expects Southern Minnesotans to be stoic stalwarts able to cope with blizzards,1965-quality floods and sassy citizens.
This is apparently not the case for members of the North Mankato City Council members.
At the Mankato Free Press, Trey Mewes reports in Council member walks out of North Mankato meeting as tension mounts:
Criticism over the way the North Mankato City Council conducts business reached a boiling point Monday night when Council member Bob Freyberg walked out halfway through the council's public meeting.
Two residents called the council out on its recent public comment policy restrictions, as well as allegations that city leadership has created a hostile work environment for staff.
Freyberg appeared frustrated as residents at times violated the city's new public comment policy with little to no repercussions. He declined to comment further on his actions Tuesday morning . . .
Freyberg brought up the council's three-minute time limit on public comments, but Dehen said those rules didn't apply as they weren't spelled out at the beginning of the hearing.
Freyberg and Dehen grew frustrated when resident Tom Hagen came before the board with comments on the city's Spring Lake Park Swim Facility project. Hagen urged the council to reconsider adding amenities to the project, but he first got in a few digs at council members by facetiously asking them whether he was following proper procedure.
"When I address the council, do I say 'Honorable Council Member,' or 'Your Excellency?'" Hagen said. "Perhaps it's a mistake in my etiquette."
Dehen interrupted Hagen to tell him he was out of order. In response, Hagen asked whether he needed to bow when addressing the council or perhaps kiss a ring.
Freyberg walked out at that point. . . .
Perhaps leadership should be made of sterner stuff.
Earlier this year, Bluestem posted about the non-servile Mr. Hagen in Free speech & Greater MN cities: the rewards for speaking out in North Mankato and Little Falls and ACLU of MN: erosion of citizens' ability to directly engage with local elected officials undermines government & democracy.
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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