A new month, a busy week

Up this week at (or related to) City Hall:

City Council Meeting: I’m not counting on going to bed early Monday night with the meatiness of the agenda.   The highlights:

On the consent agenda: a motion to approve phasing of the Transit Hub project.   The good part about this prroject is that it is being built with 80% federal funding and a 20% city contribution – more bang for the municipal buck, so to speak.  There are 2 troubling bits, though.  First is the location behind Walgreen’s which is invisible and questionably accessible to large buses.  Second is timing – Northfield has a grass roots transit group which has been researching and discussing transit options in Northfield over the past few months.  It seems unfortunate that we are building an invisible transit hub in advance of some useful data.  I have not decided whether to fight this battle yet.

On the regular agenda:

Consider location for skatepark. I’ve said enough here, here, here, here, and here.

Finalize Council direction on draft Land Development Code. This item is about the process to be followed to review and edit the draft regulations prior to Council adoption later this year.  I have nothing much to say about the process – selected boards and commissions will review the draft in addition to the Planning Commission which is the commission in charge of the process.   I have ongoing concerns about keeping this process open, transparent and accountable, but I know these concerns are shared by the Planning Commission and, I think, the Council, so we’ll keep working on this as we move forward.   Stay tuned for more about the content of the draft regulations, but until I get around to writing more you can go to the NDDC forum on Tuesday, June 2 and hear Alice Thomas of the Planning Commission speak about the draft and have a chance to ask questions and make comments there.

Update on the budget outlook: The outlook is mostly grim, but there will be much more on this subject in the next few weeks and months.

Additional consideration/discussion of administrative citations: we discussed this at a worksession recently andthe Northfield News put it on the front page on Saturday.

2 thoughts on “A new month, a busy week

  1. Betsey; on the use of administrative citations… I think it is a very bad idea to have a ‘pool’ of local lawyers to evaluate and make decisions about these ‘offenses’. Lots of reasons which you might also conclude. The most important being the idea of a local ‘kangaroo court’.
    But to provide the efficiency which is the city’s voiced objective, all the cities in Rice County should get together and ask for an administrative citation judge at the County level, one which goes through a much more efficient (quick) legal process than the full court process. This would provide the shorter process, and the desirable detachment from local influence.
    Many auto tickets/parking violations are handled this way in Hennepin County and it is very efficient in the removal of these from the full court system.

  2. Kiffi (and Betsey), the idea of a county judge spending time on this kind of thing doesn’t seem to be a good use of resources.

    What the hell kind of city do we have, if we can’t manage a process to fine those violating city ordinances? (Of course, the ability to assess and collect such fines, and a clear process for doing so, has to be clear in the ordinances as well.)

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