September 22, 2014 Work Session


    1. See attached staff memo from City Attorney Nancy Beck.

Beck said Tolsma asked her to prepare a refresher. Reinhardt said this came up because of the City of Minnetrista’s issues. Beck said regarding open meeting law, whenever there is a quorum, (three or more) they are subject to open meeting law and the public needs to be informed.  Three days notice needs to be given by posting a notice.  Beck said there’s been questions about others attending committee meetings.  She tends to discourage this but it’s not prohibited.  She said if three council members participate, notice needs to be given and, if there is no participation, it’s allowed.  Beck said attendance at social functions is okay but city business cannot be discussed.  Reinhardt references the appreciation dinner and Lewin said it’s typically noticed. 


Beck said the closed meetings are a little more detailed. Employee performance are supposed to be closed but can be open if employee wants it.  She said pending litigation is closed to prevent the opposing side gaining information.  Beck said the purchase or sale of real estate can be closed due to future negotiation strategy.  She said at the following meeting of a closed meeting, a brief summary should be stated.  Williamson referred to previous closed meetings with another organization in which the meetings were recorded and once the subject was finalized, the recording was destroyed.  Beck said serial meetings get people in the most trouble.  It happens when two council members talk among themselves and then they talk to others about the same subject.  She said deliberations need to be held in a public forum, not deliberated beforehand.  Reinhardt said she sometimes consults staff or one other person.  She doesn’t talk about that subject to any others after that.  She said the same is true for e-mail and telephone conversations.  She said city e-mails need to be written with the city’s email address. Hughes said for the LMCD he forwards all emails to the director.  Beck agrees that this practice is good and any e-mails should probably be forwarded to the administrator to coordinate a response.  Beck said the same goes for camera breaks, city business should not be discussed.  Sippel said when emailing among themselves, they should always copy the administrator.  Sippel also thinks this is a better subject in January when there is a new council. 


    1. See attached staff memo from City Planner Al Brixius.


*Note: This has been on the backburner for a few months due to the number of issues that needed to be addressed throughout the summer. The planning commission toured the parks last May and noted a number of areas where they would like to see improvements and/or additions to the current park offerings. If the council feels strongly about allocating resources for some of their recommendations we could incorporate that into our discussion about the capital improvement plan during the budget finalization process this Oct. – Dec.


Reinhardt refers to the memo and said there are some ideas for suggested park improvements. She said if there is allocation of dollars, that can be done.  Hughes said there is a park budget that gets used for something else.  He does think the commission has spent the time with this list and some action should be taken. 

  • Handicap parking – Williamson said there is one and he wonders if there should be two. Bren wonders if it’s based upon the number of parking spots available. Reinhardt thinks one might work because it depends upon which part of the park to be used. Sippel thinks it’s not a church, it’s not a hospital and it’s not a pharmacy and there have been no complaints. It’s agreed one for minimum regulation.

  • A paved trail to the basketball court. Williamson said this is the one area that access cannot be gained by handicapped because it’s grass. The general thought is to pave a trail.

  • Perimeter trail segment is not a priority because there are a lot of things going on already.

  • Trail segment along Sunset Drive to connect the bike trail. Reinhardt said this is probably the most expensive and could be controversial. Sippel said it’s County right-of-way and it’s been talked about for years. Reinhardt said it’s never really been pursued. Williamson said this is basically from the park to the trail. Reinhardt thinks this is a good idea but it’s not an easy concept. Williamson thinks this should have the administrator and Goman stay in touch with the County to make sure we’re kept in the planning loop. Sippel said he would give it back to the commission to come up with a workable plan.

  • Replace landscape timbers – Hughes said this should be the new composite wood. Williamson said some of the segments have eroded away.

  • Investigate construction of a picnic pavilion. Reinhardt doesn’t think there is enough room. Bren thinks it’s more important to fix the things that need to be fixed. Sippel said the drainage needs to be fixed first. Sippel would be in favor of a full basketball court first.

  • They all agree that park benches would be nice, especially by the BB court. Bren thinks nice picnic tables should be bought instead of the old wood tables.

  • Swings. Williamson said the infant seat is in good shape but the vinyl covering is cracked. Hughes said get it fixed.

  • Improve landscaping and groundcover. Reinhardt said she thinks this means improve the grass. They are not sure what is meant by the dead trees.

  • Install ag lime next to the dugouts. Hughes said this has been discussed. Bren wonders about putting down asphalt. Sippel said any where the grass is worn, put in ag lime. Reinhardt said it should be done now; it doesn’t need to be ordered. Williamson asked about the drinking fountain and said it doesn’t work. Lewin said it was replaced due to the snow plow hitting it and she thought it maybe never was turned on.

  • Fix trash containers or new ones. The domes are rusted and the wood enclosure is falling off. Williamson said they need to be replaced.


    Wilkes Park

    Code enforcement – there has been some progress but that was a couple years ago.

    Turf restoration, level the park surface, fix edges on merry-go-round, recondition the picnic tables. Williamson said this applies to both parks. Hughes said this was looked at before and he thought the merry-go-round was no longer allowed. Williamson said Berkley Risk is the agent for the insurance trust. He said it was evaluated but it’s now been concluded it doesn’t rise to the level of being a risk. Hughes doesn’t think there are safety features. Hughes said he wonders about community gardens. Sippel said he thinks that’s a better use. He said with the apartment buildings there would be a need for this. He thinks Wilke's is a waste of space, it’s difficult to get to, and nobody knows about it. Williamson wonders what is the better investment. Hughes thinks community gardens should be investigated. Reinhardt said a survey of the park could be done. Reinhardt said this could be put on the website and residents directed there through the newsletter or utility bill. Hughes mentions the weeds growing along Interlachen Rd.


    1. See attached information from Three Rivers Park District. As noted in the letter the Park District has made some changes to their permitting process, most notably of which will allow the Council to determine the necessary level of approval that future permits will require (i.e. full council action at a regular council meeting, staff level action by the city administrator, administration committee level action, etc.). –


Reinhardt this once again puts the risk and additional obligations on the city. Hughes said the residents will use it anyway.  Reinhardt said she thinks there will be enough pressure over time that Three Rivers will have to respond.  Sippel would be okay with Goman plowing the trail but signs saying it’s their own use.  He said it shouldn’t be all or nothing.  Williamson thinks it’s almost an all or nothing because they want to offload every and anything that happens.  Williamson thinks a combination of cities should put the pressure on to maintain this year round. 




  1. MISCELLANEOUS – Hughes said there's an issue with the lake and trash accumulation. He has some photos.


Adjourned 8:45 p.m