November 13, 2018 Work Session Minutes

NOVEMBER 13, 2018 – 6:00 PM

CALL TO ORDER - The work session was called to order by Mayor Pro Tempore Hughes at 6:04 p.m.

Council Members Present: Gary Hughes, Mayor Pro Tempore; Pamela Horton; Catherine Kane Palen; nd Megan Pavot

Council Members Absent: Jerome P. Rockvam, Mayor

Staff Present: Dan Tolsma, City Administrator; David Anderson, Assistant City Attorney; and Theresa Schyma, City Clerk


City Administrator Tolsma presented a summary of the food truck ordinance and Council’s request that the issue be revisited at the end of this year to discuss last year’s amendment that allowed food trucks to operate for an unlimited number of days in the city.

City Clerk Schyma discussed the current number of trucks that have been licensed in 2018, the associated licensing fees, and provided a summary of the food truck application process.

City Council consensus was that no changes were necessary to the food truck ordinance regarding number of operating days.


City Administrator Tolsma presented the Planning Commission’s request to move the Planning Commission Meeting start time from 7 p.m. to 6 p.m. beginning January 1, 2019.

The City Council consensus was to allow the change in start time.

Council Member Kane Palen wanted to revisit the issue about televising City Council work sessions.

Council Member Hughes has asked City Administrator Tolsma to give a brief recap of the items approved as part of the consent agenda during the “City Staff Reports” section of the regular meeting.

City Administrator Tolsma stated that he is agreeable to reviewing items that were approved on the consent agenda during the “City Staff Reports.” He added that items of a routine nature are placed on the consent agenda to run a more efficient meeting. The two to three residents that have brought up the item for discussion have stated they want televised work sessions for reasons of transparency but the information is already public. The work sessions are open to the public and both the agendas and the minutes are public information so there is definitely transparency.

City Administrator Tolsma stated that last year there was discussion at a televised City Council meeting about whether or not to televise work sessions. At that time the City Council asked the viewing public to voice their opinions if they would like to have work sessions televised. City staff and the Council only received feedback from two people, including the original person who brought it to the Council for discussion.

Council Member Kane Palen asked the city attorney for his opinion.

Assistant City Attorney Anderson stated that many cities typically do not televise their work sessions because they are informal discussions where there is a lot of back and forth between Council and staff. He agreed that all work sessions are open to the public and all agendas and minutes are public as well so there is already complete transparency. He continued that it is a policy decision and asked the Council if they want to spend City funds on something that only a handful of residents are requesting considering that the City is already being completely transparent.

Council Member Kane Palen stated that since there is not a great demand from residents to televise work sessions then the Council should just move on.


City Administrator Tolsma presented a summary of proposed personnel costs for 2019 including salary, benefits, cost of living estimates from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, and the different options for merit increases. He added that there was a comprehensive wage study completed last year for communities around the Lake Minnetonka area and doesn’t believe that much would’ve changed from that report.

Council Member Hughes asked when a decision needed to be made.

City Administrator Tolsma responded that a 3% percent increase was already factored into the proposed budget so there is time but it is typically approved at the same meeting as the budget.


Council Member Hughes wanted to discuss a last minute change in the contract for snow removal that is being considered at tonight’s regular meeting. The change is due to a clerical error; the contract needs to have a section removed for “trucks” since the City no longer owns any vehicles.

The City Council consensus was to move forward with the corrected contract at tonight’s meeting.

Council Member Hughes questioned potential damage to light poles.

City Administrator Tolsma stated he has already toured the city with new contractor and discussed trouble areas, sidewalks, light poles, etc. The new contractor also has different equipment specifically for sidewalks so hopefully there will be fewer incidents of light pole damage.

Council Member Kane Palen wants City Hall security, especially during City Council meetings, to be an item for a future work session including techniques and de-escalation education for dealing with people that have mental health issues.

City Administrator Tolsma stated he could speak with Orono Police to see if they could provide some sort of training or information.

Assistant City Attorney Anderson added that he can speak with his staff and the League of Minnesota Cities to find some information on the topic since it is a good discussion to have when you do not have police present at City Council meetings.

Council Member Pavot stated that she believes police should be present at meetings and would like it discussed at the next Police Commission meeting.

City Administrator Tolsma stated it is within the scope of the City’s contract for police services to have a police presence at meetings.

5. ADJOURN - The work session was adjourned by unanimous consent at 6:59 p.m.

Date Approved: December 3, 2018

Dan Tolsma, City Administrator

Theresa Schyma, City Clerk