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Alexandria City Council approves rules and conduct for new year

Respect is a key principle in the council's rules of procedure and the code of conduct.

Council2023.jpg
The Alexandria City Council's first regular meeting of 2023 took place Monday night, Jan. 9. Council members include, left to right, Andrew Wiener, newly elected member Nicole Mace, Mayor Bobbie Osterberg, Scott Allen, Roger Thalman and Bill Franzen.
Al Edenloff / Alexandria Echo Press
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ALEXANDRIA — The Alexandria City Council approved its “rules of procedure” and “code of conduct” at Monday night’s meeting.

Respect is a key principle in both documents.

“It all comes down to respect,” the code of conduct states. “Respect for one another as individuals, respect for the validity of different opinions, respect for the democratic process, respect for the community that we serve.”

The city charter requires the council to go through the procedures every year and approve them.

The code of conduct describes how the mayor and council members should treat one another, city staff, consultants, constituents and others they may come in contact with while representing the city.

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It also provides guidance related to conflicts of interest.

The city adopted new rules of procedure three years ago, using recommendations from the Minnesota Mayor’s Handbook Rules of Order, which was created by the League of Minnesota Cities and the Minnesota Mayors Association. If the council has any questions regarding procedures, it will refer to the handbook.

Some highlights from the 78-page document:

  • Council members will assist the mayor in preserving order and decorum.
  • Neither the mayor or council shall engage in conduct that delays, interrupts or hinders discussion.
  • Neither the mayor or council shall engage in private conversations or pass private messages while in the council chamber.
  • No profane or obscene words or language that threatens harm or violence toward another person.
  • No council member may speak without being recognized by the mayor.
  • No council members may interrupt the speech of another.
  • During debate, council members may only speak when called upon; must direct comments to the mayor; and must not be disruptive. The mayor may interrupt council members but not vice-versa.

Following are other items from the Jan. 9 meeting not included in other council coverage.

President pro tempore selected

The council voted to appoint Ward 5 council member Andrew Wiener to serve as president pro tempore for 2023.

Wiener will serve as president in the mayor’s absence and as acting mayor when the mayor is away from the city or if the mayor is unable to perform the duties of the office.

The president pro tempore doesn’t relinquish their right to vote.

Appointments to boards, committees

The council appointed members to city boards, committees and commissions for 2023.

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They include:

Airport Commission – council member Andrew Wiener, Joshua Schafer.

Alexandria Area Economic Development Commission – Rick Sansted.

Alexandria Lake Area Sanitary District – Charles Nettestad, Rebecca Sternquist.

Board of Public Works – Bill Finley, Jason Bachman.

Budget Committee – council member Scott Allen.

Cultural Inclusiveness Committee – Kelli Minnerath, Carly Erickson, Jeremy Vinar.

Deferred Compensation Committee – council member Nicole Mace.

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Explore Alexandria Tourism – council member Roger Thalman.

Housing and Redevelopment Authority – Molly Larson.

Industrial Park Board of Design – council member Bill Franzen.

Joint Airport Zoning Board – Wiener.

Legislative Committee – Mace, Franzen.

Liquor Commission – Mace, Wiener, Mayor Bobbie Osterberg.

Park Board – Carol Wenner, Shari Platto, Jackie Peters.

Personnel Committee – Thalman.Planning Commission – Chris Huether, Deb Parrott.

Police Commission – John Phillips.

Runestone Community Center Commission – Kris Juettner, Chris Uhde.

Stormwater Utility Committee – Joel Kamholz, Dwain Schuette, Tim Bayerl, Laura Hegstrom.

Local Government Coordinating Committee –- Wiener, Franzen.

Building Board of Appeals – Mace.

Meeting dates, other items for 2023

The council meets on the second and fourth Monday of the month at 7 p.m. Because Christmas falls on a Monday this year, the meeting will take place Tuesday, Dec. 26.

In other action to kick off the new year, the council:

  • Approved 21 financial institutions that will serve as the city’s depositories in 2023.
  • Designated the Echo Press as the city’s official newspaper for publishing legal documents.
  • Designated elected and appointed officials who will be covered by Minnesota workers compensation.
  • Appointed City Administrator Marty Schultz to serve as the responsible authority for the city’s data practice policies and procedures. Amy Riedel will serve as data practices compliance official; Police Chief Scott Kent is the law enforcement data practices designee; and Ted Cash, general manager of ALP Utilities, is the data practices designee for municiple utility.

Donation to computer model

The Nature Conservancy donated $2,500 to the city that's applying for a small community planning grant through the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency that will be be used for a southeast watershed computer modeling update.

The drainage area of the watershed stretches all the way from Scenic Heights Road NE to 50th Avenue.

The MPCA has set aside $350,000 for grants that support climate planning. The city applied for funds that would cover 90% of the computer modeling cost of $75,000 and requires the city to contribute at least a 10% match.

Al Edenloff is the editor of the twice-weekly Echo Press. He started his journalism career when he was in 10th grade, writing football and basketball stories for the Parkers Prairie Independent.
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