It is time for select members of the Willmar City Council to grow up and act like adults at public meetings. This is especially true following the embarrassing discussion over the possible nomination of a new member to the Willmar Charter Commission.
Council member Ron Christianson said he was upset because he was not informed about the need for a Charter Commission nomination until he opened his agenda packet Saturday. Furthermore, he alleged incorrectly that the recommended name came from Mayor Les Heitke and city staff.
Christianson embarrassed himself, the City Council, the Charter Commission and the city with his false allegation.
Both City Administrator Michael Schmit and Heitke correctly refuted Christianson's false allegation that the recommended name came from the mayor. As Schmit said, the proposed nominee suggestion came from city staff.
The city staff's recommendation was not a nomination as only the City Council and the Charter Commission can at this point.
First, Christianson should get his facts straight before making public allegations, especially when making an allegation about the mayor or other council members. There is an expected responsibility of appropriate decorum by any council member.
Second, he should get over his apparent wish to micro-manage the city staff. The mayor and council members all received the same agenda notice concerning the need for a new Charter Commission member.
Three other council members correctly observed that Christianson's concern was trivial, making a big deal of nothing and making a mountain out of a molehill.
The facts remain as follows:
- The Charter Commission is well into its meeting schedule.
- One member had attended only one meeting and had missed the last four meetings.
- There is an urgency to get a nomination to the district judge in order to facilitate an appointment for a replacement.
- City staff suggested a qualified city resident who is experienced, knowledgeable and respected within the city.
The council certainly could have and should have made a replacement member nomination directly to the district judge. The Charter Commission also should make its own replacement member nomination to the District Judge.
There is no legal need for the City Council and/or the Charter Commission to go through the other to make their nominations.
Ultimately, the final decision on a new Charter Commission member rests with the district judge.
Christianson should quit embarrassing himself, the council and the city in his trivial pursuit of whatever his agenda is.