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Letter: An eye-opening meeting

I have been following the antics of the Willmar City Council in the West Central Tribune for some time. Frankly I find it to be quite entertaining ... much better than anything my wife watches on reality TV.

In an attempt to better understand the dynamics driving council decisions, I decided to go online and watch Tuesday night's special council meeting. The city administrator, Charlene Stevens, presented organizational design alternatives with the goal to create more efficient and effective city administration. Her proposals were based on recommendations from an organizational study conducted earlier in the year and commissioned by the council.

I was impressed by Ms. Stevens' recommendations and I was impressed with Ms. Stevens. We seem to be well represented by her service.

What I witnessed was a clear distinction between what should or shouldn't be done and no clear leadership. One side, the minority, wanted to further pursue and evaluate Ms. Stevens' recommendations while the other, the majority, made the argument, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." The result was a motion, offered and passed, that binds the city into accepting the status quo. For the time being, it appears as though we will miss out on opportunities to streamline and foster more effective and efficient government.

This meeting was an awakening for me. If you are concerned with your city or city government, I urge you to go online and watch the meeting for yourself and make your own decisions. You can access the meeting at

The meeting will also be televised on WRAC TV-18 at noon and 9 p.m. Aug. 26 and 28; 11:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. Aug. 27; 12:30 and 9:30 p.m. Aug. 30; and 2 and 9 p.m. Sept. 1.

Mike Tolbert