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Editorial: Willmar residents deserve better, not retaliation

The Ron Christianson-Steve Ahmann-Tim Johnson-Rick Fagerlie faction of the Willmar City Council has once again shown its negative colors.

They recently voted against a resident for a volunteer public service post within the city of Willmar again. They have now rejected or not approved five volunteer appointments in the past 15 months.

Mayor Marv Calvin has tried to work with the City Council with the process. But the four council members continue to practice retaliation against volunteers for perceived past actions and/or unknown reasons.

When asked by the Tribune why he voted recently against resident Julie Asmus nomination to the Willmar Planning Commission, Christianson said he was not prepared to comment on why he voted against her nomination. Not one of the other three spoke to their reasoning for voting vote against Asmus either.

Really?

This City Council group continues to be an embarrassment to themselves as well as the city.

The majority of the city residents understand that Christianson does not like Asmus because she participated in the Recall Ron petition effort last year.

Are those residents of his ward who sought Christianson’s recall and/or have criticized him to be ostracized for the remainder of their lives in Willmar?

This retaliation concept goes back even further. Former Mayor Frank Yanish declined to reappoint Dave Baker to the Municipal Utilities Commission because he didn’t believe the reappointment would be approved due to Baker’s previous association with the Willmar Moving Forward group.

Isn’t it time to start healing and stop putting salt in the wounds of the Recall Ron and Willmar Moving Forward efforts?

A large group of Christianson’s ward signed a petition asking for a recall. The reasons put forth for the recall were ruled not sufficient and the recall effort ended.

The Moving Willmar Forward group has since disbanded.

This continued retribution towards Willmar residents involved in those efforts is regrettable and unprofessional.

This resident retribution has now become a hinderance and an obstacle to the city volunteer process and to city governance.

The city is badly in need of volunteers to serve on city boards and commissions. Vacancies are remaining open for significant period of time.

Residents are now reluctant to ask for or even accept a nomination to a volunteer position or reappointment to city board and commissions. Frankly, Individuals are afraid to have their nominations come before this current City Council.

Willmar and its residents deserve better governance from these four City Council members, not retaliation.

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