Bemidji City Council approves financial services contract, sets dates for further discussion on number of topics

The Bemidji City Council discussed a number of items in their regular meeting.

Ward 3 Council member Ron Johnson motioned to add an agenda item to schedule a date for review with the city clerk and acting City Manager Michelle Miller.

During the meeting, City Attorney Katie Nolting said the Charter gives the council no authority to review the City Clerk, as the Charter does not recognize the position of the acting city manager, and only the City Manager can direct and review other department heads like the City Clerk.

Johnson, who made the motion to add this item to the agenda, said the council has been able to set goals and directions for the city manager, acknowledging that Miller has not asked the council for direction.

The council then approved a motion to set a date to discuss as a council some goals and directions for the City Manager, with a facilitator from the League of Minnesota Cities.

The council also approved a professional agreement with Abdo Financial Services after longtime City Finance Director Ron Eischens resigned on July 11.

Staff recommended spending up to $40,000 throughout the fiscal year, or as needed, as the city will be seeking to hire a new Finance Director, while in the midst of a search for a new City Manager after Nate Mathews resigned in April.

In other business, the council:

  • Accepted a bid from Reierson Construction for an Algoma Street sewer extension project.
  • Set an Aug. 28 date for a public participation session about recreational cannabis businesses within the City of Bemidji.
  • Approved creating more diagonal parking spaces in downtown Bemidji.

Larissa Donovan was the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016, through July 2023. She covered all the beats in north-central Minnesota, such as local government, crime, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University. You can follow along with Larissa's live tweets of meetings and events on Twitter!

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