Myriad of Mayoral Motion: Bemidji City Council approves retaining outside counsel for the City Manager’s Performance evaluation

After many motions, the Bemidji City Council approved retaining an attorney from Flaherty & Hood for the “execution of the process” for the City Manager’s Annual Performance Evaluation.

Nate Mathews’ proposed outline for the evaluation process, a questionnaire, one-on-one interviews, then the full council evaluation was also approved in a separate motion.

In an unusual move after a first failed vote for just the retainer, Mayor Jorge Prince made, amended, and withdrew a motion that combined the retainer and evaluation outline, then offered the two separate motions that were approved, with the retainer for Flaherty & Hood set not to exceed $6,000.

Typically, board chairs such as the mayor offer to entertain motions, which are moved and seconded by other members of the board.

The council moved the discussion with Northern Township to a work session.

The MPCA is monitoring the failing septic situation at Ruttger’s Birchmont Lodge, with a proposed Memorandum of Understanding, that allows city connection without annexation, not supported by legal or engineering staff.

According to City Attorney Katie Nolting, one idea that has not been previously discussed is a merger between the City and the Township.

No formal action on the MOU was taken.

Sanford Center Executive Director Sheila Murphy also provided her first annual report to council, as the transition of management companies from VenuWorks to ASM under Murphy’s leadership has reached its one-year mark.

Murphy highlighted some of the events held over the year and emphasized that the Sanford Center is not a community center, explaining that the Sanford Center is no longer selling itself short with discounts.

Murphy also said her team is looking into expanding sponsorship opportunities, with more than $92,000 in sponsorship revenue last year and the Sanford Center team is reportedly on track for $124,000 in sponsorships this year.

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