Government

A story about local government event or issue: City of Northfield, city of Dundas, Rice County, local townships

Sign of the Season: Road Construction

!{float:left;margin: 0 5px 0 0 }http://northfield.org/files/road_closed.jpg! The old joke goes like this: _There are two seasons in Minnesota: winter and road construction._

Jefferson Rd, near the clinic, was temporarily closed yesterday as infrastructure was laid for the new development to the south. I spoke with Joel Walinski from the City of Northfield who informed me that it will be temporarily closed again around Monday to replace the asphalt.

When I asked about summer plans for construction, he noted that there will be a few small projects, but the upcoming work on Hwy 3 will be the one that affects everyone.


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March's Nfld Public Library Board Meeting Notes

!{float:left; margin:0 5px 3px 0;}http://gurno.com/adam/images/books.png! March's Library Board Meeting has come and gone. This is an informal report of the happenings. To entice you to read it, there's a library joke at the end. :)

Enough with the chit-chat! On with the "Knots Landing"-esque drama of a modern public library!


Our Library

Northfield Public Library

No longer is Northfield Public Library a stuffy brick building with pull out catalog drawers as it was in 1985 when the library was last renovated.  Our library now has personal computers, the Internet, wireless access, a book section entirely in Spanish, books on tape and CD, pictures of you and me when we were in high school (provided you graduated from NHS), and old Northfield phone books.  The old Northfield phone books aren't interesting until you realize some of them listed the man's name, "wife", the man's job, and finally the kids' names and birth dates.


Using the web to access voters

Two of our local politicians at the State level are asking web-savvy citizens to give them some feedback. It seems like a pretty good plan, although it does emphasize the importance of one of the core missions of Northfield Citizens Online, which is to reach out to the entire community. Just as polls based on telephone numbers miss a large segment of the population, so too do web-based surveys.

But, even with those caveats, these might be fun, informative and worthwhile. It only takes about 15 minutes to do both. Actually, they have the same set of multiple choice questions, but Rep. Cox's includes room for additional comments.

Remember, if you want to be heard, speak up; if you want to be listened to, don't scream.

 


This Week in the Northfield Blogosphere

A quick round up of this weeks posts in the "Northfield blogosphere":http://northfield.org/aggregator/sources...


Locally Grown podcast #11: the Northfield Municipal Liquor Store

 

Issues covered in show #11 of Locally Grown, recorded in the KRLX 88.1 FM studio at Carleton on Friday afternoon:

1) The Very Short Play Festival with guest Brendon Etter (click photo to enlarge; taken at a karaoke event a month ago).

2) The proposed expansion/relocation of the Northfield Municipal Liquor Store (starting at the 19 minute mark). 


Reminder: Precinct Caucuses at 7pm Tonight

You don't have to be an official member of either political party to attend, but the DFL and Republican Parties each hold their own caucus TONIGHT at 7:00.

  • The DFL caucus is at Northfield Middle School
  • The Republican caucus is at Northfield High School

For more information, there is a Precinct Caucus Brochure (PDF) available on the website of the Minnesota Secretary of State.


Locally Grown podcast #10: making Northfield an energy self-sufficient community

 

Issues covered in show #10 of Locally Grown, recorded in the KRLX 88.1 FM studio at Carleton on Friday afternoon: making Northfield an energy self-sufficient community

Guest: Bruce Anderson, Executive Director of RENewNorthfield. Click the photo thumbnail to see his memorable shirt (photo taken last summer).

And click "Read the rest of this entry..." to listen (32 minutes) or subscribe to the podcast


"Locally Grown" #9: telecom infrastructure

 

Issues covered in show #9 of Locally Grown, recorded in the KRLX 88.1 FM studio at Carleton on Friday afternoon:

Ultra high-speed broadband and Northfield's economic development.

Guest: Milda Hedblom, adjunct professor at the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, and professor of politics and communications at Augsburg College

Click the play button to listen (30 mintues). Subscribe to the feed. Subscribe with iTunes. Join the ISSUES discussion list to continue the conversation on these and other issues. Attach a comment to give us feedback. See the Locally Grown page for more on the show.

 


Local legislators' town meeting schedule


The 2006 MN legislature convenes on March 1, so local legislators Rep. Ray Cox and Sen. Tom Neuville have scheduled a series of town meetings in the next two weeks.

The meetings are designed to be non-partisan, which is why I've linked to their pages at the legislature rather than their campaign web sites.

Here are the meeting dates/places:


"Locally Grown" podcast for 02.10.06

 

Issues covered in show #7 of Locally Grown, recorded in the KRLX 88.1 FM studio at Carleton on Friday afternoon:

  • Carleton's Bursting the Bubble civic engagement series: 0-6:00
  • Economic development plan update: 6:00
  • Outdoor swimming pool update: 8:15
  • Clem Shearer Micro Grant decision: 9:30
  • Upadopting 1306: 13:45
  • Public utitlities/city-wide wi-fi: 16:00
  • Green businesses: 21:45
  • Jobs for/business startups by college students: 26:00
  • "Third" places in downtown: 35:45
  • Outdoor dining on public spaces in downtown: 38:15
  • Community media task force update: 49:00


Click the play button to listen (52 mintues). Subscribe to the feed. Subscribe with iTunes. Join the ISSUES discussion list to continue the conversation on these and other issues. Attach a comment to give us feedback. See the Locally Grown page for more on the show.

 


Precinct Caucus Night on March 7, 2006

I remember being nine years old and sitting at my first precinct caucus.  I chimed in with my two cents about Jimmy Carter, and my parents beamed.  I've loved precinct caucus discussions ever since.

Once again it's time for us to put in our two cents worth.  While election day is not until November 7, 2006, precinct caucus night will happen soon.  Northfielders can get together to discuss everything from health care to educational funding, and more.   We can air our goals and dreams and talk about what makes us worried or concerned.

You don't have to declare your political party to attend, but DFLers and Republicans do caucus in different small groups.


No Parking Notice for West Side

These flyers showed up recently on windshields of cars parked in the parking lot at the SE corner of 2nd St. and Hwy 3. 

I had not seen any signs posted or heard of any City announcements, so I thought people would want to be aware of this no longer being "public parking" as it has been during the recent highway construction.

Click for a larger view. 


Charter Commission and City Government

U. S. ConstitutionAt its January meeting, the Northfield Charter Commission discussed its priorities for this year's agenda. Already, I may have lost half of you: even well educated, connected and involved citizens have asked me what the charter commission is (I serve on this commission.). The commission serves an important role in the governance of the community; in fact it plays a crucial role in what our community's governance looks like.

Northfield operates as a “chartered city” -- meaning it operates under its own charter or constitution. While this charter is subservient to the state constitution – much like the state constitution is subservient to the U. S. constitution – the charter details what form of government the city operates. Essentially, our charter details the roles and responsibilities of the top government officials of the city – elected, appointed and hired. All policies and actions of the city are subject to the charter's provisions.


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