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Letter: Meeting rules trample citizen idea

To the Editor:

I attended the Red Wing City council meeting last Monday, hoping to see an open and reasoned discussion about ways to keep Mississippi National Golf Links open this season and plans for its future.

Along with 50 to 75 others attending this meeting, I hoped to see our City Council engaged and open to new proposals from Red Wing Municipal Golf Corporation. Unfortunately, through a series of procedural rules raised, no discussion of the new proposal was allowed.

I don't know why certain council members feel that meeting rules are more important than the hopes and desires of many of Red Wing citizens. I don't know why certain members obviously came to the meeting with their minds made up. I don't know if there are personal grudges toward Mississippi National or the citizens' committee trying to find a way to make it happen.

What I do know is that this refusal to even consider their new proposal was a slap in the face to many who have worked long and hard on the issue, and not a great example of a listening, thinking, representative government.

As this was my first time attending a council meeting, I was very disappointed in the whole process.

Now we are going to shell out $25,000 to have an outside consulting group tell us what ought to be done. This is on top of the $400,000 taxpayers will pay just to keep the course from going to seed. This will be money spent with no chance of returning a penny to the city coffers.

Meanwhile, a concerned and dedicated group of your fellow Red Wing citizens has come forward with a plan that would at least keep the course playable and bring in some revenue.

The council decided not to give them a chance and, indeed, not to discuss it further. Whether you think MNGL should continue as a golf course, you should be upset, as I am, that your council is so closed minded.

The people on the City Council in the middle 1980s had the courage and foresight to build a unique and valuable asset. I hope that today's council will find the same kind of foresight and courage going forward. It was not evident on Monday night.

Robb G. Rutledge

Red Wing