Some citizens push for Egan to leave; he's staying
Some citizens have called for Mayor Dennis Egan to step down since learning he is executive director of the new Minnesota Industrial Sand Council.
Dale Hanson has taken his displeasure a step further: He launched a recall effort Friday morning via email.
"Even if I supported sand mine fracking in Minnesota (which I DO NOT), the mere appearance of conflict of interest and many other potential improprieties is enough to motivate me to attempt to recall Mayor Egan," Hanson said in his blanket email.
The mayor said he doesn't intend to resign.
"The flip side is I've had some very sincere phone calls: 'We like your leadership.' 'We like what you've done,'" Egan said.
That involvement includes serving on the National Mayor's Association executive committee, the Lake Pepin Legacy Alliance and working to resolve Mississippi National Golf Links' future.
Hanson wrote that Egan's new lobbying post to promote and protect mining interests is an embarrassment to the city and an affront to the democratic process.
"I sent out a ton of emails and I am totally confident that I will be getting many responses before Monday night's City Council meeting," Hanson said Friday afternoon.
The Red Wing Charter requires that five people sign before a recall committee can form.
Hanson anticipates that forming a steering committee, drafting the recall petition and submitting the paperwork to the city will take a week to 10 days. He then must gather at least 1,900 signatures or 20 percent of registered voters.
Carol Overland, a local attorney, is asking City Council members to oust Egan if he doesn't resign. She was among the first to cry foul after Politics in Minnesota reported Feb. 1 the Minnesota Industrial Sand Council had formed to give frac sand mining operations, railroad, trucking and petroleum interests "a voice at the Capitol." She blogged about it, sent emails and contacted City Council members.
The council instituted a moratorium, studied silica sand mining and, in October, passed an ordinance that makes such mining essentially impossible within city limits. Overland said this remains an economic, safety, health, land-use and power issue for all of Goodhue County.
"This has just got my blood boiling, how dare he," Overland said.
Barring Egan's resignation or ouster by council vote, Hanson said his plan is to get the ball rolling and let the steering committee take the lead.
"My personal hope is that the added pressure of a real recall will create positive change for this community," Hanson said.