Editorial: Power in playRed Wing City Council President Ralph Rauterkus commands tremendous power, inadvertent and temporary though it may be.
By: R-E Editorial Board, The Republican Eagle
Red Wing City Council President Ralph Rauterkus commands tremendous power, inadvertent and temporary though it may be.
He currently is both president and mayor under the City Charter, which means he can set the agenda, cast deciding votes, veto council actions and appoint people to commissions and boards.
He wields this power only until citizens elect a new mayor Feb. 8, but does so at a crucial time: key appointments are on the table.
Put bluntly, a power play — and we're not saying he's making one — could last two to six years. That's how long appointments last.
We doubt the Charter Commission ever envisioned giving one person so much influence. The commission needs to fix this hole in the charter.
If any controversy surfaces at Monday night's meeting involving appointments or even reappoints, the council should wait a few weeks. Doing so would foster a better mayor-council relationship and reassure citizens that theirs is a fair, open government.
At the very least, Rauterkus should abstain from voting for his appointees.