Letter: Council should act if Egan won'tShame on lobbyist-Mayor Dennis Egan. It’s time for him to resign. If not, it’s time to eject “our” mayor from office.
By: Carol A. Overland, The Republican Eagle
To the Editor:
Shame on lobbyist-Mayor Dennis Egan. It’s time for him to resign. If not, it’s time to eject “our” mayor from office.
Why? Because he’s lobbying as the executive director of the “Minnesota Industrial Sand Council. Egan isn’t speaking for us or the city of Red Wing. Egan is the voice of frac sand interests.
Frac sand has been before the city of Red Wing, first as a moratorium and then as an ordinance. It remains an economic, safety, health, land-use and power issue for our city and county.
Politics in Minnesota reported formation of the Minnesota Industrial Sand Council to give frac sand mining operations, railroad, trucking and petroleum interests “a voice at the Capitol.” “Our” mayor is executive director of that voice.
Under the City Charter, our mayor has duties and responsibilities as the titular head, recognized as the official head of the city for all ceremonial purposes, to review city operations and make recommendations as he/she believes to be desirable and to review concerns on city activities raised by citizens and make recommendations as he/she believes desirable as to any corrective actions necessary.
Egan is to be representing voter constituents. We didn’t elect frac sand interests to be mayor. The ethics should prevent this representational conflict, but instead he’s taken the position as the frac sand industry’s lobbying arm, and he’s putting the call of the sand industry, and their money, in conflict with his duties as the titular head of the city. That’s wrong.
The city can act when an elected official puts his own interests or those of another in conflict with his duties to the city, or has the cloak of his elected position at the same time as he is paid to gain access or favor for a private interest. An elected official may be removed for cause (Charter, Section 2.05), and the City may also initiate an “Investigation of City Affairs” (Charter, Section 2.09). The Charter also authorizes Recall of the Mayor (Section 6.13-6.18).
Mayor Egan, resign. If not, it’s time for the city of Red Wing to act.
Carol A. Overland