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Red Wing City Council briefs

No conflict found

In a public statement read after a closed-session discussion, the City Council said no ethical concerns or conflicts of interest were found with Council member Ralph Rauterkus serving on Red Wing Ignite’s board of directors.

A citizen raised the concern, the council said, and an investigation was then conducted.

“The investigation concluded there is no statutory conflict of interest, as Council member Rauterkus does not derive personal financial benefit from involvement with Red Wing Ignite,” Council President Dean Hove read from the statement. The statement also noted Rauterkus has recused himself from any City Council votes concerning Red Wing Ignite since he has been on the board, and the council determined no violation of city ethics policy occurred.

“There is no evidence that Council member Rauterkus became involved with Red Wing Ignite for any other reason than to lend his expertise to further the interests of the city, and his involvement with the City Council and Red Wing Ignite was made known to both organizations,” the statement continued.

Rauterkus works as director of information systems at a high-tech manufacturing firm.

Main Event contribution OK’d

After an update on the efforts of the Main Event committee during phase 1 of Highway 61/Main Street reconstruction, the council voted 5-1 to dedicate $10,000 again next year to help the group’s work.

Red Wing Area Chamber of Commerce President Patty Brown highlighted some of the group’s projects that included the Hard Hat Thursdays promotion, communication updates including an informational brochure and providing business assistance funds.

Phase 2 of the project, which will ramp up in the spring, will directly affect even more businesses than this year’s work, Brown said.

Council member Ralph Rauterkus voted no on the motion, saying he supported the request but was uncomfortable officially approving the allocation at this time without seeing the 2016 budget as a whole.

In other news...

•Council members came to consensus directing Fire Chief Tom Schneider to come forward with a proposed contract with Cost, Planning & Management International for providing construction manager services for fire station projects.

•A resolution clarifying that council members and the mayor are not considered city employees for the purposes of the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act was approved Monday night. The decision means protections covering private personnel data that apply to city employees will not extend to elected officials, staff said.

“This is the decision that most political bodies make, and it’s because it leans towards making more information transparent and open to the public,” Council Administrator Kay Kuhlmann said.

•The City Council voted Monday to exclude an area of Mississippi National Golf Links that originally was set to be part of the city deer hunt after nearby property owners raised concerns. The city said it will attempt to contact those who already have maps and permits and will update its website with information on the change.

•ProAct recognized the city of Red Wing as its Employer of the Year.

Meeting watch

Monday’s City Council meeting lasted about 2 hours and 15 minutes before members entered the closed session. Council member Jason Sebion and Mayor Dan Bender were absent.

— Compiled by Danielle Killey, staff writer

Danielle Killey

Danielle Killey covers local government for the South Washington County Bulletin. She has worked as a reporter for other Forum Communications newspapers since 2011. She graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities with a journalism degree.

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