City of Little Falls settles lawsuit with Hensel

By Patrick SlackStaff Writer

With no admission of liability by any party, the city of Little Falls approved a settlement with Robin Hensel in the Hensel v. City of Little Falls lawsuit Monday.

The settlement resolved the claim that the city restricted Hensel’s free speech with its old bench ordinance.

The city declined Hensel’s request to place a bench for advertising near City Hall property. That bench ordinance has since been revised.

The original lawsuit also challenged the city’s sign ordinance, a claim that was later dismissed.

As part of the settlement, the city will pay $39,500 to the Paladin Law Trust account, the account of Hensel’s attorney Larry Frost, to cover attorney’s fees and any damages that could have been claimed.

“Importantly for the city, there is no admission of any liability,” said Jason Kuboushek, a lawyer representing the city on the case. “It covers all claims, including attorney’s fees and potential appeals. With respect to the amount being paid to the Paladin Law Trust account, this amount really is a cost-saving mechanism.”

One claim against the city’s old bench ordinance survived the motion for summary judgment and would have gone to trial without the settlement.

“From attorney’s fees and defense cost standpoint, the amount of the settlement is less than what it would have cost the city to go through the trial in defense of that claim,” Kuboushek said.

Also as part of the agreement, Hensel will receive the right to rent a bench on Little Falls City Hall property, with the city working with the bench contractor to ensure a bench is placed in an agreed upon location.

Hensel will enter into a contract for the bench advertising and will be able to renew the contract as often as she likes under the settlement, provided she fulfills her contractual and monetary duties.

Should Hensel stop advertising on the bench at any point, someone else could rent it. Hensel would then be treated like anyone else if she wished to resume advertising, being able to if it was available.

Hensel will also indemnify the city of Little Falls and the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust against tax liability for the monetary settlement.

The terms of the settlement were discussed during an all-day conference with representatives from both sides, March 21.

The vote passed 6-1, with Council Member Frank Gosiak casting the lone no vote.

“I was aware, as was the rest of the Council, that financially it was probably better to just OK the plan that was before us. It saves the city money, I agree,” Gosiak said.

“But I do not believe she deserves a nickel on that one,” he said. “I had to vote with my conscience. I’m not going to say anything bad about the lady. I’m just saying I don’t think the city owed her anything and that’s my view.”

Mayor Cathy VanRisseghem abstained after having a medical procedure earlier in the day in which she received a mild sedative.

She personally chose to not sign anything for 12 hours to ensure her judgment hadn’t been impaired.

Despite the settlement, there was evidently little love lost between the Council and Hensel.

During her three minutes of public forum time, Hensel argued that the ensuing presentation at the council meeting by Camp Ripley was not a uniform application of public business.

“Since public forum comments are requested to be framed around items that fall within the authority of the City Council, tonight’s allowance of Camp Ripley’s presentation during council meeting is a mockery of your own rules and a vivid demonstration once again of a lawless council,” Hensel said.

Hensel also said that she wished to share information that she did not believe would be shared later on, saying that “The military is the most secretive, shielded and privileged of polluters because of the hallowed mantra, ‘national security trumps the public’s right to know.’”

“Robin, can I stop you one minute? This has nothing to do with the City Council, we can’t do nothing about Camp Ripley,” Council President Don Klinker said.

“Neither does Camp Ripley’s presentation tonight,” Hensel said.

“It’s an economic –” Klinker said.

“Let me continue,” Hensel said.

“– impact,” Klinker finished.

“Let me continue please,” Hensel said, as she proceeded with her presentation.

“She’s defying what you guys decided last week,” VanRisseghem said, conferring with other members of the Council in reference to a decision made by the Council in March to limit public forum time to items within the authority of the Council.

“No, we can request,” Council Member Jeremy Hanfler said, clarifying that the Council could ask, but not mandate, what people could talk about.
“We can request her not to,” Gosiak said.

“Excuse me, your own rules require you to not talk when someone holds the floor, and I’m holding the floor,” Hensel said.

“Where’s that?” Gosiak said.

“In your own rules, No. 69 and 2.42,” Hensel said.

Hensel resumed her presentation until her three minutes of public forum time were ruled up.

“Time’s up, your three minutes are up, I’m sorry,” Klinker said.

“I get an additional minute because you interrupted me,” Hensel said.

“No. You don’t get an additional minute, I’m sorry,” Klinker said.

“Excuse me, you’re violating your own rules,” Hensel said. “You interrupted me, rudely if I might add.”

Klinker said she had 15 more seconds. When that time expired, Klinker said, “Time’s up, we’ve got to move on,” as Hensel continued. “We’re going to move on. Anybody else want to speak?”

Hensel continued to speak until VanRisseghem called point of order.

VanRisseghem said that while she disagreed with the earlier decision to limit what people could talk about, she wants to make sure that what is discussed is something the Council can help with.

“We’re there for the people,” she said. “When a person comes and they have issues that relate to the community, that’s wonderful, that’s what we’re there for. We don’t want to limit anybody. It would just be nice that they bring us issues we can actually help them with.

“I’m supposed to be serving the people,” she said. “I hope that they honor that in the sense that I’m there for them and I want to help them.”

Little Falls City Council Briefs


In other business Monday, the Little Falls City Council:

• Approved John Ruby as Police Sergeant;

• Authorized purchase of playground equipment for the Taylor Chebet Playground and a 2015 GMC Sierra WT Pickup for Engineering Department;

• Accepted resignation of Stephen Miller as library services coordinator and received letter of retirement from Michael Klosowski as wastewater operator;

• Voted not to institute three-hour parking on First Street Southeast by Mid-Minnesota Federal Credit Union on a 4-4 vote, with Council Members Brian-Paul Crowder, Frank Gosiak, Don Klinker and Mayor Cathy VanRisseghem voting no. If it had been implemented, the police would come and mark tires when receiving a call, Chief Greg Schirmers said, then return in three hours;

• Approved a telephone system upgrade for the Police Department;

• Heard from Steve Fenlon from Midwest Health Capital and approved a project by St. Francis Health Services consenting to the issuance of obligations;

• Approved a stop sign request for the northeast corner of 18th Street and Mary Ann Avenue; and

• Discussed the possibility of a sales tax referendum being put on the ballot to fund the recreational complex, Pine Grove Zoo and the Trails through Little Falls. Final recommendation is expected later in the month.

The next Little Falls City Council meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 14, at 7:30 p.m.


  • robin hensel

    Clear indicator once again our mayor doesn’t even know their recently passed revisions to the public forum comment time. Little Falls deserves better leadership than this.

    • tmac

      I do not understand why you think that a presentation to the city council by Camp Ripley was ‘a mockery of your own rules and a vivid demonstration once again of a lawless council.”, since last week in a letter to the editor you asked about health and environmental issues connected with Camp Ripley.

      • central mn

        tmac she is just trying to set up the city for another lawsuit. She has nothing better to do with her (or any body else’s) time.

        • robin hensel

          Central mn….the city doesn’t need anybody’s help to “set them up” for another lawsuit. They are succeeding brilliantly on their own. As i have said before, my quaint little river town deserves better leadership.

        • Jody Scott Olson

          I don’t know any local entity that has been sued under civil rights laws that hasn’t been given a formal warning that they were violating law and given months and in some cases years to clean up their act.

          One week Hensel is remanded to keep her video cameras behind an imaginary line by council and the next week they’re sending the police chief to demand she move the equipment from that very spot deemed appropriate the week before. Had they arrested her for not jumping when Don Klinker snapped his fingers, what do you suppose would have happened? Who wouldn’t sue?

          I think that the position Klinker put Schirmer’s in was grossly inappropriate. Schirmer’s even tried to explain to Hensel, “I don’t write policy.” Hensel said, “what policy”. Schirmer’s said, “there isn’t one.” Yet Klinker put Schirmers in the position to square off with a member of the community over his own personal muscle flexing exercise? That’s a problem.

          How can anyone legally threaten arrest or removal from a public meeting when no policy has been violated. No law has been broken, no disruption has been cause and the attendee has adhered to the rules handed down?

          If I were one of the other council members or the police chief, I’d be furious at Klinker for rewriting the rules without conferring with the entire group. Just show up, rewrite stuff without any consent and enlist a police officer to enforce what you just pulled out of your hat. If Klinker causes a suit, the whole council gets a black eye, as does the city and its tax payers. This is mayhem that has to be brought into check.

          Law suits will stop coming when LEADERS hold themselves accountable for following state and federal laws AND their own rules and policies.

          When VanRissenghem told the council something to the effect, she’s defying the rules you set last week!. While Hensel had the floor. It was a very deliberate and childish act of pot-stirring and a violation of Roberts Rules of Order. Any mayor or council with a single ounce of professionalism or dignity would have asked Hensel to pause so they could discuss and decide, if there was some question. This council is following the lead of a mayor who doesn’t set and example and has no idea how to lead. Under her leadership and at the mayors pot stirring, two of these great leaders, shout over both Hensel and Fisk, argued among themselves and made such a ruckus that Hensel’s comment time was trashed. Then Klinker tried to shutdown Fisk who followed Hensel! If Klinker would have had his way and successfully shutdown Fisk’s use of his public comment…it would have been the park bench/sign ordanance lawsuit all over again.

          Where the hell is the learning curve? You cannot censor based on the viewpoint PERIOD. You can’t say Camp Ripley can present for 30 minutes and then tell the public that they are disallowed from commenting on that agenda item during a public forum. Its a contradiction to say its not council business but we’re dedicating a half hour of city time to it! If its not council business its not on the agenda.

          VanRissenghem has refused to educate her staff on civil rights, so this council keeps defiantly bumbling its way through as though they’re standing their ground on some back-ass-ward culture war, shaking fists and shouting power to the aristocracy!!! Worse yet, the council and the Mayor don’t even know what their own rules are!
          Yep, in this town we jus’ show up and shoot from the hip.

          Hensel was the one who cited the policy numbers off the top of her head to Gosiak amidst reading her 3 minute presentation all while council shouted over her. .

          What was even more shocking, the people who sat around me who regularly attend said this week was mild in comparison. Really? Because based on ALL news stories written in the Record, I wouldn’t have the first clue any of this circus was even taking place!

          This community should demand complete transparency in news reporting and responsible, respectful government leadership or else its time to call for resignations.

          • Rick Witte

            Unless I was viewing an outdated posting of the citations Robin quoted the quoted section (2.42) says nothing in regard to what Robin states. As for 69 I could find no such section. So where exactly is it stated that the Council cannot ask questions or otherwise engage?

          • robin hensel

            City code 2.42 and policy number 69….rules on council meetings…dig rick….you will find both.

          • Jody Scott Olson

            I didn’t verify the accuracy the citations but the answer to your other question about the council asking a question, the answer would be Roberts Rules of Order. It was the 3 minute public comment segment and Hensel had the floor.

            Were you at the meeting Rick? I think it was Klinker who at least once interrupted both Hensel and Fisk shouting I’m not listening to this or something like that. I could live with elected officials who respectfully “engage” or “asked questions” but that’s not what happened. What happened was the worst behavior I’ve ever witnessed by a city council. My dad was on a city council, I worked in gov’t relations for about a year and council meetings were part of that job. This was without comparison in terms of disorder and disrespectful behavior by elected officials. Its not that others didn’t seriously disagree they simply did so in a manner that was appropriate and respectful

            Not all council members participated in the bad behavior either.

            I think I’ll upload sections of video from the past year to my blog and ask other city’s to submit footage to see if we can find elected officials who are more obnoxious than Klinker, VanRissenghem and Gosiak. If this is “leadership” I cannot image what dereliction of duty would look like.

          • robin hensel

            Jody……everything you stated is TRUTH, and well written if I might add. Wake up community. There is a real circus at City Hall the first and third Monday of every month, to say nothing of the many City committee meetings. I might begin handing out free popcorn for all in attendance. Care enough to show up and try to guess who is the Ringmaster. Wait until all of the hours of video and audio-recordings are shared with the public. I AM CAPITALIZING ON PURPOSE AS I WISH TO GARNER EVERYONE’S ATTENTION…..COME ONE, COME ALL TO THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH…..MONDAY APRIL 21ST, AT 5:30 P.M. work session…where anyone can make a public forum comment of 3 minutes. You won’t be disappointed at this next meeting or any other going forward. I will begin with some pretty provocative speech that will be sure to DELIGHT AND SHOCK SOME. I can’t wait.

      • josh

        Very true tmac. If Ms. Hensel wants to bring up Camp Ripley’s said environmental impacts in the city council Camp Ripley should be able to speak on the subject at the city council meeting. Otherwise Ms. Hensel should have brought it up in another venue that deals with outside city issues.

        • Jody Scott Olson

          Umm, that was Robins point. The city was saying Robin could not use her 3 minutes of comment time to talk about Camp Ripley because Camp Ripley wasn’t city related business. But if Camp Ripley is not city business it doesn’t belong on city council’s agenda.

      • robin hensel

        Tmac….interesting you locked your disqus account. Are you worried you will be outed or what?

        • tmac

          Or what.

          And why does it matter to you what I post on other threads?

          • robin hensel

            It matters not tmac…i just wondered why you locked your account. What are you hiding?

          • tmac

            Then why would you bother to even look at my account?

    • robin hensel

      Tmac…in order to have an item placed on the agenda of council or a resolution the council has stated it must be related to city related delivery of services. For camp ripley to garner an actual “presentation” slot on the councils roster is mindbogglingly absurd. Camp has absolutely nothing to do with city related delivery of service. As i said in my public forum….this is a lawless council running completely rogue.

      • Patrick J Bonniwell

        It was a response to what was said. Your right though. If the presentation was going to take longer then 3 minutes, time could of been allocated at the same location but earlier in the day in order to address the great deal of information that would need to be presented. Poor planning and poor forethought on the councils part.

        It’s obvious the council walks on thin lines after this display, regardless of the presentation, as it was informative but very misplaced. Council, your more then aware Robin would attend another function, it’s not just her who would benefit and placing it in the agenda removes the possibility of others learning because of it, the military would of provided a presentation at any time. It’s part of the department requirements to have it on file and understand what’s going on.

        There are rules so each side can be heard. If the people running this town are so quick to snap to personal judgment and allow their position as a public servant, whom do good for his/her people, to be tarnished and absent of patience and understanding, then by all means break your own laws council, your an embarrassment to politics and the very principles that allow the people to have the same voice as you…not an absent one. It’s astonishing that three minutes cannot even be reserved to hear out a resident, regardless of what you feel. We give you the respect while you speak, you are required not by personal feelings, but by the very law that grants you your positions, your jobs and the requirements of that job.

        Being a leader isn’t about leading with how you feel, but understanding the position of someone below you and remembering you haven’t always been as such. If we all chose to lead like that then I only hope we learn from the mistakes of those across the world from us, as that very thing has a very loud impact.

        We lead to be an example of what to do…not so we can be shamed for the things we failed to do.

        • robin hensel

          Patrick…thank you for your comment. Fact is that Camp Ripley has always been able to make a formal presentation to the Council during the Council meeting. It happens every year for many many years in a row. 2013 Theresa Skorseth and I made a formal request to be on the agenda to give a response to Col. St. Sauver’s presentation and were denied by the Council. I have proof. No legitimate reason for their refusal was given. They evidently don’t need to give one….they make up their rules as they go, because they CAN. Nobody has ever pushed back and insisted on equal treatment before. They are having difficulty knowing how to act fairly. As my attorneys and Jon Tevlin, reporter for the Star Tribune suggested….they need Civics 101, and Constitutional training.

          • Rick Witte

            Robin City Council meetings are not point counter point affairs unless of course the City Council was holding a Public Hearing on the matter. Any City Council meetings I have been to point and counter-points are only given during such public hearings. Usually only those presenting are allowed to speak.

            Public forums are another matter, but usually those are limited in time allowed. Camp Ripley, if I remember correctly, has a duty to keep the Community informed and I believe they usually accomplish this through council meetings.

            Perhaps you could enlighten me, and others of course, of which Cities allow such counterpoint presentations in other than public hearings?

          • Jody Scott Olson

            The council schedules to allow community members to address issues prior to the start of a meeting. They’re allowed 3 minutes to speak and the council “recommends” that its most useful if the topics are restricted to city service. Since Camp Ripley’s 30 minute presentation was scheduled for that night Robin Hensel used her 3 minutes prior to the start of the meeting to address her concerns regarding its environmental impact/

            So she wasn’t interrupting or going “point/ counter point” when the meeting was called to order. Instead the council interrupted her 3 minutes of having the floor and debated whether or not she was allowed to talk about Camp Ripley during her the public comment time. By the time they decided that council could only “recommend” topics rather than mandate, Hensel’s three minutes was up and council had talked and shouted over almost her entire 3 minutes.

            Hensel never interrupted them they interrupted her. When the next speaker, Larry Fisk took the floor they did the same thing. It was also anti military in nature and about 8 seconds in Klinker shouted something like I don’t have to listen to this!

            When actually he did. Govt can’t screen based on viewpoint. Council interrupted community members who had the floor based on viewpoint. No community members talked during the council meeting that I recall expect during public comment segments on that nights agenda.

            Not sure that clarifies it.

            People should actually show up and watch. I did and I was shocked. No manners, respect or decorum just belligerent tantrums from a few council members. it was a “jeez, really” moment.

          • Rick Witte

            But Jody, I took the point counter point matter directly from Robins commentary and she clearly alluded to this. She clearly stated that she and another specifically requested time “to give a response” to what was presented by Camp Ripley.

            Robin spoke of equal treatment by being denied a place on the formal agenda to provide her counter point to what was presented by the Camp. I know of no Community Council which would allow such a thing unless of course it was in the form of a public hearing which that part of the meeting was not. Perhaps you could enlighten me as to what Communities that would make such allowances?

            Whether she has proof or not of her being denied a place on the formal agenda is of no relevance and in no way infringes on her rights. I no of nothing that gives her this right, not even the Constitution!

            Ultimately it will be the Community as a whole which will judge this matter, but I do not see that it will turn into a major election issue.

      • Rick Witte

        Robin, it seems it would depend much on how one defines “related to city related delivery of services”. In an tangential sense there may well be an economic relationship between Camp Ripley and the delivery of services. There may well be a significant amount of payroll and contract dollars bestowed upon the City by the Camp! These dollars are partially used to pay taxes. Without these dollars the amount of services delivered may well be lessened as well as the economic vitality of the Community as a whole.

        I do not know if the resolution you cite has a definition for what the related to the delivery of services means or not, but without a clear definition one could either view it narrowly or broadly. I guess you made your pick.

        As to whether or not the voters of the fair City will replace the incumbent City leaders in the coming circus season or not will be left to tell. From your last attempt, and issues it seems clear that the voters decided to stick with what they have rather than leap upon your bandwagon. That might just well tell you something about how your presentations and antics are received by the same voters you attempt to sway.

        • robin hensel

          Rick witte….delivery of city services means items the city council actually controls and that’$ certainly NOT camp ripley. What part of that is difficult to understand? ♡♡♡

          • Rick Witte

            And the “related to the delivery of City services” is defined how in this policy you quote from, or are you the official definer for the Community? I understand the plain meaning of words, not your construct, slanted towards your narrow view of things.

          • Jody Scott Olson

            Council concluded that they could only “recommend” that comments pertain to delivery of service, they could not mandate.

        • Jody Scott Olson

          Just to address part of you comment: I think you’re missing a critical point. Morrison County Record has done a deplorable job of fairly and accurately reporting the news. Without transparency you have an uninformed electorate.

          The game changers this time are this forum for which we went to bat against leadership at the Record to prevent the paper from deleting, altering and censoring comments. Unless inappropriate. ECM agreed that the censorship by the Record was inappropriate and for the past weeks we’ve all been allowed an unencumbered voice.

          I also met with ECM regarding the quality of reporting. I think some of the disparity in opinions can be related to politics but the majority can be attributed to information the Record is not reporting. People who watched Klinker at the last council meeting walked away with a decidedly different opinion regarding what is transpiring than those who read the paper. That gap needs to narrow considerably.

          Finally, I’m not saying that Hensel will run for office or win, I will however promise you that a number of elected officials will not be re elected.

          • Rick Witte

            Jody, I wasnt addressing the accuracy of the reporting, but rather commenting on the matter of what, or who, defines what could be considered ” related to the delivery of City Services.

            As to those offices that are up for election in the coming Circus Season only time will tell as to what will transpire. Much will depend on who choses to run and how the electorate as a whole feels about the current office holders.

          • Jody Scott Olson

            My experience is this: It depends on which meeting you show up at and who decides to shout out the new rules of that day.

            Electorate decides how they feel based on information. When you live in a community where the paper calls an FBI shutdown an “acquisition” the net result is sure to be squirrelly and ill-informed.

  • Jody Scott Olson

    Minutes before the Little Falls Council work session was called to order council member Don Klinker decided that he didn’t like the location of Robin Hensel’s video equipment.

    Let me preface this by saying that the area Hensel’s equipment occupied was the very space designated for that purpose by Little Falls City Council but on that day, Don Klinker decided that he was no longer satisfied with its location and he demanded that Hensel move it. When Hensel countered and told Klinker that she was occupying space deemed appropriate by the council, Police Chief Schirmers moved over to Hensel and demanded that her equipment move to whatever location Klinker pulled from his asshat. Schirmer’s told Hensel that he didn’t set policy. Hensel said what policy? Schirmer’s said, we don’t have a policy.

    Hensel moved her equipment at the insistence of Schirmer’s to the spot Klinker pulled from his asshat, despite the fact that its previous space was set by city council and was located in the way of no one.

    • Mitch Rapp

      You should say asshat more. It makes you sound intelligent…

      • robin hensel

        Mitch rapp….u should tell asshat mark fyten to use that word more. It is on loan from him. Remember him….the asshat who never weighs in on these discussions anymore. He dissappeared bout the same time tmac appeared.

        • Mitch Rapp

          I don’t know Mark Fyten.

        • Jody Scott Olson

          Okay, I’m sorry, I’ll give Mark Fyten back his asshat collection:(

        • josh

          Calling names now?

      • Jody Scott Olson

        Okay, its been edited to elaborate on the harassing antics of the Little Falls city council but I also believe it includes one more asshat reference for Mitch.

      • tmac

        Thanks for the laugh out loud moment, Mitch.

  • robin hensel

    Something troubling…josh you didnt catch the fact that city council is now wanting to consider A BIG GOVERNMENT SALES TAX on everyone by allowing the L.F.A.R.C.T.(little falls area recreational complex taskforce) to gather all the costs on funding the zoo debt and expansion…..the trails system in little falls plus the 6.7 million dollar rec complex on the donated MNDOT land north of town by the Living Hope Assembly of God church. A number of you folks on this disqus forum are anti tax…shrink the gov types so i am curious why nobody picked up on this and raised their opposition. Do any of you support this BIG GOVERNMENT regressive sales tax that will likely be on the ballot for consideration in the fall? I think it also costs money to put it on the ballot. Why on earth would our leaders encourage this kind of ludacrous project to be considered in such a poor area? This doesnt make fiscal sense. We have more seniors than any other demographic group and they are on fixed incomes. Sales taxes are the most REGRESSIVE taxes. I am really surprised there’s no flap about this.

    • Rick Witte

      Robin consideration is one thing, but it is ultimately up to the voters of the City to approve such a Local Option Sales Tax. If they approve they will vote yes, if not they will vote no. By State legislation it is not up to the Council to approve a sales tax, but it is the voter themselves who vote to tax themselves, for a limited amount of time, for the presented projects.

      Little Falls may well be an economically disadvantaged area, but yet even those of lesser economich means need, and deserve recreation.

      • robin hensel

        Rick witte….you are kidding right? You think it’$ a legitimate expenditure of taxpayer dollar$ for city staff to research and develop a recreational area well in excess of 6 MILLION dollar$$$$?????¿¿¿¿ Really. Gee i wonder if u would feel that same way if I were to have suggested that?? My quaint little river town where you do not reside is already indebted more than 26 MILLION…in great part due to corporate social welfare handouts to local businesses in the form of economic development grant/taxpayer subsidized LOCAL BIG GOVERNMENT trough feeders including Goldsmith Jewelers recently….and many dozens of other businesses. When their businesses fail the taxpayers end up holding the bag and lo$ing out. Last year one failed business alone cost the taxpayers more than 40K. This is an unhealthy way to operate an economically stressed area. Even if we were prosperous, why should taxpayers subsidize ANY business?

        • Rick Witte

          Robin, yes, I believe it to be a legitimate use of staff time and a legitimate function of government. Do you then believe that the City should not have such amenities such as parks or recreation areas because of the Communities economic status? Ultimately, Robin, it will be up to the voters of Little Falls to determine if they wish to make such a financial commitment. It seems apparent that you oppose such an idea, but lady, you, however you may wish, do not run the City, nor do you determine what issues City Staff will be assigned to.

          Being against the Local Option Sales Tax is your right and I make no issue of it, but just because the Council decides to explore the matter does not make it right or wrong. The voters, ultimately, will decide if the want it or not. I am sure you will be speaking in many forums about the issue. Telling people how poor, and undeserving of such amenities.

          You’re right, I no longer live in Little Falls, but grew up there and lived there for many a year. Are you attempting to chase me away from engaging with your rambling nature, or perhaps you find my engagement as interfering with your Constitutional right to Free Speech? I still come to town occasionally, and even spend a few bucks, so I will not escape the tax, if passed. I’ve even driven past your house when traveling that way.

          As to the pluses and minuses of TIF financing, or whatever program you are attempting to speak of, I will leave that for another day.

      • Jody Scott Olson

        Rick. I don’t disagree regarding recreation but if we take the Splash Park as an example, I think its absolutely necessary for the Mayor to answer questions regarding the potential repercussions should the venue fail to attract the needed revenue. The Mayor’s refusal to even try to answer that question is deeply disturbing. This is an aging population. I don’t see people abandoning recreation in St. Cloud or Brainerd to use our Splash Pad. Royalton plans to have their own…plus the only increased revenue I see from this will be some more traffic for our fast food venues but that it. No one dines in or goes shopping with wet rugrats.

        Even if I’m wrong, and I hope I am, the Mayor must answer as to the potential repercussion should the venue falter or fail, before the city forges ahead.

        • Rick Witte

          I would certainly agree that addressing such questions is of great import, and would certainly have to come in time. Reoccurring costs of operation are a legitimate concern and should be properly addressed as I would imagine that it would be of great concern to those formulating their decision on whether or not to vote for or against any such referendum, should the Council ultimately decide to place the matter before the voters.

          I would imagine that the City would then hold public forums to make their presentation and to address questions of the public. Since it appears that the matter is only under consideration at this time it may well not all be fleshed out to the point of addressing all proper concerns.

      • Jody Scott Olson

        I also think what the community deserves and what it can afford is two entirely different conversations.

    • josh

      Robin I wasn’t speaking of taxes? I don’t know why you changed the subject. I simply pointed out that you had a problem with Camp Ripley getting time at a council meeting while you brought up Camp Ripley at the council meeting. Are you dodging?

      • robin hensel

        Rick…i never dodge anything…..fact is camp ripley should not be on their agenda or be able to give a presentation because their own rules are that only issues that council has control over are to be addressed by council and camp does not fit the bill. You seem to not be able to absorb that.

        • josh

          You still didn’t answer my question as to why you absolutely changed the subject?

        • Rick Witte

          Robin, never wrote that you were dodging anything, perhaps you are confusing my comments with those of another. You seem to be letting your animus for the Military cloud your thinking on the matter. Granted the Military has not had the most stellar reputation as far as environmental matters go, but I find no reason to think what happened at the ammunition plants in the Cities has to do with Camp Ripley. If you have issues with the environmental happenings in this area pointing out what happened elsewhere does nothing to inform me as to what IS happening in Camp Ripley and effecting Little Falls.

          If I remember correctly part of their environmental program is keeping local communities informed and it seems they use Council meeting to accomplish this. As members of the Community, and they are whether you wish to acknowledge this or not, the Council should work with them to facilitate the Camps fulfilling its responsibilities.

  • Jody Scott Olson