The dysfunction that existed in Lake Elmo city government during 2015 and 2016 created significant challenges and left many important issues to be addressed. The city has the opportunity to move forward on the issues and projects that are critical for residents and the business community. For example: updating the city’s comprehensive plan, planning for and managing future development (commercial and residential), improving transparency and civility, staff development and retention, developing positive relationships with Washington County and other municipal governments, determining the status of the Lake Elmo public library, public safety and services, updating parks and trails, the role of city council, and fiscal responsibility.

UPDATE – A new page has been added to this site: Work Plan. This page contains information and details of the city’s 2017-2018 Work Plan, which was recently approved by the city council.  It will be periodically updated as progress is made on the goals designated by the council.  Recent progress updates have been made to this “Work Plan” page.

We remain hopeful that members of the city council will continue to come together under the leadership of Mayor Pearson, put aside past differences, and work together to return a functional city government to Lake Elmo.  http://www.twincities.com/2016/11/09/lake-elmo-mn-city-council-elections-friendlier/  Council meetings are now clearly more efficient and the city is moving forward with its Work Plan for 2017-2018.  A willingness to work together in a civil manner will continue go a long way to address the issues raised by the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust Board, who voted unanimously in 2016 to increase Lake Elmo’s insurance deductible from $500 to $200,000. This was only the fourth time in its history that penalties have been imposed because of a city council’s inability to function properly.  http://www.twincities.com/2016/09/07/lake-elmo-socked-with-200000-penalty-for-rude-behavior/

ALL members of the city council, not just a few, need to accept the reasons for this unusual action, and most importantly, take responsibility for their behavior. The reasons for this action are outlined in this memo from Dan Greensweig, Assistant Administrator of the LMCIT. Among other things he cites: “significant turmoil within city hall for the last two years…..conflict between Council members….the conflict has spilled over into relationships between Council members and City staff……and Council is witnessing a deterioration of its relationships with other governmental bodies and with the public.”  Here is a link to his full memo, which contains additional detail and background. Memo to LMCIT

UPDATE: The LMCIT revisited this issue at its October 4, 2017 meeting. While recognizing the work the council has done to have more civility in its meetings and in its interaction with staff, they did vote to reduce some of the city’s high liability insurance deductibles to $100,000 per claim but left the deductibles for employee litigation and land use claims at $200,000 per claim. Concern was expressed that hostilities may return with to the 2018 election. There is a link to this story on the “Functional Government” page of this site.

It remains critical for Lake Elmo to have collaborative leadership from ALL members of the city council, not just a few. City council meetings are now more productive and efficient and transparency are improving, but conflict among council members and civility continue to be a challenge for some council members. Residents and the business community have a right to expect an open and inclusive city council where ALL voices are welcomed and everyone is treated with respect, regardless of their policies or beliefs. For the city to make meaningful progress on its critical issues, Lake Elmo needs a FUNCTIONAL CITY GOVERNMENT, characterized by TRANSPARENCY, CIVILITY, AND FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY. 

The objective of this site is to provide information and examples to citizens regarding the actions of the Lake Elmo City Council and the role they play in maintaining a functional city government.  The site also provides information, facts, news stories, and updates on what’s happening in Lake Elmo city government, past and present.

The “TABS” at the top of each page contain news stories, articles, and other information relevant to that particular topic.  “RECENT POSTS” (on the right side of every page) provides current updates on a variety of topics, projects, outcomes from council meetings, etc.  Thanks for visiting the site, we invite you to come back often and, if you believe we need a return to functional city government in Lake Elmo, we urge to Stay Engaged…….


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