Big challenges ahead
Never in its 106-year history has the city of Nisswa been in such a fix. The last four years will go down as having the most dysfunctional mayor and city council in its history. Over the last several months that council has left, the mayor, I understand, is not going to run for re-election, he’s done all the damage he can.
Short term replacements have been appointed to take their places until the election; the park and recreation director and city planner have resigned recently, leaving gaping holes in the ability of the city to function. It will take time to search for and vet the right individuals.
They shook the foundation of city hall when they tried to fire the police chief, and then offered $100,000 of Nisswa taxpayer money to have him leave quietly. Then the city department heads voted to unionize. These two debacles have cost the taxpayers close to $25,000 in levy money to date.
A few months back the mayor and previous city council hired the University of Minnesota to help facilitate a steering committee to come up with a concept plan for the lakeside park. Now two months into it and we have no city planner to lead this process.
There are the problems with the stairway and ramp to the tunnel. The stone walls fell over after the first few weeks, and, some of the mortared stone is falling off the structural walls, along with calcium leaching in numerous locations.
Nisswa taxpayers will end up incurring the cost of future repairs for the defective engineering and workmanship in the years to come.
These issues must be addressed before the city signs off on the project! Who’s there to do it?
Nisswa needs strong leadership this November.