The community wants its next superintendent to be a visionary, yet humble leader. Those are some of the traits spelled out during a special Brainerd School Board meeting Tuesday. The group met with School Exec Connect consultant Charlie Kyte to hear the results of a recent study, which aimed to make a profile in what is needed in the next superintendent. This is one of the first steps school leaders took in finding a replacement for current Superintendent Steve Razidlo.
A downtown Brainerd business owner will be allowed to change the plants and landscaping in the garden and planters near his storefront. At the Brainerd City Council meeting Monday, the group voted to allow the request from Edwin Menk, owner of E.L. Menk Jewelers, on the corner of Seventh and Laurel streets. But the approval was against the recommendation of City Planner Mark Ostgarden. Ostgarden said that while Menk will do an “outstanding job planting and maintaining the landscaping,” there were other factors the council should consider:
The permit process required before demolition is allowed in an industrial district could get a lot more detailed. At its meeting Monday, the Brainerd City Council held the first reading of an amendment to the Zoning Ordinance that would lay out a more thorough process in obtaining a permit for demolition or decommission in industrial or mixed use districts. Ultimately, it would give the city council more say and oversight in what happens during the demolition or decommission process.
Brainerd City Council member Mary Koep disagreed with going into a closed session meeting Monday concerning the Wausau dam. “I don’t see anything in the material presented that it shouldn’t be public,” Koep said. “It’s all about the dam and the studies done and the consultant report.” The city first signed a purchase agreement with Wausau for the dam late last year. There are 10 days left in the due diligence period of the agreement.
The name of the late Brainerd City Council President Bonnie Cumberland will live on through the Miracle League Field. The handicapped-accessible baseball field in Bane Park is now named “Bonnie Cumberland Memorial Field.” It’s a perfect fit for the woman who “was so incredibly involved with the community, with kids,” said Parks and Recreation Department Director Tony Sailer. The idea for the name change was brought forward when a former student of Cumberland emailed a city council member suggesting a park be named after her.
NISSWA — The youngsters of Brea O’Brien’s Nisswa Elementary School classroom were just about to gather on the rug for Friday’s meeting. Instead, the group was surprised with flashing cameras, flowers and a big announcement: O’Brien was named Teacher of the Year for the Brainerd School District. Of 28 teachers nominated, four were interviewed by the selection committee of four community members. O’Brien was chosen for the high honor. Shaking and wiping away tears, O’Brien said she was humbled by the award.
School leaders will look into the idea of not extending the school year to make up missed days. At a Brainerd School Board Curriculum Committee meeting Thursday, committee members asked administration to investigate if there were any extracurricular activities (such as assemblies) that could be canceled and used as student-contact hours instead. “Maybe we can look (at those options) before we go through the steps of inconveniencing families (by extending the school year),” said committee member Chris Robinson.
Eleven residents applied for the vacant at-large Brainerd City Council seat. The deadline for applications was 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. The council seat became vacant recently after Bonnie Cumberland died in her home. The new city council member will finish out Cumberland’s term, which is over at the end of this year. They must then run again in the election if they want to hold the seat.
A record 154 water service lines have frozen in Brainerd so far this year. That’s compared to zero frozen water service lines last year, said Brainerd Public Utilities (BPU) Superintendent Scott Magnuson. Because of “unprecedented water line freeze ups” in the extreme cold, BPU recently declared a water main emergency. The frost normally hits depths of 5 feet. This winter it has been in excess of 7 feet deep. But no need to worry about running out of water, Magnuson said. “We’ve got plenty,” he said.
Three more residents have applied for the vacant at-large Brainerd City Council seat. That brings the total to five so far. New applicants are: Dirk VanDerwerker, a financial planner; Amanda Monnier, who studied anthropology and sociology and has a business management degree; Susan Hilgart, a member of the Brainerd Police and Fire Civil Service Commission and Transportation Committee. Other applicants include Joshua “JD” Berns and Matthew Taylor. The council seat became vacant recently after Bonnie Cumberland died in her home.