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Fifty Lakes: Liquor store manager fired on split vote

Fifty Lakes council members and mayor at a city council meeting. Echo Journal file photo.

At a special meeting Monday, May 17, the Fifty Lakes City Council voted 3-2 to terminate the employment of liquor manager Steve Maeger, effective immediately.

Council members Linda Steffens, Mark Bradley and Jodie Schrupp voted in favor of the measure, while Jay Weinmann and Mayor Tim Anick voted against it.

Following the measure, the council voted 4-1 to appoint city clerk-treasurer Karen Stern as interim manager of the liquor store until a Minnesota Municipal Beverage Association member can be on site. Steffens voted against the measure.

The firing followed several months of turmoil among some liquor store employees, Maeger and the council.

At its June meeting, the Fifty Lakes City Council voted to change city's health insurance plan, according to unapproved draft meeting minutes.

The new plan is a Medica Passport Plan with a $1,000 deductible. When polled, all council members voted in favor of the measure.

The council also accepted a matching grant from Sourcewell (formerly the National Joint Powers Alliance) totalling $2,500 for the installation of radar signs on city roads.

In other action, the board:

• Approved a one-day gambling permit for the Northland Boosters Club, which will conduct a raffle at Golden Eagle Golf Course on Saturday, Aug. 25.

• Accepted 14 donations for the Fifty Lakes Day Celebration, totaling $1,650.

• Allowed the city fire department up to $13,000 to purchase turnout gear for fire and rescue members, as required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. They allotted the department funds to purchase a new gas meter.

• Accepted a mutual aid agreement with Emily and Crooked Lake Township.

• Agreed to hire Taylor Johnson and Deb Marty as part-time bartenders in the city's liquor store. They also agreed to repair the store's keg cooler compressor for $1,866.

• Agreed to payroll increases for interim liquor store manager Stern and liquor store employees Diana Johnson and Ann Raph, effective through Dec. 31.

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