Tuesday, October 30, 2012
The Save the Northfield Depot group provides an update on the process.
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Editor's note: Submitted by Alice Thomas of the Save the Northfield Depot. After the signing of the agreement with the City of Northfield in June for the transfer of two city lots on the Q-block, the effort to “Save the Northfield Depot” has advanced on many fronts. The title clearance is in process; the soil tests for contaminants have been completed; and the fundraising has started. On July 10, 2012, the Northfield City Council voted to approve the EDA’s request for a total of $14,000 EDA funds to finance the Phase II environmental assessment and necessary title clearance for the city-owned land on the Q-block, the future home of the 1888 Northfield depot. Noted in the discussions of both bodies was the recognition that environmental …
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
The Economic Development Authority nearly was dissolved by the City Council in June. The council instead opted to fix what's perceived as broken with communication and accountability.
Potential reforms for the Economic Development Authority will be reviewed by the Northfield City Council during tonight’s work session. For some time, the council and the EDA have failed to see eye to eye on how to conduct the business of creating business in Northfield. The relationship soured this past spring to the point where the council considered dissolving the EDA and taking on its duties to improve the city’s economic conditions. But instead of voting to disband the citizen board, the council decided in June to fix those issues hindering the EDA's work. At tonight’s work session, the full council will receive a report detailing changes in EDA bylaws and procedures recommended by a subcommittee consisting of councilors Kris Vohs, …
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Local consultant Tom Clough submitted a draft report outlining potential solutions to the EDA's productivity problems.
The process to reform Northfield's Economic Development Authority (EDA) began Wednesday night with an outsider's candid criticism and recommendations. "I think it's clear that there has not been sound strategic and financial planning going on," said Thomas Clough, principal of nonprofit consultant Horizon Associates. While the Northfield City Council will ultimately decide to retool, eliminate or otherwise reform the EDA, Clough said he was optimistic the outcome would improve the city's ability to plan future development. After raising repeated complaints about the EDA's productivity in recent months, the city council voted earlier this year to utilize an independent arbitrator to guide the reformation. The primary issues were outlined…
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
The council will also revisit what it defines as economic development.
After Tuesday night’s Northfield City Council meeting, the Economic Development Authority still exists, but is not functional, as discussion of its future continues. In order for the board to be functional, it must have all seven of its members. The council has yet to appoint three members to the EDA this year, including two council members. Councilors must be appointed annually and former EDA member Victor Summa’s term expired Dec. 31, 2010. On Tuesday, Mayor Mary Rossing proposed she and Councilor Erica Zweifel be appointed to the EDA in the interim while long-term plans of the EDA are fleshed out, but no councilor made the motion to adopt the proposal, killing it. At its Feb. 8 meeting, the council will spend the majority of its time …
The city's many boards and commissions must now directly report to the council.
It didn’t take long for the new members of the Northfield City Council to make a difference. Councilors Patrick Ganey and Suzie Nakasian, new to the council in 2011, last week advocated for a policy change that would change the relationship between the council and its boards and commissions. On Tuesday, the council approved the policy 5-1. Councilor Rhonda Pownell dissented. Councilor Kris Vohs was absent. Councilors no longer will act as liaisons for the city’s many boards and commissions. Instead, it’s now the responsibility of advisory boards to report directly to the council. The policy change does not affect boards that have councilors appointed to them, like the EDA and Housing and Redevelopment Authority. “We approached this trying …
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Members sparred over how to reform the Economic Development Authority.
The Northfield City Council on Tuesday set schedules for and planned the discussion of many of its key initiatives for 2011, notably sparring over the performance of the Economic Development Authority, or EDA, and whether it should be dissolved into the council or reformed at the margins. Councilor Erica Zweifel proposed a motion for next week’s meeting to temporarily dissolve the board, giving councilors, who have oversight over EDA, decision-making power while it sorts out its role and mission. Mayor Mary Rossing and Councilor Rhonda Pownell objected. "Here we are looking at dissolving a board," Pownell said, "[when] there might be very simple answers to the problems," adding that she was not convinced that councilors had communicated to…