Last night city council member Ralph Rauterkus took on a local nonprofit that was trying to save the city the $300,000 it will cost to mothball the city’s municipal golf course this season. Mr. Rauterkus, unshaken by broad public support for the nonprofit, was able to have the issue pulled from the agenda. Rauterkus, the Director of Information Systems at Polar Semiconductor, was able to keep information about the nonprofit’s new proposal out of the public arena.
Some call this payback as one of the founders of the nonprofit challenged Rauterkus in last Fall’s election, but whatever his motives, I call this courage.
Watch the Council meeting discussion of the sale of MNGL at about 1 hour 30 minutes. Closed session for about an hour after that, then back on for final discussion and vote. Watch. The Council voted 7-0 against the sale.
On a 7-0 vote, the Red Wing City Council rejected an offer to sell MNGL to the current Lessee. This was a sound rebuke of the dump the golf course crowd.
A $1.2 million bond comes due on November 1st, which is the sole responsibility of the Lessee.
The Red Wing Municipal Golf Corporation’s blog is now up and running here. Take a peek to learn more about RWMGC’s proposal to keep Mississippi National Golf Links a public course.
Today, the Red Wing Municipal Golf Corporation (a non-profit corp.) released its proposal to the city of Red Wing for the management and operation of Mississippi National Golf Links (MNGL). The city of Red Wing is considering selling MNGL in order to address budgetary pressures.
This substantive proposal is an example of the possibilities available to communities searching for new ways to thrive in these challenging economic times. Beyond the obvious financial issues, the potential intangible benefit to communities of such private/public efforts is enormous. An engaged public is what very well may make the difference between those cities that stagnate, too focused on the bottom line, and those cities that embrace change and prosper.
View the proposal here.
As always, your comments are appreciated.
The Red Wing City Attorney has opined that the current Voter Initiative is legally deficient. I’ll address the legal issues later, but for now I’ll say this much; the right of the initiative – often referred to as direct democracy – is one of the most fundamental rights of self-governance.
Listen to the proceedings below: