Local Gov't Accountability Roundup 11/22/11

GOODVIEW: Residents Oppose State Sidewalk Grant for Schools The city council will hold a public hearing December 5th on what’s turned into the hottest topic in Goodview.  It's a controversial MnDOT grant to build sidewalks for kids to walk to school. Many townspeople say few students even walk the planned route and say it's not needed. Others simply don't want to shovel snow on the proposed walks.

BEMIDJI: No Health Insurance, No College Classes Next Semester Don’t bother showing up to register for class next semester at Bemidji State University, unless you can prove you have health insurance. The school’s student senate approved the policy earlier this year.  The idea was that students should never face the choice between paying for health care or paying for tuition. Instead they now have to pay for both.

GAYLORD:  Non-Profit for Seniors to Shut Down After nine years of operations, at the end of the year Seniors in Brown and Sibley Counties will discontinue services. A lack of both funds and support led to the unanimous vote of the board of directors. The group’s $100,000 budget was made up of 40 percent state and federal funds. The hope is that local churches will step in and help seniors in need.

PARK RAPIDS: County Board Orders Staff to Keep Spending Down County commissions need to trim $725,000 from the budget to prevent levying for more taxpayer funding than last year.  Their goal also depends on no increase in employee pay among labor unions involved in negotiations. “You have to live within your means,” reiterated commissioner Lyle Robinson, “If you give one department more you’ll have to take it from somewhere else.”

NORTH BRANCH: Gloom and Doom Follows Failed School Vote Calling it a sad and tragic day for students, superintendent Dr. Deb Henton said many people are hurting in the wake of the failure to pass a levy increase. Despite declining enrollment, other board members noted that North Branch still gives kids a quality education but could do even better with more tax dollars.

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