Central Park to get a free little library

Users of North Branch’s Central Park will now have the opportunity to become a little more “book smart” thanks to Trinity Lutheran Church and the North Branch Council.

During the June 23 meeting, the council unanimously approved the placing of a “Little Free Library” in Central Park. Like other such libraries, the concept is people can take any books they wish from the box. People are also encouraged to leave any books they wish to donate for others to read, which typically keeps the inventory fresh and encourages people to frequently return.

According to Rich Lundberg of Trinity Lutheran Church, who has agreed to construct the little free library box, to initially stock it and to help with upkeep of it, the box will be located on the east wall of the restrooms. 

Council member Joel McPherson asked if the placing of this would pose any problems for Public Works in maintaining the park and the restroom building. He was informed that it would not.

Mayor Jim Swenson said he has one in front of his house and it’s a great way for people to obtain reading materials, especially when the library is closed.

City receives clean audit

Also at the June 23 meeting, the council heard the annual audit presentation from Clifton Larson Allen. According to Miranda Wendlandt, the city has been given a clean audit for 2019. 

During her presentation, Wendlandt said the only “significant deficiency” observed was a lack of segregation of duties by some of the staff. However, she was quick to point out this is not an unusual finding for a city of North Branch’s size.

Rules of order clarified

Before the June 23 meeting, the council put to rest the controversy surrounding Robert’s Rules of Order that led to the June 9 being suspended instead of adjourned. 

During that meeting, the council was split regarding who could second a motion to reconsider a vote that had taken place during that meeting. According to Robert’s Rules, only a council member on the prevailing side of a vote can make a motion to reconsider that vote, however it appeared to be silent on if the seconder also had to be from a council member on the prevailing side of the vote.

Upon reopening the suspended June 9 meeting, it was revealed the seconder could be anyone on the council. Therefore, the motion from Council Member Brian Voss to reconsider the vote, which was seconded by Kathy Blomquist, was appropriate.

With that understood, Voss again made a motion to reconsider the vote for establishing two special meetings to go over the applicants for the new Water and Light Commission, with the first meeting being discussion only and the second meeting being an interview of the finalists. Voss made the motion to reconsider based on the belief a majority of the council wished to keep open the possibility of voting for the appointments during the first meeting, which would make the second meeting unneeded.

Voss also stated he discovered that, if his motion was now approved, the delay in voting on his motion would cause the meeting dates to be pushed back in order to comply with laws for giving proper notice for open meetings. Based on that, his motion failed, allowing the two meetings to take place as scheduled on June 25 and June 30.

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