It was another emotional week for the city of Crosslake beginning with the council meeting Monday night, March 11. We were surprised to hear the mayor would be reading a resignation letter from Jennifer Max, city clerk, but understood why as we learned she had taken a job in California to be near family. It seemed almost surreal when it was made known that there had been a change of heart and she wanted to stay – but with the proposal of an annual salary (including benefits) of $138,000+ per year.
At a time when many are struggling and there is a large number of empty storefronts in Crosslake it seemed that a starting salary of that magnitude in Crosslake just didn’t make sense. We watched in disbelief as councilman Roe and a citizen tried to shame the council into blindly accepting this. After much drama there was finally a common-sense reaction to the situation.
Mayor Schneider and the remaining council asked for research to be done on comparable city employee’s salaries through the League of Minnesota Cities. We appreciate knowing that the mayor and some council members are trying to control our city budget and expenses. It was found the proposal was in fact high – not a surprise. A temporary consultant, retired former Brainerd City Administrator Dan Vogt, was hired to help get the city reorganized in a timely manner.
We realize it’s a big process to get our city reorganized and working more efficiently and it takes time. Especially when this council chooses to keep citizens involved and informed by holding open meetings. We’ve all heard of “transparency in government.” We’re seeing it in action in Crosslake. A lot has been accomplished already. We thank our new council members and mayor for keeping our best interests in mind.
Don and Deb Doerfler,