For the first time in Scandia history, the local government will be led by a female majority.
Mayor Christine Maefsky and newly elected councilwoman Heather Benson took their oaths of office last week, joining incumbent councilwoman Patti Ray in the historic first for the five-member city council—and the former town board, for that matter.
Maefsky, the city’s first female mayor, was first elected in 2016 and has won consecutive terms in 2018 and 2020.
In November, Benson bested a field of five candidates for one of two open council seats.
Councilman Steve Kronmiller, who was re-elected to his second four-year term, was also sworn in at the Jan. 6 meeting.
After a four-year absence, the council will consider re-joining the Forest Lake Cable Commission.
City Administrator Ken Cammilleri suggested the cable commission could be a good resource for the city and pledged to have city staff bring forward a proposal.
Cammilleri noted the Scandia city office staff still handles the financial accounting for the commission and still has a peripheral relationship with the commission.
The city disaffiliated from the cable commission in 2016 after concerns with the commission’s staffing and leadership. The commission operates the Lakes Area Television-10 and Ranger 20 cable access channels. The city was able to leverage cable franchise fees to continue broadcasting city meetings, which had previously been the commission’s responsibility.
Both Kronmiller and Ray signaled support for the idea of re-joining.
The council tabled a proposal from Corey Roberts, the organizer of The Minnesotan Cup, for hosting the hockey tournament at the city’s outdoor skating rink on Feb. 6.
Though Roberts submitted a COVID Preparedness Plan for the tournament one day before the council meeting, Cammilleri noted in a council memo that the plan fell short of several state requirements for outdoor sporting events.
Maefsky and Kronmiller both said they were not comfortable allowing the event to proceed under the existing proposal.
Councilman Jerry Cusick objected to the delay, noting that a two-week delay would make it harder for Roberts to organize and recruit teams to play in the tournament.
“I don’t see any reason not to allow this,” Cusick said.
The council will review and vote on the revised plan at its Jan. 19 meeting.
• The council appointed Terry Gorham and Emmy Lundeen to terms on the city’s Parks & Recreation Committee; and Perry Rynders to both the city’s Planning Commission and the Wasterwater Advisory Committee.
• The council assigned Benson and Kronmiller to serve on the city’s Economic Development Authority; Cusick to the Planning Commission; Maefsky to the Tourism Committee; Ray and Kronmiller to the Internet Action Committee; and Kronmiller to the Capital Investments Committee.
The next Scandia City Council meeting will be held 7 p.m., Jan. 19.