Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

New Greenwood Chairman apologizes for chaotic clerk office turnover

Jodi Summit
Posted 3/26/16

GREENWOOD TWP- After a contentious week that involved the local sheriff, a locksmith, and coverage on the evening news, the Greenwood Town Board met for their annual reorganization meeting March 24, …

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New Greenwood Chairman apologizes for chaotic clerk office turnover

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GREENWOOD TWP- After a contentious week that involved the local sheriff, a locksmith, and coverage on the evening news, the Greenwood Town Board met for their annual reorganization meeting March 24, in front of a once-again packed house. The audience included a news crew from WDIO in Duluth, the township attorney, and two area law enforcement officials who were just there to observe the town board in action, along with over 60 area residents.

Newly-elected Clerk Sue Drobac and Supervisor Carmen DeLuca, who had both been sworn in on March 18, took their seats at the front table as the annual reorganizational meeting got underway.

The first order of business was electing a new chairman. A motion by DeLuca to nominate John Bassing as chair failed 2-3. A motion by John Milbridge, to nominate Rick Worringer, passed 3-2, with Milbridge, Worringer, and Gene Baland voting in favor. Baland was elected vice-chair on a 3-2 vote. Baland noted that Worringer was a “calm and reasonable person.”

Clerk Drobac told the board she did not have access to all the township records, and said she was unable to confirm that all the records had been transferred, per Minnesota Statute 367.01.

“I do not have everything as of yet,” she said. “I am working on that problem.”

Specifically, she noted, for example, she did not have copies of the minutes from any of the township meetings held in 2016. Three days earlier, at the Monday Planning Commission meeting, the board was not able to approve minutes from their previous meeting because the new clerk still did not have access to those records.

“I can’t write out a list right now of all that is missing,” she said, noting she had only been on the job a few days.

Worringer read a statement from former clerk Ellen Trancheff, who asserted she had transferred all necessary documents to the clerk on March 18. Trancheff also signed a notarized document to that effect. Trancheff wrote that the new clerk was welcome to contact her to arrange a time to meet if she needed assistance with anything on the job.

But Drobac reasserted her claim that she was not granted proper access to all the records she needed.

Supervisor Bassing noted that Trancheff had set up an appointment with both newly-elected officials to be sworn in at 10 a.m. on March 18, but that Trancheff was not present at that time.

“The clerk’s computer and many documents were locked in the clerk’s office room,” he stated. “The clerk needed access to that office right then. She had to prepare for Monday’s CUP hearing for Bayview. She needed access to the clerk’s computer for those records.”

As was reported in the Timberjay last week, Clerk Drobac was given three thin file folders of documents, two keys (neither of which were for the clerk’s office), and access to an old computer (not the clerk’s current computer) that did not have the required township records on them.

Worringer said he had been told that the former clerk had arranged with Treasurer Delores Clark to conduct the swearing in. But Clark said only that Trancheff had left her a phone message to be at the town hall that morning to notarize some documents.

“I did not know I was going to do the swearing in,” she said.

Worringer said that the board, itself, had failed both the former and new clerk in this matter.

“We had not anticipated there could be a change in office,” Worringer said, “and didn’t have a plan in place. The board also failed with some of us acting without the board as a whole.”

The township election took place on March 8, and the swearing in of new officers was ten days later.

“I truly believe that Clerk Trancheff felt the documents she had locked up were sensitive and wanted to protect them,” he said. “We could have handled this better.”

Bassing explained his reasoning for asking Biss Lock to come to the town hall. He noted that a sign had been placed on the door of the clerk’s office stating it was now the office for the fire department administrator, maintenance supervisor, and planning director. He noted this decision apparently had been made by the employees, since it was not made by the town board.

“We were doing our job trying to get access to the documents for the new clerk,” Bassing said.

Milbridge asked what time Biss Lock had been called out, insinuating the appointment had been made prior to 10 a.m. Bassing asserted that Biss had been called out after the 10 a.m. swearing in, and DeLuca said he had witnessed the phone call. Bassing noted the call was made after a request to other township employees who had keys to the office, for access to the office, was denied.

“It was not a set up job,” DeLuca said.

DeLuca noted that he saw Worringer and Ellen Trancheff leaving the town hall prior to the 10 a.m. swearing in.

Bassing said the old clerk should have let the new clerk assume her duties as soon as she was sworn in, not wait until the reorganizational meeting the following week.

“Otherwise this is just sour grapes,” he said.

A rather loud and gusty round of applause from the audience riled up the new chairman, who asked the audience to quiet down.

Worringer said he would contact the former clerk and have her contact Drobac, to resolve the issue of the missing documents.

Assigning office space was the next issue on the agenda.

Worringer said he would like the township employees to sit down with Drobac to see if they could come to an agreement on this issue.

But Drobac resisted.

“My opinion is that they already decided,” she said. “They had locked me out. They had assigned me to a little computer with my back to the door…I don’t think it is going to be fair working it out.”

Bassing noted that Drobac is not a township employee, but an elected official.

“What we had here were three employees dictating to three township officials,” he said. “The clerk is the chief administrative officer for the township.”

Drobac said she felt the three should move their offices to where they had been before, noting that the planning director had used space in the old portion of the office, and that the maintenance supervisor’s work was mostly back in the fire hall, which had its own office.

Another round of loud applause again rattled Worringer.

“You have to understand this is a town board meeting,” he said. The applause is too much. We have our business to do here.”

When Worringer then threatened to call the sheriff, an even louder round of applause erupted, and someone in the audience said “you had better bring a lot of handcuffs.”

The audience, except for several rounds of applause, had been sitting quietly through the meeting, which was being filmed by the WDIO News crew.

A motion to have Drobac take over the office space of the former clerk passed on a 4-1 vote, with Worringer voting against.

Baland noted that there was plenty of space for other employees in the township’s office space.

Determining the office hours for the new clerk, as well as her salary, was then up for discussion. The first discussion addressed the hours. The town board had, as of March 1, set clerk office hours for Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 12 noon.

Whether or not the office needed to be open five days a week was discussed. But Baland pushed for having regular daily hours, with closures on holidays.

“We can be flexible around the holidays also,” he said.

Drobac suggested the hours shift to 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., and the board agreed.

DeLuca made a motion to keep the clerk’s salary at the budgeted amount of $25,173/year. The board had voted to retroactively increase the clerk’s salary in 2015, in a controversial move last summer.

Milbridge said he had seen campaign signs that stated “Save 85%, Dump ET,” referring to the 85% salary increase that the board granted to the clerk in 2015.

DeLuca replied that the signs were someone else’s political speech, not Drobac’s.

“If Ellen won, she would get this salary,” he said.

Bassing reminded the board of the issues faced by St. Louis County, back in 2007, when they attempted to reduce the salary on a newly-elected county attorney Melanie Ford, and were then threatened with a discrimination lawsuit.

Township Attorney Tim Strom, who had been asked to attend this meeting, said the town board had the authority to set the compensation, but that the salary could not be based on the sex, race, or religion of the person. While he said they could take experience into account, if they were going to reduce the pay they would need to state the reason on the record.

Worringer said he definitely saw some “inequity” because the previous clerk “took a lot of flack” for that salary amount.

“Now it’s a deserved thing?” he asked. “She was here 30-some years.”

Milbridge asked Drobac about her past work experience. It was noted after the meeting this was an inappropriate question to ask, since Drobac had been elected by a two-to-one margin by township voters, not hired as an employee.

The motion to keep the clerk’s salary at the budgeted level passed 5-0.

The board also decided to revisit the reduction in supervisor’s salaries that was spearheaded by Milbridge in 2015. A motion by DeLuca to increase the pay for the chairman back to $4,383/year and supervisors to $3,982/year passed on a 3-2 vote with Milbridge and Bassing voting against. The 2016 budget showed $1,500/year for the chairman and $1,125/year for supervisors. No mention was made of the treasurer’s salary, which is budgeted at $14,500 for 2016.

Official newspaper

The board voted to appoint The Tower News as the township’s official newspaper for the second year in a row. The vote came despite passage of motions at the past two annual meetings to name The Timberjay as official newspaper.

Bassing and DeLuca argued for The Timberjay, noting the Timberjay did a better job and that their public notices were easier to read. DeLuca noted the township had two Board of Adjustment meeting in the past year that had to be re-heard because proper notice had not been published by The Tower News.

“People drove all the way from the Twin Cities,” he said. It was also noted that board members were paid to attend these meetings. Bassing noted that at least in one case it was the fault of the newspaper for not getting the notice published as requested.

Worringer said he liked having two papers, and that they were different styles. He said the “Timberjay is a more authentic newspaper.”

Audience members also chimed in support of The Timberjay, noting it’s more popular with local residents and has a well-used website, where notices are published and archived, so past week’s articles and notices can be reviewed.

Tower News publisher Gary Albertson, in support of his bid, said The Tower News did have a website and noted “we usually don’t try to get you in trouble.”

Worringer noted he couldn’t tell which bid was lower. The Timberjay bid $.089/inch for legal notices and $2.59/inch for display ads. The Timberjay also published all legal notices in the Cook Timberjay. The Tower News bid $1.50 for legal notices and $1.95 for display ads.

In other business the board:

‰ Approved a liquor license for Bayview Lodge. The actual license is granted by St. Louis County, but the township also needs to grant approval.

“I want to compliment Alissa Horan, Julia Maki, and Jeff Lind for helping to get this done,” Baland said.

‰ The township’s Board of Appeal and Equalization meeting will be held at the Greenwood Town Hall on May 5 at 10 a.m.

‰ The town board tabled discussion of township policies and any changes until the regular April meeting.

‰ The town board also tabled discussion of passing a resolution allowing Worringer to work part-time for the township so that the required materials and forms can be reviewed.

Comments

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Ilk

How much more ridiculous can the Clown Car that is Greenwood Township government become. In this case we had three public employees try to impede the rights of three elected public officials to assume office and conduct public business. We had the Sheriff, locksmiths,attorneys, a TV station as well as the local press. There was poorly a veiled intimidation of the new Clerk, a vendetta against a local newspaper for doing its job,and a lie asserting that the standoff was a setup. The chair claims they failed because there was no plan to transfer office but none was required. The former Clerk should have just given up the keys and presented the records to the new Clerk as has been done thousands of times in this state. Some members of this Board openly display their lack of knowledge of and interest in learning how Township government should operate. They can't see that Township government is both participatory,as in setting the levy, and democratic as at the polls. All they seem to think is that there are just a few "complainers" that are causing all the fuss. Unfortunately we will all have to watch as this Clown Car careens into state laws and rolls over citizens rights as it goes.

Saturday, March 26, 2016
sadie

nicely said ILK!!!

clown car is right.

hopefully more citizens will see what's really going on and get informed and involved.

some things need to end and start going in the right direction.

honest and open government.

i'm hoping all of the bad has been exposed but i am afraid there is more to come.

Saturday, March 26, 2016
sadie

the picture in this article says a lot. new clerk talking to the reporter. in the background, new board chairperson, planning and zoning directer. both talking to the township lawyer. hmmmmm

Saturday, March 26, 2016
Ilk

Sadie

Hopefully the picture is symbolic of the Chair, the Planning Director and the Attorney in the background and drifting away for good.

Saturday, March 26, 2016
Shaking my head

We have a new chair who doesn't know what a mill rate is in taxation. Neither does he know what motions are being discussed while he is leading the doggone meeting! He threatens to call the sheriff because a few of us were unable to stop giggling at some of their antics. Since the sheriff was already parked on 77, right up the road, I'm guessing he figured we would be disruptive. Civil disobedience is a necessary part of our democracy. We will not stop folks until the clown car is taken off of the road! We have a planning director afraid to be at the office by herself, with some supervisors agreeing it is a valuable use of the maintenance man's time to 'guard' her while she is there. I've never heard of such a thing! If you are afraid to be alone, perhaps this is not the job for you?Greenwood's townhall was never known as a hotbed of crime, violent crime anyway. Investigations and resignations are in order.

Saturday, March 26, 2016
Eyes Wide Open

This time approved by Gene acting alone again, Atty. Strom is at the meeting. At 1000.00 taxpayer dollars a tip to Greenwood. The same Gene who attempted to peg the Townships outrageous legal expenses on Dr. Bassing for Gene's calls to defend his indefensible position on keeping the survey comments secret. Now acting as the legal council for Julia and Rick as they blocked access to the clerks office after she was sworn in. Their alleged actions are a Gross Misdemeanor with up to one year imprisonment and a 3000.00 fine and they know it. Google MN 609.43 They seek advise from Strom as to how the hell will we get out of this one and does this void our plush contracts. Maki knows she wrote enough evidence on this forum to put herself in legal trouble. The act of them calling the Sheriff is hard evidence of blocking access to the Clerks office. These wretches need to be gone from this and any township. Look out Rick. What was that line from that prison movie, "fresh meat."

Saturday, March 26, 2016
Royal Enfield

In my opinion there is a learning curve for any new job or position. Sue Drobac deserves to be cut a little slack as she figures out her new position and so does Supervisor Worringer as he adapts to being the Chairperson. Maybe people could lighten up a little.

Saturday, March 26, 2016
Ilk

Royal,

I agree totally but when Rick calls the Sheriff on these officials he better have a darn good reason and be able to back it up. Remember here, it was Rick who called the Sheriff not Clerk Drobac.

Saturday, March 26, 2016
Iowa common sence

A learning curve is a expected. Sue will transition from the bookkeeping and customer service role she has been in previously and be a asset to the community. Unfortunately for Rick with all of his past remarks, and to cap it off, the infamous "call the Sheriff" tough guy remark. He is in the category of "You can't fix stupid". The life of a Puppet is a rough one. Lots of tripping on your wooden feet.

Saturday, March 26, 2016
Laker

When the Ilk speaks of veiled intimidation he is being too kind. Gene told the new Clerk she should bake some cookies for Pat as he is feeling less than welcome. Can you say sexual discrimination? Would it be unfair to label Gene as a male chauvinist pig? Just like the time you told a female attendee of a board meeting that you would "take her outside and teach her some respect". I remember you. You are not dealing with a bunch of second graders any longer. You are not allowed to drop our shorts and teach us a lesson with your pent up frustration. These folks you label the complainers are adults. If you believe that people do not see through your Mr. Nice facade you are mistaken. Or the forgetful old man ploy. Drop it. These people you attempt to deceive are not stupid. And if Pat needs cookies you can bake them.

Saturday, March 26, 2016
Gene Baland

Greetings,

I would like to suggest that anyone (especially those commenting above) that would like to meet with me this coming Saturday morning, April 2nd, at the town hall to discuss the events of Friday March 18th in a calm respectable manner that gives everyone a chance to speak (without interruption)addressing specifically that issue and any other issues (if we have time) that are causing them to be so frustrated with the town board. A meeting where everyone is listened to and respected regardless of others opinions. This would be a much better setting to share our differences than a town board meeting where tempers flare, ridicule is common, and many leave angry.

So, I am inviting any and all to the town hall this coming Saturday at 10:30 am to have coffee and rolls (I'll bring them! :)) and discuss past events and a way to bring this township together in a positive manner. Please come.

Gene Baland

PS: I am assuming that the town hall will be open but if not I will let you know (via this media) that the date and/or time will be changed due to an unknown conflict with the town hall meeting room.

Sunday, March 27, 2016
One who once proud to live in Greenwood Township

Gene, how odd you use this newspapers web site to post meeting information when it's not the official Greenwwod Towmshio paper, perhaps you should reconsider which paper the township should deem as the official newspaper.

Sunday, March 27, 2016
One who once was proud to live in Greenwood Township

Gene, how odd you use this newspapers web site to post meeting information when it's not the official Greenwwod Towmshio paper, perhaps you should reconsider which paper the township should deem as the official newspaper.

Sunday, March 27, 2016
Royal Enfield

An olive branch is an olive branch. It's a nice idea so does everything have to be

negative?

Sunday, March 27, 2016
William T. Freholde

I just watched the story on WDIO.com from the Thursday Greenwood meeting. As Rick passes the blame around he says the Board "did not have any guidelines for them to follow" talking about seating a new clerk. They pay MAT for insurance and lawyers thousands of dollars a year via contract. They then call the lawyer to come to the annual meeting and this meeting at 1000.00 a time. The MN statutes are there for all to see. It looks like other supervisors found them. Gene, Ellen and Julia were the only three allowed by the township guidelines to call the lawyer. With all of these resources available to them they were apparently not used by them. You people call the lawyer to stop public comments from being seen by the public. Do you only call them when it suits your deceptive schemes? The state has laid out the guidelines in LAW. He "was under the impression it happened at the reorganization meeting". Why are you on the board if you have no clue and have shown no desire to research what to do for this or any other township operations. You said "other supervisors decided it needed to happen sooner". They did not decide. It was decided by the State of Minnesota Legislators. Sue not being able to access the Clerks materials also put the violation of other MN Statutes in harms way. Access to the public comments for the upcoming Bayview meeting for example. If access to that would have been denied then the meeting for its approval would have need to be re-noticed and re-scheduled. Another embarrassment. Supervisor Rick and employee Pat chose not to open the door to the clerks materials "wifes office" even after being told to do so by other supervisors. Pat has keys to all of the doors at the township?

Rick, when you were sworn in two years ago you did not do it at the reorganization meeting. You cant remember that just like you can't keep track of what is going on at the meetings. It appears this debacle was started by you as you drove away from the township at 10:00 as the new officers arrived. Why the hell were you leaving,like a little kid who lit a match and ran away, maybe you can explain that to all the people at the next board meeting. Will you apologize for that.

Sunday, March 27, 2016
John bassing

Gene,

The events of the 18th and those leading up to it are clear. A week before the 18th the Planning Director, the Former Clerk and the Maintenance Person took the Clerk's office as their own. An appointment to be sworn in was made with the former Clerk for 10am. Supervisor elect Deluca, Clerk elect Drobac and Supervisor Bassing arrived to find Clerk Trancheff and Supervisor Worringer leaving the building. Treasure Clark did the swearing in, Clerk Drobac found the Clerk's office locked and Supervisor Bassing then proceeded to call the Planning Director, the maintenance person and you in an attempt to gain access an begin work. All attempts failed and the locksmith was called. I believe Rick Worringer called the Sheriff and when the Sheriff arrived we(Deluca,Drobac and myself) had a decision to make. Should we stand with what we thought was fair and found in statute and chance being arrested or give up and allow unlawful actions to continue. We chose the former but the Planning Director called the Township attorney in efforts to dissuade us. What right does she have to contact the attorney on a non Planning and Zoning issue. This should have been a very simple transfer of office but three employees and at least one Supervisor obstructed us. I call for the resignation or termination of those employees and the resignation of that Supervisor. You have a clear choice here Gene either admit Mea Culpa and move this Township forward with Carmen and I or stand with the others and fight all year long. From the election results it is clear what the people demand.

Sunday, March 27, 2016
Laker

Balund just does not get it. This is a township issue. These matters are to be done at a board meeting. They need to be on the record of the township. Involving all the board. Rick already apologized for the his acting alone. When will your apology be heard. And statement that the supervisors are not to act alone. These are not your private issues. Remember when you bought the road in the dark of the residents claiming it was an emergency. Now you have set up a walking trail with the DNR as if the Board approved it. You must be the obvious leader of the pavilion project. They use the same tactics of sending out survey with no questions on it. Looks more like propaganda. They have a problem with the truth also. Calling a parent conference is your way to handle this. Attempting to pull a play out of the old School handbook by placating a few of the complainers in front of you to lie to is a joke. You only wish to identify them. You are the problem. It seems like it is hard for you to follow the rules. From your track record the chances are you will

never learn. The shine is off the apple and the center is rotten.

Sunday, March 27, 2016
shaking my head

At the Saturday coffee klatch, how do we arrange to meet with 'The Great and Powerful Oz'?

Sunday, March 27, 2016
shaking my head

I think that the board needs to responsibly rein in the legal fees. The MAT attorney is FREE and his expertise should be taken advantage of all of the time. It has become obvious that the private, expensive attorney is used more as a sounding board, to see what can be gotten away with, rather than simply seeking a legal opinion. I believe all inquiries to the 'by the hour' attorney should be made only by the chair. The planning director and planning commission chair can write down the questions they want answered, and the attorney can respond in writing. That way there are no secrets or hidden agendas, as has been the norm.

Sunday, March 27, 2016
JK

Let's spend some of our huge reserve fund on an audit and find out what these idiots are hiding. I'd guess there are a few improprieties hidden over the last thirty years.

Sunday, March 27, 2016
shaking my head

The recent antics by the planning director are yet another example of why it would be a good idea to get planning and zoning back to the county ASAP. The assessing was an 'on again, off again', mess for years. I know we never saw an assessor's card on our door in over 12 years. We did see one when the county took over last year however. Wonder how Pat spends his time now that he's not 'Driving Miss Daisy' to all of her assessing visits. Oh,that's right! Now he drives the other fearful female on her site visits and is supposed to be a bodyguard whenever she is at the town hall alone. Sets women's lib back about 40 some years! It's ridiculous that some on the board think babysitting and being a private driver are in a maintenance man's job description, and that taxpayers are funding this!

Sunday, March 27, 2016
Gene Baland

It appears there is no need for me to spend my time trying to have a civilized meeting with you. Name calling, threats, lies, and rude remarks seem to be your trademark so I will withdraw my offer to meet with you and will move on.

Sunday, March 27, 2016
sadie

meet with you for coffee and a scolding?? can't wait for that. not.

a meeting will only continue what has been. baland, worringer, maki, both tranchefs need to resign. with all of the dishonest actions that have occurred just lately shows their true colors. I would like to know all that has happened for the past 30 years. many people would be shocked. you all should be ashamed.

this township is a great place to live. we just need to get rid of the selfish rotten rats that are poisoning this township. maybe, just maybe then we can heal and move on to some honest and open government.

Sunday, March 27, 2016
Ilk

So Gene is going to take his ball and go home. That's OK, he would have just tried to placate us anyway. He must think the Board should have the corner on name calling,threats and lies. Maybe that's because the Board has been so good at it for so long.

Sunday, March 27, 2016
Ben12

Gene,

Have you considered that the problems at hand are the result of the way that the township has been managed??? You mention name calling, insults etc., but have you asked yourself why the issues with Greenwoods township management have escalated to this level? This certainly isn't the norm for a township, so you have to ask yourself why Greenwood is having so many issues. The answer is simple. The Greenwood town board has for quite some time operated with a sense of entitlement and self purpose while losing sight of the fact that your supposed to be serving on behalf of the interests of the Greenwood residents. When the town board attempts to suppress public information that is critical of the board (survey results), makes decisions in conflict with public opinion (planning and zoning back to the county) and actively interferes with the public transfer of duties it raises some questions as to who the board is most interested in serving. Clearly the loyalty to Ellen, Pat and Julia was held in higher regard than the duties to transfer the office to the newly ELECTED clerk. This ongoing loyalty to the "club" is also very transparent in the consistent party line voting amongst yourself and the other two club members. It's consistently a 2-3 vote (the newly elected against the remaining members of the soon to be voted out. The newly elected members where elected to try and implement some change. This is what the Greenwood taxpayers have requested and demand. These are people that you were elected to represent. You were not elected to act on behalf of your friends and family. Why is it that you consistently vote the club line opposed to evaluating the issues and representing the wishes of the township residents?

Monday, March 28, 2016
Ilk

BEN12

Great analysis!!!

Monday, March 28, 2016
Ben12

The resistance to turn over full access to the computer and all township records suggests that there should be a full audit of all township records performed by an external audit agency. The computer should also be searched by an independent professional service for missing and deleted files. The transfer of the clerk’s duties are either an attempt to cover up the possibility of shady past issues or the most ridiculous act of immaturity ever displayed by a town board and it's employees. Since the township apparently has thousands to spend on independent attorney's fees (and pickle ball courts....) there should be absolutely no issues with funding an external audit and having the computer analyzed. A willingness by board members to do so would certainly help to ease tensions and eliminate suspicions of impropriety.

Monday, March 28, 2016
Ray Milligan

Let's not forget the yet to be expended $50K+ for the tennis court which will joint the pickle ball courts as another maintenance item on the township's growing list

Monday, March 28, 2016
Eyes Wide Open

"It appears there is no need for me to spend my time trying to have a civilized meeting with you. Name calling, threats, lies, and rude remarks seem to be your trademark." Balund, did you plagiarize this form a letter sent to you?? This sounds like what most of the residents have been saying as they give up going to meetings. Name calling; you are great at that. And your self given nickname "The Decider". Keeping information from your fellow board members as if they are beneath you. Threats; Is that the same as bull shit, what a slinger. Lies; I did not get the letter form the county on the Assessment issues, then "I lost it", Then "I forgot to bring it up". Rude remarks; "teach you some respect" and "bake Pat some cookies" for starters. You have the audacity to propose a meeting to "discuss the issues". Do you have memory issues? Short discussion, You are the problem. I think that any person that acts like you may have some traits that are better suited to a dictatorship than a five member town board.

Monday, March 28, 2016
Hardrockminer

While we are all getting things out in the open, I'd like to add a comment- regarding the imaginary 'Baland Road' (as it's been called). Gene, by what authority I cannot imagine, intended to create a road through heavy woods. I know people that worked on that over 25 years ago. It was never a real road, as they presented it to us at a board meeting. It was for walking, 4 wheelers and snowmobiles. The easement obtained under odd circumstances, is supposed to be a 'short cut' to the invisible tennis courts. The culvert is 10 seconds, at 30 mph, from a controlled intersection at hwy 77. No one ever has to wait to turn right from Birch Point Road. I've been taking right turns there since 1971. Please don't waste another dime on the fantasy Gene. I know of no one on Birch Pt. Rd. interested in a back door to the town hall.

Monday, March 28, 2016
Laker

It wont be long until the plans for the tennis court parking lot and supper club, penny arcade, and malt shop are found mixed in with the HIPPA documents.

Monday, March 28, 2016
Tom Hartley

Malt shop? We are getting a malt shop? That's great.

Monday, March 28, 2016
John bassing

Gene,

If you wish to see a great example of threats and lies just read the sheriff's depart on the standoff of March 18. In it, it is clear that the excuse of using HIPAA is either a red herring lie or complete ignorance of the Act itself. Then there is an association of a lawsuit to this standoff which is totally fictitious and without merit. The complaint was brought by the Board Chair and supported by the Planning Director and you stood by as they pursued this farce. You seem not to understand the anger people have for their Township government but as this report is made more public it will only enlist more anger. Fortunately, Sue,Carmen And I were not arrested but imagine the exposure to liability that would have presented. We need to address this matter directly and in the open.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016
resq7107@yahoo.com

Malt shop??? I know where we can get a juke box.....Saturday night sock hops, dance contests with poodle skirts, saddle shoes and pony tail scarves!!! The possibilities are endless.....heyyyyyy, being on the Fonz!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016
sheriff's report

REPORTED DATE: 03/18/2016 REPORTED TIME: 10:27 ICR#: 16059277

Report# 2

St. Louis County Sheriff's office

Ely office

Reported Date: 03/18/2016 Time: 10:27 Case No.: 16059277

Code: crime: Location: 3000 Co Rd 77 Tower MN 55790 =========================== NARRATIVE =========================

On 03/18/2016 at approximately 1028 hours, I, Deputy Chris schafer, was dispatched to the Greenwood Township Town Hall at 3000 county Road 77 for a report of a disturbance. The

reporting party, RICHARD WORRINGER .~ " told dispatch he had received second

hand information that someone was drilling holes into the locks of a locked office. WORRINGER stated it was a newly elected official. WORRINGER was concerned HIPAA information would be looked at in the locked office.

I arrived at 1053 hours and met with WORRINGER. There were several people gathered outside of the town hall in the parking lot. I observed a Biss Key locksmith employee as well. WORRINGER told me he was a township supervisor and wanted me to stop a couple of other township supervisors from getting into the locked office that has the HIPAA information. I then met with JOHN BASSING (D( .', CARMEN DELUCA ':, and SUZANNE DROBAC . BASSING told me DELUCA and he were township supervlsors and explained to me DROBAC had just been sworn into office as the new township clerk and they wanted into a locked office that is attached to the Fire Department. DELUCA told me there was information in the office that the clerk needed; WORRINGER refused to give them a key. BASSING told me at that time, the locked office had not been opened yet.

I returned to speak with WORRINGER and the Greenwood zoning Direction, JULIA MAKI

) WORRINGER told me the clerk and the other township supervisors have no business going into the locked office. MAKI told me BASSING has an ongoing lawsuit against the township and if he went through the HIPAA information in the locked office, it would help his case. I asked WORRINGER what he wanted to see done from the sheriff's office. I explained to WORRINGER the issue would be a civil issue and needed to either be handled by the township board or in civil court. WORRINGER explained to me he wanted me to stop them from getting in the office. I again explained to him that I could not stop them from going into the office since they are also township employees. I told WORRINGER and MAKI I would document what happened. I suggested to the group that if one side didn't want the HIPAA documents to be looked at to remove the documents for safe keeping. DELUCA and BASSING were against the idea.

I then returned to speak with BASSING, DELUCA, and DROBAC. I explained to them the issue over the office is a civil matter. I told them they either needed to figure the issue out amongst the township board or go to civil court. I told them entering the office is against the wishes of WORRINGER and MAKI. They all told me they understood, but they were going to still go into the office. AS I cleared the building, I observed the Biss Key locksmith go into the building.

I cleared and returned to service at 1157 hours.

End of report.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016
Rick Stoehr

So, if gaining access to the files " might help their case" doesn't tell us something what will? Sounds like an admission of wrongdoing to me.

I'd highly suggest that anyone that was instrumental in preventing the newly sworn in Township Clerk from accessing the information she needed to begin serving the people that elected her please save yourself further embarrassment and resign.

You too had taken an oath, clearly your actions are in violation of that oath.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016
sadie

i sure hope all of this mess starts to get resolved. many wrongdoings went on. the sheriff was called and filed a report. people were denied access to offices. lawyer was called. the tv station had this on the news. my, my we do have a mess.

i hope we don't have to wait 6 months or more for a solution to this mess. many people were very wrong in what they did. statue's were violated. kinda means the law was broke. right? when the law if broken people have to get punished. they have to admit wrongdoings. someone mentioned it would be best to resign. i think that sounds like a good idea.

i hope by the next board meeting there is some sort of plan to move forward with this mess. and the people that did wrong are dealt with. i think the longer it takes the worse it will get.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016
Migizi

As the fifth generation of our family to spend summers on Lake Vermilion, I nevertheless do not know any of the individuals involved in this fracas. All I know about the situation is from the Timberjay, but here are my recommendations, not influenced by personal contact with those involved:

1. Any person who prevented the clerk from accessing materials to perform her job should be fired, if an employee, or forced to resign, if an elected official.

2. Township hours should be scheduled so that at least two people are performing duties at the same time, thereby eliminating the need for a third person to "babysit."

3 Planned recreational projects, structural improvements, etc. on the township property should be suspended until finances are clearly understood. Consideration should be given for an audit to see if everything is in order. Meanwhile, supervisors should be trained in what their role is and limitations of their office. They seems to have little knowledge of meeting procedures and how to conduct township business. Surely there are courses for such officials.

4. The audit should look into newly created positions--indeed, all positions--to see if they are warranted. This includes an analysis of each position to determine the number of hours to complete the tasks. Seems unusual for an employee to dictate the number of hours a position, especially a newly created one, should take.

5. Allow money for lawsuits that may result from an overbearing, out-of-control township government.

Perhaps after these issues have been resolved, recreational amenities can be considered.

Last, it is very important that the local newspapers provide accurate, complete, and detailed information to their readers of what goes on in the township and reported at meetings. There are big holes of missing information. An example is if a fire boat is damaged, taxpayers need to know what caused it: carelessness? an unavoidable accident? What about missing equipment? Is anyone held accountable?

Tuesday, March 29, 2016
Twilight Zone

The newly created positions were a violation of the by-laws that Ellen oublicly admitted 'hadn't been followed for years'. Hoping the pseudo-employee contracts can be voided and all illicit over - compensation is returned to the township.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016
JK

Migizi,

Very good points. I agree with you 100%.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Ray Milligan

It seems it would be appropriate for the township board (both sides) to get in touch with the "free" lawyers, explain the situation in unbiased terms, and have the lawyers explain what the various options are in terms of resolution. We can bicker back and forth forever on this and never resolve it...the sooner the better.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Lee Peterson

Thanks for posting St. Louis County Sheriff Chris Schafer's report from the locked Clerk's Office incident of March 18th. It is very revealing:

"WORRINGER told me the clerk and the other township supervisors have no business going into the locked office." Wow! The audacity of trying to use the Sheriff to block the newly elected and sworn in Clerk from her office, computer and records is beyond the pale. Elections are supposed to matter--even in Greenwood.

[Planning Director Julia]"MAKI told me [Supervisor] BASSING has an ongoing lawsuit against the township and if he went through the HIPAA information in the locked office, it would help his case."

Wow! It is true that John Bassing pursued a lawsuit against the Greenwood Town Board over its refusal to release all of the written comments that were sent in to the Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee in response to question #20 of the Greenwood Community Survey. The lawsuit was successful--all of the written comments were subsequently released to the public.

The lawsuit had nothing to do with HIPAA information-ZERO. (HIPAA stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accounting Act) It is a Federal law that protects individual's medical records and other personal health information. Julia Maki and Rick Worringer are really stretching reality in using this as an excuse to keep a newly elected and sworn in Township Clerk out of the Clerk's Office. The Sheriff and his supervisor didn't buy it. There need to be consequences for this stunt.

I truly believe that we need more openness around here. Trying to keep the Greenwood Town Hall Clerk's Office privately locked for the exclusive use of the former clerk, planning director (already has office space) and janitor shows just how far out of reality things have gotten here.

Leave the Sheriff out of this. Respecting the election results is actually the law--even in Greenwood.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Even in Greenwood

This is from Wikpeia.org type in HIPAA

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996

Other short titles :Kassebaum–Kennedy Act, Kennedy–Kassebaum Act

Long title: An Act To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to improve portability and continuity of health insurance coverage in the group and individual markets, to combat waste, fraud, and abuse in health insurance and health care delivery, to promote the use of medical savings accounts, to improve access to long-term care services and coverage, to simplify the administration of health insurance, and for other purposes.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Ilk

The Board has struggled for some time now on the basic concepts of just how Township government works. Some of them have had a difficult time understanding that the levy is a tax and that by maintaining a Planning and Zoning we are paying twice for the same service. They don't understand the Open Meeting Law, contract law or the idea that Supervisors can only Act as a Board and not individually. The understanding of the Clerk's and Treasurer's positions with their duties and responsibilities is also a mystery to them. The Claims process, the procedures in accepting and making donations as well as conflict of interest issues are also misunderstood. It appears a though we may have to reinvent the wheel in Greenwood and it's long past time to get started.

Thursday, March 31, 2016
Even in Greenwood

Read the Sheriff report. Wow. Glaring at me were the statements by Maki that say; there is a law suit pending and the HIPAA data will be used to help the case. And Worringer that the HIPAA information was in jeopardy and locks are being drilled. Brings to mind the following;Google MN 609.505 FALSELY REPORTING CRIME.

Subdivision 1.False reporting.

Whoever informs a law enforcement officer that a crime has been committed or otherwise provides information to an on-duty peace officer, knowing that the person is a peace officer, regarding the conduct of others, knowing that it is false and intending that the officer shall act in reliance upon it, is guilty of a misdemeanor. A person who is convicted a second or subsequent time under this section is guilty of a gross misdemeanor. If person does these things while acting as an employee or officer of the township, I see no continuation of their employment or office being acceptable. The trust has been eliminated.

Thursday, March 31, 2016
Dave rose

I just read all the comments back and forth and where I am from they say ufda! I do not know anybody above so I come into this eyes wide open. The last thing all you people need is lawsuits and big lawyer bills, which we all know nobody wins after legal expenses. I am willing to sit down with no more than 2 people at a time at city hallor local watering hole and hear their complaints. Next step is to get every one back on the same page and move forward. This,he said, she said, or he did she did can go on for years. I will listen to all sides any try bring some closure so we can move on. By the way I will do this no charge. I like this area and plan on moving here. Anyone interested let me know. I am only giving advice and here to heal the wounds.Thanks Dave Rose My cell is 320 295 1883. I will be back in town next week.

Friday, April 1, 2016
Rick Stoehr

Another offer to negotiate this out? Why. Clearly there have been violations of oaths taken and laws ignored or deliberately violated. We have a new township Clerk and a ridiculous attempt was made to prevent her from properly assuming the job she was elected to. We have been told that nobody knew how to do that and they weren't prepared? Feeble excuse at best and it doesnt take a law degree to perform the task. Read the oath. It's a simple process. All that was required was for the previous Clerk to welcome the new Clerk and give her a brief orientation to the workings of her new office. And wish her well.

What did we voters get? Instead of a new Clerk We got a whole bunch of useless drama and a situation that prevented the business of the township from being tended to. That foolish activity served no one and cast even more suspicion on and already suspicious situation.

If anything a citizens group needs to be formed to do what must be done and that is take any and all steps to remove the offenders from positions of authority and regain the will of the voters of Greenwood Township, end the drama and regain our dignity.

Yes it's going to be painful but as I see it it's probably the only way we will return ownership of the township to the us, the voters, taxpayers and residents.

Friday, April 1, 2016
Even in Greenwood

A long time ago there were some people that worked all this out. When there is a situation like this one, the Judicial system is there. When there are parties that have made such transgressions there a remedies. This is a civilization with the rule of law. Self discretion and sound judgement have failed. Without the rule of law who are we? The time has come for remedies, either self imposed or done by adjudication.

Friday, April 1, 2016
Even in Greenwood

Dave Rose, who has not stated any information about himself other than "I do not know anybody above" in his post has also not stated who he does know or is working for. Is he working for some of those involved in the recent events? Would any of those involved with the local events use a local law firm? Any party who wishes to contact Dave may wish to proceed with caution. And any comments made to him may need to be carefully written. He has not made his motivation clear in my opinion.

Friday, April 1, 2016
Tom Hartley

I believe Dave Rose is the one trying to get approval

For an v park in Tower. He was at the GWT P and Z

Meeting about Bay View's CUP. Credentials unknown.

Friday, April 1, 2016
Dave rose

Your right I was at the last zoning meeting and I am trying to put in a New RV park in Tower. I am not a lawyer. I offered to sit down with all parties so they can air out their fustrations and try To move on. Get over the he said she said. If everything is half true on both sides you people will spend all your hard earned tax dollars on legal instead of township needs. Also, You will also use up all that good energy that is needed other places. I offered this at no charge. And I know no on involved. You will also read that I was offering only advice. To get everyone to mellow out. Not legal counsel. As for schooling and experience, I graduated from the school of hard knocks. I think instead of Offering a olive branch someone better order truck load. Thanks Dave Rose

Friday, April 1, 2016
Shaking My Head

It is unfortunate that these comments are only available to those that have an online subscription of The Timberjay. The articles and comments may be shared with others though, by email, text message or messenger. If you are interested in some positive change in Greenwood Township, please share this information with folks that may be interested. It would be great if property owners would email the board members or the clerk to ask that planning and zoning be returned to St. Louis County. Assessing is gone, and with planning and zoning back with the professionals at the county, Greenwood can concentrate on improving the fire department.

Saturday, April 2, 2016