Larry Fabini named Two Harbors Public Works directorThe search for a new Public Works Director is over. Larry Fabini, the interim Public Works director since the retirement of Tom Gelineau last year, has been named as Gelineau’s successor.
The search for a new Public Works Director is over.
Larry Fabini, the interim Public Works director since the retirement of Tom Gelineau last year, has been named as Gelineau’s successor. City Councilor and chair of the Public Works and Public Safety Committee Jerry Norberg said he had been going through a lot of thinking and soul searching.
“I’ve been able to watch the acting Public Works Director for four months, and for three of those months, I’ve been Public Works chairman, and I’ve worked hand in hand with him and I don’t see any reason why we can’t take off the acting part of his position and make him the public works director,” he said.
City Councilor Mary Rosati asked if Fabini’s appointment as the Public Works director would fall under the anti-nepotism policy, pointing out that Fabini’s wife and brother serve on the Public Works crew.
The city’s anti-nepotism policy states that an immediate family member of any employee will not be appointed or promoted as a City employee if the prospective employee’s immediate family member is a subordinate or has the authority to supervise the position being applied for. The same rule applies to spouses. However, Council President Dan Jones said Fabini would be grandfathered in under the policy. Fabini has been with the Public Works department for more than two decades. The anti-nepotism policy is effective only to new hires that were hired after Oct. 14, 2008.
Rosati said she thought Fabini had been doing an excellent job but that she had been hoping to hire an engineer down the road to combine some departments. Fabini was voted in with a vote of 5-1.
Councilor Steve Detlefsen raised a motion to do some street repairs on Ninth Avenue between 16th and 18th Streets, Ninth Avenue between Sixth and Seventh Street, Sixth Avenue from Sixth to Seventh Street and from Sixth Street to Fourth Street and Sixth Avenue. Funds from the PI Fund for up to $120,000 are being used on the project. Lake County will perform the street repairs.
“It’s cheaper that way because they get such a cheaper rate on blacktop,” said Detlefsen.
The motion was unanimously passed.
Golf course woes
Detlefsen also brought up the golf course. “It seems that we’re constantly fighting about money,” he said. “Obviously, if it doesn’t make money, we’re going backwards.”
To help alleviate the problem, Detlefsen raised a motion to put the land up for sale on the north side of the golf course to raise some revenue and have it appraised and surveyed.
“It would be a beautiful spot to build a house if anyone’s interested,” he said.
Detlefsen said it would be up to the Council later after the appraisal came in if they wanted to enlist the help of a relator or a developer. Norberg brought up a different concern.
“I know that the immediate downside to this is what about the ski trail,” he said, adding that the changes would beneficial to all. “Obviously, we’re going to work with the skiers. This is going to be a collaborative effort.”
Rosati brought a letter from the American Legion to the Council’s attention. The American Legion #109 in Two Harbors wrote asking the City to pay for its utility bills starting in May for five months. She said the reason they’re asking this is because at a previous City Council meeting the Council agreed to pay for the utility bills for Tee-Line Management as part of their contract agreement with Tee-Line to manage the golf pro shop.
“We knew that when we did this, it was going to be a big can of worms,” she said. “They go on to say that as an organization here in Two Harbors it’s hard for them to stay on their feet and we are paying for competition. They have just as much trouble getting in business and if we can do it for Tee-Line, we can do it for them.”
Councilor Detlefsen said that in the past the City has always paid the utility bills and that the time is coming when the City can stop paying the utility bills. He said he hopes to get to that point in the next two years.
“I feel the same way. We shouldn’t be paying it,” Detlefsen said. “But it’s what we did in the negotiations for this last go round. I can’t guarantee you, but the motion is to get to the point when we don’t pay it.”
Detlefsen volunteered for the golf course advisory committee to write a letter to the American Legion explaining why the City would not be paying their utilities bills.
The Council also added a new member to its ranks. Roger Simonson will serve out the rest of Ward 2 City Councilor Chris Swanson’s term until this November when an election for the seat will be held during the general elections. Simonson, along with Cheryl Sundstrom, applied for the position.
Simonson was voted into his new role as a city councilor with a vote of 5-1, with Rosati voting no. She then motioned for Cheryl Sundstrom to join the council, but the motion was dropped for lack of second after the Council voted Simonson in. Rosati said she knew Simonson would do a good job. However, she had been hoping for another woman on the Council.