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Now there are three

By Staff | Feb 23, 2020

Michael Gold Bliss of the U.S. Census Bureau explained to the Blue Earth City Council how the Census will work.

And now there are only three.

Blue Earth mayor Rick Scholtes made an announcement near the end of last Tuesday night’s Blue Earth City Council meeting.

One of the four finalists for the open position of city administrator had withdrawn his name from the list. That finalist was Jeremiah Wadley, of Rochester, who is currently the senior financial analyst for the city of Dodge Center.

“All we know is that he has apparently taken a different position in another city,” Scholtes said. “So I guess we will proceed with the interviews with the other three.”

Those three are:

Mary Kennedy, of Fairmont, who currently is employed by Community and Economic Development Associates CEDA), and serves as the economic development specialist for the city of Blue Earth.

Kim Moore, of Amery, Wisconsin, and she was formerly the city administrator in Amery.

Devin Swanberg, of Pine Island, who is currently the director of economic development for the Economic Development Authority of the city of Pine Island.

The interviews are set to be held this Tuesday, Feb. 25, with one at 10:30 a.m., one at 1 p.m. and the third one at 2:30 p.m.

There will also be a Meet and Greet on Monday, Feb. 24, from 5:30 to 7 p.m., at the Blue Earth Senior Center, for the public to meet all three candidates.

At their work session last Tuesday evening, before their regular council meeting, the City Council heard all about the upcoming U.S. Census from Michael Gold Bliss of the Minneapolis office of the Census Bureau.

The city of Blue Earth has already formed a Complete Count Committee and Bliss praised the council for that.

“You are way ahead of the game. The actual Census starts in 60 days, on April 1,” he said. “It is something that happens every 10 years and it is extremely important to count everyone.”

Bliss explained that there is about $675 billion in federal funds that will be handed out each year according to the population in each city, county and state.

Bliss said that it has been determined that each non-counted person means a loss of $2,700 each year in federal funding to states.

“The House of Representatives is also apportioned according to the number of people in each state,” he explained. That means the states with larger populations get more U.S. Representatives than those with fewer numbers of people.

Bliss also told the council the Census only asks for names, birth dates, addresses, race and sex. They do not ask for any social security, credit card or bank information.

They also do not ask if the respondee is a citizen of the United States. Councilman Glenn Gaylord questioned why non-citizens are counted, and the answer was the Constitution requires every person, citizen or not, to be counted during the census.

One last thing Bliss talked about was the need to hire more people to work at the Census, mainly doing followup work to contact those who do not give a response to the Census by September.

In other business at Tuesday night’s meeting, the council:

After some discussion, the council voted to go ahead and hold another ‘in the city limits’ deer hunt during this coming fall deer hunting season. It will again be a bow and arrow hunt.

The vote was unanimous, however before the vote councilman Gaylord said he still felt the hunt was not effective in controlling the deer population in town.

Also after some discussion, the council voted to approve a plan for some green space area next to the Blue Earth Community Library. The vote was 5-1, with Gaylord voting no.

The green space would take up several parking spaces in the parking lot on the side of the library building. The council also decided to reverse the traffic flow in the parking lot, making the entrance off of Seventh Street.

Authorized the final payment on the construction of the new housing development on the northeast side of the city. The amount was $75,140.79.

Approved a slate of election judges for the March 3 presidential primary election, as well as approval of Chuck Holmseth to the Senior Center Board.