The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

February 11, 2013

Elysian council votes campground down

(Continued)

ELYSIAN —

“It’s shameful we have council people who are doing the bidding of someone who is no longer holding office,” he said. “Do we need to change your nameplate to Katy Anttila, ex-officio?”

The campground proposal came from John Dockstader, of St. Ansgar, Iowa. He said he has a camper in a nearby campground, and was encouraged by friends to start a business here.

He said after the meeting he was disappointed, partly because some on the council said things that weren’t true. Dockstader said he doubts that he’ll try to start a campground elsewhere.

Supporters of the re-zoning pointed to the economic benefits.

Michael Meyer, president of the Elysian Area Chamber of Commerce, said Elysian has lost more businesses than it has gained in the past few years and the campground would add to the tax base and bring in visitors.

“A vote in favor of the re-zoning is a vote to secure our community’s future,” he said.

Resident Michael Kauss called it “an opportunity to bring money to Elysian.”

“If your attitude is you want no growth, get off the council.”

The Elysian City Council has a history of conflict, and Monday’s meeting showed the recent election, which replaced former Mayor Katy Anttila, hasn’t solved its problems.

For example, a discussion to appoint a city attorney, Jason Moran, devolved into an argument between him and Ziemer, who accused Moran of having a conflict of interest.

Moran, who is also an assistant county attorney for Le Sueur County, said Ziemer once sued the city over its annexation of Ziemer’s property, then withdrew the lawsuit.

“I would encourage Mr. Ziemer to put his personal animosity against me aside,” he said. Thayer, the councilwoman, said Moran was “disrespectful,” and also voted against the appointment, which passed 3-2.

The motion said the job would take effect immediately, and it did — the mayor rose from his chair after the vote, went into a back room and got a chair for Moran to sit at the council table.

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