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Council supports resolution to publish own legal notices online

At-large Cloquet City Council member Lara Wilkinson was the only dissenting vote when Councilors and Mayor Bruce Ahlgren voted on a resolution of support for a bill that would make it OK for local government agencies to publish legal notices on their own websites … and nowhere else.

Discussion was minimal before the vote, with City Administrator Brian Fritsinger noting that the League of Minnesota Cities was requesting support for the bill.

“The biggest thing from my chair is that in some communities, there’s been a shift in how the public is learning about things,” he said, adding that he was not saying Cloquet had experienced such a shift.

After the vote, Mayor Bruce Ahlgren said passage of the bill at the legislative level “doesn’t mean we still can’t publish in the newspaper.”

“We’ll see what happens,” he said.

Public notices published in the Pine Journal by the city and other local governmental bodies include election notices, meeting minutes, budget details and tax forfeiture notices, among other things.

In other matters Tuesday, the Council and Mayor approved the appointment of three people (Neil Nemmers, Robert Nelson and David Johnson) to a rental housing task force but elected to keep more positions open in hopes of recruiting a more well rounded group of people.

Prior to the formal meeting, the Council and Mayor met with members of the Cloquet Economic Development Authority to discuss ongoing and potential business developments and ways to improve the appeal of the city, among other things.