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To the Editor: What just happened here?

To the Editor:

After following the continuing saga of the unwarranted suspension and resignation of Cloquet Police Chief Steve Stracek, some people in Cloquet are still wondering what really happened. The report by investigator Michelle Soldo seems to place some accountability on Chief Stracek and a few police officers, but is most damaging to some members of the city council for their roles in the events that transpired.

At an earlier city council meeting, a motion was made to spend over $30,000 on upgrades to wiring and electronics in Veterans Park. Other members of the council voted down the motion, citing it wasn't a good expenditure of taxpayer money. But yet those same folks spent more than $100,000 (by the Pine Journal's rough estimate) on the chief's suspension and investigation, and that doesn't include the process for hiring a new police chief. Is that a good expenditure of taxpayer money?

Thanks to the Pine Journal for the timeless effort to uncover and print the facts as they unfolded. While we may never know all the details of what occurred, the citizens of Cloquet can show how they feel when they go to the polls to vote for our city councilors and mayor. Did they act in our best interest through this painful episode? Do you want them representing you and the city of Cloquet for another term? Think about what just happened.

Dave Johanson