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Bradbury Township

 

Mille Lacs County, Minnesota

Mille Lacs News

Since 4/18/07

 

City Hall Conflicts

 

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Tuesday September 25, 2007

Conflicts of Interest Plague City Hall

Mille Lacs News Staff Writer

 

In the United States of America, we are supposed to be guaranteed by our Constitution, a representative government - by the People, of the People and for the People. Supposed to be... But what happens when an elected government goes awry, disregarding its responsibility to its constituency and chooses instead to serve an alternate master, or just plain serves itself? Should these elected officials be allowed to pursue their own best interests while failing to protect and serve those who elected them to represent the People?

 

During the course of investigating the NEXUS/Onamia City Hall affiliation, I discovered a web of intricate relationships which can only be collectively described as an insidious series of Conflict of Interests within the Onamia City government. In a small town such as ours, there can commonly be overlapping issues which generally call for a city council member to abstain from voting on a particular motion. If ethics are applied in the case of NEXUS, including all aspects such as the relocation of Mille Lacs Academy, funding for the project, tax abatement, etc. etc., all members of the city council should excuse themselves from voting due to various conflicts of interest. These problems need to be addressed.

 

Five Members of the Onamia City Council

 

5. Padding Pockets - Councilman Bill Hill Jr.

 

Bill Hill owns the gas and grocery store (Super Valu) in Onamia. Nexus has stated that it spends over $200,000 in Onamia on drugs, hardware, and gas and groceries. This conflict of interest is obvious. If NEXUS stays in Onamia, Bill Hill will continue to receive his lion's share of the few financial rewards NEXUS has to offer.  Not only is Bill Hill a city council member, he is also President of the Mille Lacs Area CDC, which is developing new housing in Onamia on the old ball field property.  Centennial Estates has been suggested as a possible choice for the flood of NEXUS employees expected to relocate to Onamia in order to work at the new sex offender facility.  Bill Hill's son, Bill Hill III, is a real estate agent at Mille Lacs Realty. (He wrote up the original purchase for the Grosslein/Bye property.) It should also be noted that Darnell Allen, a NEXUS Board member, is the Vice President of Albertsons, which is a subsidiary of Super Valu. All in all, it looks like NEXUS is indeed a personal plus for the Hill family. But is Bill representing the People, or is he looking out for Bill Hill? When it comes to voting, Bill Hill should sit out - because of his many Conflicts of Interest.

 

Four Members of the Onamia City Council Left

 

4. and 3. The Mille Lacs Health System - Councilman Bob Mickus and Councilman Mark Loch

 

I spoke on the telephone with Dan Reiner, Mille Lacs Health System President. He made it very clear that he is Pro-NEXUS. He supports the proposed NEXUS compound, even if it means placing sex offenders in a residential neighborhood, if it will keep NEXUS from leaving the Onamia area.  Along with President Bill Hill Jr., Dan Reiner is also a member of the Mille Lacs Area CDC.  As head of our local health care, Dan Reiner is one of the most influential and powerful businessmen in the Mille Lacs area.

 

Not one but TWO Onamia City Councilmen work for Dan Reiner. Bob Mickus and Mark Loch are employees of the Mille Lacs Health System, both working together in the Laboratory. Bob Mickus is also a stock holder. Are they representing the People? or are they representing the hospital? or are they representing their boss, Dan Reiner? Who are they serving? This is a major Conflict of Interest. When it comes to voting on any NEXUS issues, both of these councilmen must step down and abstain.

(UPDATE: After Mayor Larry Milton died, Bob Mickus got to be the new mayor.)

 

Two Members of the Onamia City Council Left

(No Longer a Quorum)

 

2. No Place Like Home - Councilman Jerome Kryzer

 

Jerome Kryzer doesn't work for the Mille Lacs Health Care System, doesn't own a business in town, and like the rest of the people in Onamia, doesn't reap any benefits from NEXUS being in our community. He's retired. Jerome's Conflict of Interest is personal. For approximately four months out of the year, Jerome doesn't live in Onamia. This, in itself, should prohibit him from even being on the city council.  Councilman Jerome Kryzer is poorly informed. After all of his voting on the NEXUS project, as recently as the last city council meeting, Kryzer was still unaware that the Mille Lacs Academy inmates are all convicted sex offenders. There is no excuse for him. Councilman Jerome Kryzer should not only abstain from voting, he should submit his resignation immediately.

(UPDATE: The Mille Lacs News has since learned that Kryzer actually did work for Nexus and therefore reaped benefits after all. Also, he did know that the inmates were all convicted sex offenders. He just lied to the citizens.)

 

One Member of the Onamia City Council Left

 

1. The Cheese Stands Alone - Mayor Larry Milton

Mayor Larry Milton, known for his blustering demeanor and very unmayorlike behavior - from shouting things at citizens during city meetings like "Sit down and shut up! I've heard enough!" to calling citizens "gutless", from spreading false rumors, to making false accusations, from whistling through meetings, to threatening people, even confronting citizens as they attempt to enter City Hall - has no apparent illegal Conflicts of Interest. Since reasons have been shown for the other councilmen to recuse themselves, Larry  could make a motion, second it himself, vote yay or nay, but all by himself would be powerless to do any more damage to the city of Onamia. It takes a quorum.

 

Since I've been researching the NEXUS/Onamia pact, I've learned much about Milton that is cause for concern. In his position as mayor, Larry has helped his friends Mike Uden, Kenny Apel as well as others. His son Chad benefits by having his construction business being handed nearly all of the city work. Allegedly, large city jobs are broken down into less costly increments in order to avoid the necessity of open bidding by other contractors.

 

Perhaps Larry's friends and relatives have flourished during his tenure as mayor, but in the past 18 years, how is the town doing? What has this mayor done to better our community? He's made a lot of clever deals, but has he made responsible decisions? Larry's Conflict of Interest might be his propensity towards nepotism versus any dedication to the town of Onamia and the people he is obligated to devotedly serve through selfless leadership. 

 

His legacy may be how he led the invasion into Bradbury Township, sold out an entire neighborhood of families so one his friends could obtain a liquor license, how he ignored the voice of the people he was harming, in order to keep 94 sex offenders in our community. What a legacy.

 

Mayor Larry E. Milton is not fit to serve. He should offer his resignation. If he won't, he should be recalled. We need smart people in our government whom we can trust. Right now, we have nary a one in Onamia, Minnesota.     

(UPDATE: We have learned that Larry Milton's son Sheldon is indeed a convicted predatory sex offender. How's that for a conflict of interest! Also, the Mille Lacs Academy named its driveway after Larry.)                                                    

 

In their application for Property Tax Abatement

Nexus admits

they're dangerous.

Onamia Zoning Administrator and convicted sex offender

Mickey Carter

Do we really want to know about his conflict of interest?

 

 

Hannabelle's

Hall of Shame

click here!

Be Smart!

Protect yourself!

"He never mentioned he was HIV positive"

 

Sorry Bill

We Found something better!

We shop at

in St. Cloud

Lower prices

Better selection

Worth the trip!

 

 

 

 

Maybe politicians should be required to pass a test before being allowed to run. Like... an IQ test.

Required Reading

Don't Be Fooled!

click

 

Hannabelle's Blog:

 The Bradbury Buzzz

Telling it like it is!

 

 

 

Here's looking at you, Kid!

NIMBY

 

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