Mayor Brede suspends city council dinner meetings - KXLT - Fox 47 Rochester MN News, Weather, Sports #rochmn

Mayor Brede suspends city council dinner meetings

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) -

A monthly city tradition that's been going on for decades has come to a halt.

Mayor Ardell Brede has suspended City Council Dinner Meetings for the remainder of the year.

On Tuesday, Mayor Ardell Brede sent out a memo to suspend the meetings, open to the public and council for November and December.

He said there's no reason to continue having them, if some council members don't show up.

"It was probably 30, 40, 50 years. Back when they were smoke-filled rooms and people drank, which is not the case anymore," said Brede of city council dinner meetings.

The meetings, open to the public, brought together those in city council, with the residents of Rochester.

"Just to get to know one another, on a more personal level, get to know each other's opinions and viewpoints. So I think there is some value there," said Rochester City Council President Randy Staver.

In a memo sent out by Mayor Ardell Brede on Tuesday, he explained his reasoning.

"A couple of our council members were somewhat boycotting them, said Brede.

One of the so-called boycotters, Nick Campion, is currently sick so couldn't interview in person, but did tell us via phone his standpoint.

He said he hopes to make the meetings a thing of the past.

"Transparency is not something that just happens, you have to build transparent government. I would have preferred a permanent end to the practice, but I welcome the Mayor's decision to suspend the dinner meetings as a step in the right direction. I look forward to leaving dinner meetings in the past and moving forward to tackle other important issues facing our city,” said Campion.

"I'm disappointed but I do fully understand the Mayor's opinion, it is his prerogative to suspend those meetings," said Staver.

The plan is to vote on the future of Council Dinner meetings in January, when the new council is seated.

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