Weather Forecast


City Council: A new council member, an early police officer retirement and union negotiations

The Hastings City Council will hold its first meeting of the year at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 7, at Hastings City Hall. Here's a look at what's on the agenda.

Four councilmembers will be sworn in as their new terms begin. Anthony Alongi (Ward 1), Joe Balsanek (Ward 2), Tony Nelson (Ward 3) and Danna Elling Schultz (Ward 4) were all re-elected. Their terms will expire Dec. 31, 2016.

The council will also officially declare a council vacancy. Former councilmember Mike Slavik resigned his seat two years into his four-year term after he was elected to the Dakota County Board of Commissioners in November. At the last council meeting, Mayor Paul Hicks announced he intends to appoint Ed Riveness to fill the vacancy until the term ends. The city charter gives the council the authority to appoint a replacement. In previous years, Hicks said, the council has set a precedent of appointing former councilmembers or community leaders who agree not to run for election at the end of their appointment. Riveness served on the city council 22 years, from 1986 to 2008. Monday's agenda includes Riveness's appointment and swearing in.

In other new-year's business, Mayor Paul Hicks will announce the 2013 council committees.

The council will be asked to approve an agreement with the Law Enforcement Labor Services and police officer Rene Doffing accepting Doffing's early retirement, effective Jan. 12, 2014. According to the agreement, Doffing will serve the next year in an administrative, non-enforcement related assignment.

The council will finish the meeting with a private, closed-door session to discuss labor union contract negotiations. So far, city staff has held one negotiation session each with the police lieutenants, police sergeants, police officers and firefighters unions. A second session is scheduled for the week of Jan. 7. The closed-door session will be an opportunity for the council to hear an update on the negotiations and provide direction on certain items.

To view a complete agenda, including more information on each item, click here.