LMCC has numbers to operate in 2014

by Amanda Schwarze

The Pioneer

The future of the Lake Minnetonka Communications Commission is a little more certain now than it has been in months.

According to the rules that govern the LMCC, the current organization would dissolve if less than nine cities chose to stay with it. Of the 17 cities that are LMCC members, nine had sent letters to the organization noting that they might leave the organization at the end of this year. That left only eight cities that had committed to stay.

Several of the cities that sent letters, though, had noted that they might rescind their notice of withdrawal prior to the end of this year. Recently, three cities have done just that, so at least 11 cities will be members of the LMCC in 2014.

The cities of Greenwood, Loretto, Maple Plain, Medina, Minnetrista, Orono, St. Bonifacious, Tonka Bay and Victoria had all sent notice of their withdrawal or possible withdrawal. Greenwood, Loretto and Maple Plain have rescinded that notice. The Greenwood letter, dated Nov. 6 and signed by Mayor Debra Kind, states in part:

“As stated in our 10-01-13 (withdrawal) letter, Greenwood believes there is value in working with other cities via the LMCC to share costs, provide services, and negotiate/manage our relationship with Mediacom. We also stated that we likely would rescind our withdrawal if the following changes are made to the joint powers agreement (JPA):

“1. Change the 100 percent approval requirement for JPA amendments to be a 2/3 super majority of member cities.

“2. Allow member cities to withdraw from the LMCC by giving notice by October 1 of any given year to go into effect on December 31 of the following year (15+ months notice).

“It appears that many of the cities committed to leaving the LMCC will not take action on the JPA amendments, so it is very unlikely that there will be the required 100 percent approval of the JPA amendments prior to 12-31-13. On the other hand, it is our understanding that 100 percent of the cities committed to staying in the LMCC are expected to approve the JPA amendments. Therefore, it is with this good faith expectation that the JPA amendments will occur, that the Greenwood City Council has authorized this letter to rescind our withdrawal from the LMCC.”

The Maple Plain city councilors also decided to rescind Maple Plain’s withdrawal notice based on the same points that were brought up in the Greenwood letter. Councilor Dave Eisinger said that he recognized the value of the LMCC, but he said that he might be hesitant to remain in the organization if the two proposed JPA amendments were not approved.

Councilor Mike DeLuca, who is also a LMCC commissioner, and Mayor Roger Hackbarth, who is chair of the commission, said that the cities that were committed to remaining in the organization were in favor of the proposed changes.

No LMCC member city has yet voted against the proposed JPA amendments, LMCC Executive Director Sally Koenecke said. The cities Medina, Orono, Tonka Bay and Victoria had not voted on the proposed changes. Of those five cities, though, Medina and Orono will be leaving the organization at the end of this year. Tonka Bay and Victoria sent their notice of withdrawal, but any of those cities could decide to rescind the notice and remain with the organization.

As of the deadline for this edition, the cities of Deephaven, Excelsior, Greenwood, Independence, Long Lake, Loretto, Maple Plain, Minnetonka Beach, Shorewood, Spring Park and Woodland have committed to staying with the LMCC next year.

Contact Amanda Schwarze at amanda.schwarze@ecm-inc.com

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