warning: file_exists(): open_basedir restriction in effect. File(/var/www/vhosts/glencoenews.com/httpdocs/../ad_/ad_cache_.inc) is not within the allowed path(s): (/var/www/vhosts/glencoenews.com/httpdocs/:/tmp/) in /var/www/vhosts/glencoenews.com/httpdocs/sites/all/modules/ad/adserve.inc on line 160.

Heated debates continue at Trailblazer meeting

A motion to immediately terminate Trailblazer Transit Director Gary Ludwig’s employment was declared out of order and ultimately withdrawn at a Joint Powers Board meeting Thursday morning.
The motion was made in the midst of another long and messy discussion regarding Trailblazer’s workplace environment, and whether Ludwig was complying with a letter of reprimand issued by the board. The motion to terminate Ludwig was made by Sibley County Commissioner Jim Swanson and seconded by McLeod County Commissioner Doug Krueger.
At the beginning of the meeting, Krueger asked that the issue be put on the agenda, saying he would like “to know specifically” if the conditions outlined in the letter were being met.
When the topic came up on the agenda, a motion was made to have a newly hired labor attorney review the letter.
“I don’t know why an attorney has to look at it,” said Swanson. “If there are things that are being done that can be reported to the board, we should be able to hear that.”
McLeod County Commissioner Ron Shimanski, who is the Joint Powers Board chair, said the letter was part of a personnel file, and he wasn’t sure it could be discussed publicly.
Sandi Blaeser, an attorney with Madden Galanter Hansen, LLP, who the board hired earlier in the meeting as its labor law consulting firm, said she wasn’t familiar enough with the letter to offer an opinion.
“Iā€ˆhaven’t had the opportunity to review it (the letter) or the background behind it,” said Blaeser.
Swanson said the letter was put together by a Minnesota Counties Intergovernmental Trust (MCIT) attorney and given to the Trailblazer Board’s executive committee “to see if it’s what we wanted.”
That led to speculation as to what exactly was laid out in the letter.
Krueger said he had never seen the actual letter after it was drafted by the attorney.
As to the motion to refer the letter to the attorney, Krueger said he wanted to move on.
“I’m not interested in tabling this any further; I’m interested in moving forward,” said Krueger.
Sibley County Commissioner Bill Pinske, however, advised caution. He shared Shimanski’s concern as to whether the letter should be discussed.
“We just hired a labor attorney,” said Pinske. “We don’t know the legalities of this, and the lawyer doesn’t know because she just walked into it.”

For more from the meeting, see the Aug. 24 print edition of The Chronicle.