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Trailblazer board sets workshop with attorney

The Trailblazer Transit Joint Powers Board will spend about three hours in a workshop session Oct. 20 with attorney Frank Madden of Madden Galanter Hansen LLP. The law firm specializes in labor issues.
With that in mind, the Joint Powers Board on Thursday tabled most of the items on its meeting agenda until its regular meeting in November, hoping that the workshop will set parameters for taking them up again.
Sandi Blaeser, an attorney with Madden Galanter Hansen, said the workshop is needed to re-establish unity among the board and relationships with employees.
“The board workshop is critically essential,” said Blaeser. “We need to discuss matters like how roles and responsibilities are indicated. We need to have that clarified before we take on the issues that were brought up. Our goal is to make this a more effective board. I think it’s very appropriate to have this workshop.”
Among the issues that were deferred to after the workshop were a letter of reprimand for Trailblazer Executive Director Gary Ludwig, a letter of concern from Trailblazer’s two operations managers and human resources director regarding two board members’ roles in a recent employee matter, a letter from a Wright County Area Transportation (WCAT) attorney regarding possible improper action by the board in regard to the letter of reprimand and a possible violation of the open meeting law, and a discussion to clarify the role of the Trailblazer board’s executive committee.
Also tabled were a request from WCAT to increase its number of seats on the Trailblazer board, a change in the split of local share costs, and an option to have non-elected officials serve on the joint powers board.
McLeod County Commissioner Doug Krueger indicated that while he was not happy with postponing the issues, he did appreciate the opportunity for a workshop.
“I’m not really happy with the division on the board, particularly coming from WCAT,” said Krueger. “I don’t like being on this path to division.”

For more from the meeting, see the Sept. 21 print edition of The Chronicle.