www.SunThisweek.com News Farmington | Lakeville August 17, 2012 | Volume 33 | Number 25 Slavik, Fogarty win in District 1 Many Minnesotans to revere Hastings City Council member wins with big margin by Laura Adelmann Sun Thisweek Exchange Bank building for sale The owners of the historic Exchange Bank building in downtown Farmington are seeking a buyer. It’s one of a handful of commercial properties available for use. Page 3A thisweekend Photo by Rick Orndorf Area thespians performed at the Dakota Chautauqua tent show at the Dakota County Fair, which ran from Aug. 6 to 12 at the fairgrounds in Farmington. The players offered their “Minnesota Bits of Trivia,” which was portrayed through song, comedy and narrative by a cast of nine actors/singers/musicians. Crowds gathered in Farmington for the fair, which experienced mild weather for most events. More photos from the fair are at SunThisweek.com. Only two file for Lakeville council Local man spins mermaid tales Lakeville actor to tell the stories of mythical creatures in Mermaid Cove at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival. Page 12A sports Six candidates in District 194 School Board race by Tad Johnson Sun Thisweek Even though there’s two Lakeville City Council seats up for grabs in the Nov. 6 election and only one mayor’s position available, there are fewer candidates for the council seats. As was reported last week, three candidates have filed for mayor and when filing ended Tuesday two people had entered to fill two, four-year terms on the council. Those two filings included incumbent Kerrin Swecker, who announced her intention to run Tuesday, and Dave Bares. Bares said he would be running for council in February. Seeking the two-year mayor’s position are incumbent Mark Bellows and current council members Matt Little and Laurie Rieb, who made her intentions known last week. Swecker and Rieb’s council terms expire at the end of the year. As for the Lakeville Area School Board race, six candidates will vie for three, fouryear terms. Candidates are incumbents Judy Keliher, Bob Erickson and new candidates Bader Alossaimi, Lori Amborn, Jennifer Harmening and Terry Lind. Kathy Lewis did not file for re-election. Lewis was first elected in 1990. She has served in many leadership roles, including board chair, vice chair and clerk. Currently, she represents Lakeville on the Intermediate School District 917 School Board and is its treasurer. “ISD 194 is a phenomenal visionary organization with a mission that I continue to respect and support,” she said in a statement. The administration and staff are devoted to ensuring learning and success for each student.” Tad Johnson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or facebook.com/sunthisweek. Two challenge Farmington mayor for seat by Laura Adelmann Sun Thisweek Lakeville North girls are back The Lakeville North girls soccer team returns in 2012 in search of another memorable run. Page 14A Online Join the conversation at www.facebook.com/ sunthisweek. Tweet with us at twitter. com/sunthisweek. Find more photos and stories at sunthisweek. com. Index Opinion. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4A Thisweekend. . . . . 12A-13A Two Farmington residents have filed to run against incumbent Farmington Mayor Todd Larson. Former City Council Member David Pritzlaff and lifelong Farmington resident Jerry Wear filed their paperwork before the Aug. 14 deadline. Wear, a mechanic, said he was encouraged to run for mayor by friends who said they were unhappy with Larson’s current leadership. “They told me they don’t think he’s going to help the town,” said Wear, who stated one of his platforms is to create jobs in town. Wear, a political newcomer, also cited concerns about property taxes that “keep going up and up and up,” and said he would closely monitor the budget. He emphasized the need for economic growth, but expressed concern about retaining Farmington’s unique character. “I would like Farmington to grow, but still retain that smalltown feel,” he said. Pritzlaff, a council member from 2005 to 2009, said he is running “to bring the city back to taxpayers.” blooms A new life Sports . . . . . . . . . . 14A-15A Classifieds. . . . . . . 15A-18A Announcements . . . . . . 19A General Information 952-894-1111 Distribution 952-846-2070 Display Advertising 952-846-2011 Classified Advertising 952-846-2000 Dakota County woman overcomes barriers to leaving her abusive relationship He said the economy is still tight, and city officials need to be responsive to the cost of city services on the average citizen. Citing concerns about the high taxes Farmington residents pay compared to neighboring cities, Pritzlaff called for stronger leadership. He also said he is concerned about what he called a lack of professionalism demonstrated at City Council meetings. “They are still not listening to the people,” Pritzlaff said. “I think they could be more professional at meetings, the See mayor, 11A by Tad Johnson Sun Thisweek When Mary moved into her house a few years ago, she planted some flowers. Each spring they bloom and she rejoices in the day to come free from the yelling, screaming and the abuse she suffered at the hands of her former husband. It’s been nearly a decade since the abuse started and it took Mary several years to finally leave her husband. It’s been several more years to put her life back together for herself and her children. “I appreciate every day,” Mary said. “People take so many things for granted.” After she left her husband and the abusive relationship behind, Mary went back to school to earn a degree in which she can help victims of domestic abuse in some See abuse, 19A Two area city council members won over their township challengers in the Aug. 13 primary election to vie for the open seat on Dakota County Board of Commissioners representing the southern part of the county. Hastings City Council Member Mike Slavik and Farmington City Council Member Christy Jo Fogarty won the highest amount Mike Slavik of votes from 3,080 ballots cast. Slavik eclipsed all four other contenders, even Fogarty, earning 1,286 votes, 41 percent of ballots cast. Fogarty received 733 votes, 25 percent, and was 61 votes ahead of third-place Christy Jo contender Mark A. Henry Fogarty of Castle Rock Township, who had 672 votes. Eureka Township Board Chair Brian Jaye Budensky had 243 votes, and Dean Birnstengel of Hastings had 106 votes. District 1 includes Farmington, Hastings and the townships and was represented for 32 years by Joe Harris of Hastings who did not seek re-election. Laura Adelmann is at email@example.com or facebook.com/sunthisweek. Liquor operations manager resigns After much scrutiny, Farmington seeks new hire to focus on profits by Laura Adelmann Sun Thisweek After working for more than 20 years with the city, Farmington Liquor Operations Manager Randy Petrofske has resigned. Farmington City Council members have recently raised concerns about the lack of liquor store profits and operating procedures, especially at the downtown store, but Mayor Todd Larson said he did not know Petrofske’s reasons for resigning the position. “He resigned a week or a week-and-ahalf ago,” Larson said Aug. 10. “I know very little about this one other than he resigned.” This spring, the council reviewed an analysis by the Minnesota Municipal Beverage Association requested by the city that found if changes were made, the city’s liquor stores could be profitable. The same association recommended profit-building changes in 2007, but they were never implemented. The city’s liquor store profits have for years struggled to return at most a 2 percent profit margin. The most recent state auditor’s report found Farmington earned $17,935 (0.4 percent of sales) in net profits in 2010, the lowest of any of the 19 metro municipal liquor operations cited in the report. One of the biggest concerns council members discussed this spring was an apparent history of inventory practices that may have played a part in the losses because policies did not adequately regulate which employees are authorized to conduct returns, voids and discounts. A $37,000 budget loss in 2007 was never accounted for, and although the MMBA recommended a thorough review and written policies regarding these practices, no changes were made. The city has posted an advertisement for the position at its website and at the League of Minnesota Cities website. According to the advertisements, the position pays between $65,645 and $78,806 annually. Duties listed include supervising staff and inventory control and states “Special emphasis will be placed on the development of a business plan for liquor operations, marketing efforts for two stores, and increasing profits of the operation.” Laura Adelmann is at firstname.lastname@example.org or facebook.com/sunthisweek.