Monday, April 22nd, 2024 Church Directory
CITIZEN DUSTIN LOZINSKI sounded off Tuesday against City Administrator Greg Pruszinske and an email he sent to council members addressing disparaging remarks during council meetings.

Pruszinske’s Email Stirs Up Ire From Constituents

Open forum during Tuesday’s Becker City Council meeting found one party pointing fingers at a city official, the city official defending himself and a confidential email that curiously ended up in the hands of the finger-pointer.
 
The city’s regular agenda was breezed through by its members as there were only two business items listed on the proposed agenda. However, at the second call for an open forum by Mayor Lefty Kleis, Becker resident Dustin Lozinski stepped to the podium and blasted City Administrator Greg Pruszinske.
 
Lozinski and his wife, Corrine, had appeared before council in February to express their concerns  for the spending the city is doing for improvements designated for Pebble Creek Golf Course. The Lozinskis said at the time “they didn’t appreciate seeing improvements being made to the golf course when it is hemorrhaging the city.”
 
Dustin suggested the city utilize in-house staff to do the bunker improvements to save the city the costs to contract the project out. The Lozinskis also suggested the Pebble Creek advisory board set milestone markers for the development of the future plans for the golf course. In the same declaration, they also said they’d like to see the voters decide on the future of the golf course — not just the advisory board — since they are the ones paying taxes for it. 
 
Following the February meeting, Pruszinske sent out an inter-office email to council explaining he didn’t appreciate the Lozinskis and others (Adam Maskowski also spoke at the February meeting) in which the golf course and its director were criticized for their incompetence. He also said council has the right to preserve order at its meetings and has the power to regulate its own procedure — even when it comes to a person’s right to speak freely.
 
He even stated council does not have to offer an open forum at its meetings according to state statutes and has the authority to allow the privilege or not allow the privilege. It is at the pleasure of the city council, not a constitutional right as claimed by the Lozinskis.    
 
The email was meant to be a conversation between council and staff and can go public as long as the requester formally files a data practices law application — which Pruszinske said was not done.
 
So it appears someone on council had passed along the email inappropriately and by not following proper protocol.
 
The Lozinskis had said the email Pruszinske sent out showed Pruszinske was trying to suppress their right to speak freely and his remarks were disparaging. Dustin suggested council consider putting Pruszinske on some sort of public notice for his remarks and even suggested Pruszinske’s job termination be considered.
 
Pruszinske explained his email was entrusted to council and council alone with the understanding that the information be handled appropriately. His point wasn’t to squelch the voice of the people but for the public attacks on city staff and officials to de discouraged.
 
“That email was meant to point out that people who speak at the podium during open forum do not have the right to bash city employees,” Pruszinske said at Tuesday’s meeting.
 
Here is the email Pruszinske sent in confidence:
 
To the group: 
I have been thinking about the last city council meeting for almost a week now. The conclusion I reached is the same as we have previously discussed, we cannot continue to be passive when it comes to personal attacks, disparaging remarks, and innuendo. It is my understanding that the attached “rules of decorum” apply to everyone in the organization. That is to say, from a leadership perspective, we did not do our job when a member of the general public stepped to the podium and began attacking staff during the Feb. 17 city council meeting. 
 
It’s my understanding that we agreed when a speaker at the podium mentions a specific name or implies a specific person they would be scolded for the infraction and instructed to sit down. To be clear, we have the authority to stop this behavior! Is there a question of what qualifies as a personal attack? Do we need to clarify and ensure that we are all on the same page?
 
It is a privilege to address the city council, not a right. I’m not advocating for or against allowing people to speak, I’m advocating for our staff by saying personal attacks have no place during our meetings. 
 
I am also suggesting the city council be proactive in curbing this behavior. Whatever the meeting, I look to the person running the meeting to be the moderator in these instances. However, the rest of us also share in the responsibility.
 
(Pruszinske also attached the city council pledge to the email).
 
With this email I’m looking for some sort of an explanation and direction on how we are going to proactively manage these situations in the future. I welcome any/all feedback. Remember, in an effort to comply with the open meeting law please don’t reply all with your comments.
 
After Dustin and Corrine’s lecture and Pruszinske’s response and a few comments from council, Mayor Kleis conclusively pounded the gavel and exclaimed he was closing the open forum. He also took the opportunity to make one last comment, saying “in my opinion, I believe everyone has the right to free speech and we should give everyone the opportunity to speak up about their concerns and issues.”