LETTER: If St. Anthony council must appoint, choose Robinett

To the Editor:

At the St. Anthony City Council meeting on Nov. 14 — the first meeting following the city election — staff announced the council, after 88 days of deliberation, had finally determined to fill the council seat vacated by Bonnie Brever on Aug. 18 by process of appointment. The council’s process to date has appeared neither democratic nor transparent; rather, it smacks of paternalism and control.

The council should bear in mind that a city is a unit of government — not a private business or corporation. According to the tenets of our democratic system of government, our council members should be elected representatives of the residents of the city, and exceptions should be made for genuine, good cause only. 

The timing and circumstances of Brever’s resignation — 18 days after the city would be statutorily required to fill her seat by special election and with 28 months left in her term — already raises eyebrows and fuels speculation.

The closest the council can now come to maintaining some appearance of principle and propriety is to appoint Nancy Robinett — the council candidate who earned 989 votes and trailed council member Jensen by just 18 votes — to the vacant seat. This is as close to a democratic outcome for which we can hope.

Brever’s parting thoughts on her successor were that “the city deserves someone on the council who can dedicate the time and strength necessary to make [the city’s racial equity initiatives] sustainable and to implement additional, appropriate changes.” Robinett is that someone.

Kristine Lizdas, St. Anthony


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