by Dennis Dalman
City council member Mike Chisum is requesting the council to authorize doing more community surveys so the council and city staff can get a better idea of what residents want and do not want for their city.
At the Oct. 22 meeting, Chisum said that in the past, too many issues were raised and then unresolved. One such issue, he noted, were the big piles of dirt that remain standing at development sites in the city.
Another issue, Chisum said, is the library that was so controversial among residents for several years. He was referring to the decision to build a community center without having a branch library in it. However, the council did authorize a library materials locker system within the community center and operated by the Great River Regional System. Sartell residents can order library items at the locker station that are dropped off for pickup. Chisum said the council should survey residents as to how they like the locker system? Or do they still want a brick-and-mortar library?
Chisum also said there are upcoming issues for the city, one of which is the viability of more apartment complexes because of housing shortages and variable housing needs. That, Chisum said, is a “hot-button issue.” The council should survey people to find out how they think about all of those issues – and more, Chisum said.
He said he often tells his constituents this: “The only way we can represent you well is if we know what you’re thinking.”
Mayor Sarah Jane Nicoll asked if Chisum’s request for more surveys could be placed on the agenda for an upcoming workshop. City Administrator Mary Degiovanni said, yes, that can be done.