Elavsky escorted from Akeley council meeting by police

Copy of 082119.N.PRE.AkeleySeniorCenterCityHall.jpg
Enterprise file photo

The public forum at the Akeley City Council meeting Feb. 8 ended with Neil Elavsky being escorted from city hall by police chief Jimmy Hansen.

Elavsky, who previously stated he was a Minneapolis resident, has spoken during the public forum at Akeley City Council meetings several times before about his concerns about the Akeley Municipal Liquor Store and asking for a new manager to replace Lacey Hitchcock.


“I work in hospitality,” he said. “How people are treated is very important to me. I’m not comfortable with the way people are treated at the Akeley Liquor Store. I can’t find any rational reason why we have the current manager that we have.”

“I’m going to stop you right there,” council member Dan Riggs said. “We’ve heard this song enough. I don’t want to hear it any more.”

“If you do not have the ability to listen to someone else’s opinion,” Elavsky said.


“I’ve heard your opinion over and over,” Riggs responded before Elavsky could finish his sentence.

“This is a public forum,” Elavsky responded. “Do you want to violate Minnesota open meeting law?”

“We’ve heard you,” Mayor Brian Hitchcock said. “We know what it is. You’ve said it over and over again.”

The next concern Elavsky expressed was about wanting to talk to the city auditor.

“I’m being blocked access to the city auditor,” Elavsky said. “That’s a violation of civil law.”

“Tell me how you are,” Mayor Hitchcock asked.

“Any time you ask about the books at the liquor store you get two answers: ‘I don’t know’ and ‘No’,” he replied.

Riggs asked if Elavsky received a copy of the city audit he requested and City Clerk Kristi Kath said he did.


“You’re right, you're not allowed to talk to the auditor,” Riggs said.

“You are banning comments to the city auditor,” Elavsky continued. “That is a violation of city law. You are going to tell me what I can and cannot say at a city council meeting. You are violating the open meeting law.”

He also made a statement suggesting the liquor store was mismanaging pull tab money.

“Now you’re lying,” Mayor Hitchcock said. “Neil, you either stop or you’ll be escorted out. You’re done, You’re completely out of order. Goodbye.”

“We’ll go to the newspaper on this,” Elavsky said.

“I don’t care where you go.” Hitchcock said. “The liquor store is not in charge of pull tabs.”

“We’ll boycott the Akeley Liquor Store. You’re going to see it in the paper,” Elavsky replied.

“Good, spend your money,” Hitchcock said. “I really don’t care. Have a good night.”


After the meeting was adjourned, Kath confirmed that Elavsky was escorted from the meeting by the Akeley police chief.

Lorie Skarpness has lived in the Park Rapids area since 1997 and has been writing for the Park Rapids Enterprise since 2017. She enjoys writing features about the people and wildlife who call the north woods home.
What To Read Next
Get Local