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Thomsen resigns from Menahga City Hall

Betty Thomsen handed in her resignation letter on the afternoon of Thursday, Jan. 6, effective immediately.

Betty Thomsen handed in her resignation letter on the afternoon of Thursday, Jan. 6, effective immediately.

Thomsen was hired by the Menahga City Council in November as interim city administrator.

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Betty Thomsen

She quit after receiving what she describes in her letter as a “second threatening email” from council member Art Huebner.

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The letter further states that email was forwarded to all council members and the city’s legal counsel Brandon Fitzsimmons.

“It is quite apparent to me that he does not feel it is necessary to hold employees accountable. It has become pretty obvious to me that there is a large population of this city that wants to see (that) done. He has befriended city employees and this obviously, in my opinion, is getting in his way when making decisions that are the best for this city. He is working against the city, not for the city,” wrote Thomsen.

Thomsen told the Enterprise that, after union contract negotiations are settled, it behooves the public to know the police chief’s salary and benefits package, along with other city employees’ wages. Residents should also be aware how much the city pays for health insurance for city department heads and the percentage of that cost that taxpayers bear, she said.

Thomsen cautioned that Huebner's and Police Chief Adam Gunderson's actions are a potential legal liability for the city.

“This is a city that’s $7 million in debt. They have $2 million,” she said. “And they continue to do things that could cause lawsuits, i.e., for employees. They need to wake up.”

On Friday, temporary technician Jensine Kurtti commented, " I want to say that I am amazed by what Betty got accomplished in the less than the seven weeks she worked for the city. When I say work, I mean real work not just putting in her time."

Kurtti said Thomsen was "met with unbelievable resistance and constant criticism from Art Huebner."

"Believe me when I say that Menahga needs help and we are in serious trouble. That is why I was so thankful when someone of Betty Thomsen's caliber agreed to come to Menahga to straighten things out. But, once again, Mr. Huebner preceeded to chase her away. Do you not see a pattern here? Art is an obstructionist, nothing positive to say or add to the city," Kurtti said.

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Thomsen has 20 years of experience in city management. She served as Park Rapids’ interim city administrator from Sept. 2020 through mid-January 2021. She was city administrator from Feb. 2000 through Feb. 2004 in Park Rapids and from Dec. 1986 through Feb. 2000 in Minneota, Minn.

The Menahga City Council will meet at 6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 10 for its regular meeting at city hall.

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Betty Thomsen

Related Topics: GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
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