Stacy man questions city about citation

A worried looking resident, Ken Cummings, pulled up a chair and faced the Stacy Council at the Dec. 11 Stacy City Council meeting. Cummings property is the subject of contention, and now of city action. Cummings asked why he recently received a citation from the Chisago County Sheriff’s Office. 

“I completed everything that was asked of me that was decided back on July 10 at the regular city council meeting,” Cummings said.

Stacy City building and Code Inspector Jack Kramer had told Cummings he would not sign off on completion of a permit because the council had required Cummings complete work on his property by Oct. 31. Cummings has now been summoned to court. “I have the original meeting minutes from July 10, I have the original letter from Mr. Jack Kramer and I have the original building permit signed by Mr. Jack Kramer and I have completed the roof,” Cummings continued.

He then asked, “Why did I get a citation?” Stacy Mayor Mark Utecht said Kramer reported to the council the projects were not completed.

Cummings said he asked in July if there was any additional action he needed to complete, and recalled being told “no” by a city official. Cummings said he hadn’t appeared at the council meeting that night because he teaches a robotics class at the high school on Tuesday evenings. He said he didn’t know the issue with his property was to be discussed at the Oct. 10 meeting or he would have been present. Cummings said the information from the city didn’t clearly state deadlines and he was puzzled because he had been given permission more than one time to continue.

Cummings said he has never received a citation in his life.

He asked if the ticket could be expunged.

City Clerk Sharon Payne came to the distressed man’s defense. She advised the council Cummings had called City Hall to check on the terms of completion. Payne followed up with Kramer who indicated the projects listed on the permit were “95 to 99 percent complete.” Utecht said he remembered parts of the discussion, but didn’t know what all was in the permit.

Cummings had shown Kramer what remained. It was a small area of siding near his home’s roof where he needed eight boards to complete the work. Cummings told Kramer that he had run out of materials and once he had the boards that would be the end of it.

City Attorney Peter Grundhoefer intervened. He said Kramer could review the permit again and then contact the county attorney to request dismissal of the case.

Councilmember Cindy Bruss advised Cummings to go over everything thoroughly with Kramer so there is no miscommunication or misunderstanding. Cummings was sent to contact Kramer to try to clear up the matter.

  • Tax Payer

    Mr. Cummings, you received that citation because you live next door to a city council member. In Stacy, being on the council is a right to dictate how others should live their lives, keep up their homes, and so on. Example, Paul Witkowski’s complaints about Fernwood Circle, first off, I know that area, been down there to visit a friend many times, when Mr. Witkowski bought the house, first thing he should have noticed is that you live on a narrow dirt road. Regardless, the city does a horrible job of maintaining that road, not grated as much as it should be and two of the residents in that area have had more than a few feet of their grass ripped up due to the city’s poor grating and plowing techniques. The city is lucky the owners have not come after them. More so though, is the Mayor’s comments about the road,
    Paul Witkowski:
    Mr. Witkowski is concerned about Fernwood Circle; the road is too
    narrow for two cars to pass; there are also several potholes. He has
    expressed his concerns to city staff and has seen little progress.
    Mayor Utecht said that he went out to the area and observed that two
    vehicles could not easily pass; there is about four feet of road taken up
    by brush.
    It was noted that trees had been marked for removal but no letters have
    been sent to the property owners to remove the trees. Mayor Utecht
    said that this is a priority; when sending the letter note to property owner
    that trees and brush removed have to be disposed of properly.

    The Mayor has no idea what he is talking about, 4 feet? Where? The one area that is the main issue, if you take out the brush and trees, you have maybe 2 feet of road on the side then it slopes down into a gully. And most of the trees that are marked are across from home owners, which i believe is part of Carlos Avery or State land. And how long has it been since this started? Busy body Mel Aslakson first complained about tress how long ago and no letters have been sent out. But you went around and marked the trees for removal. Sounds pretty shady to me.

    Same typical Stacy Council antics. Focus on less pressing matters and sweep more pressing matters under the rug. I have complained about how the bar is run. The bar is losing money again the past few months, the place should be way busier due to the season. What does the manager do to counter act this, raises prices, turns the heat down, and cuts back on product. The past few times i have gone in there to eat, the type of burger bun has changed, the style of wings and mozzerella sticks has changed, prices went up for both food and drinks, instead of cutting back on bad bands or being creative with specials. The only special they have advertised is from 3-5 and that only benefits the day shift bartender. And now the Mayor has placed himself on the personel committee. For what? To protect the bar manager because customers have been complaining about her.

  • Fought City Hall and Won

    I was in a similar situation several years ago when building my house.

    Long story short: a Chisago county building official issued a “stop work” order on my house because of various “code violations”. I continued to work, as these “violations” somehow didn’t exist weeks prior, seeing the official had signed off so that I could proceed.

    He told me he’d have the sheriff issue a citation if I didn’t stop. I reported the building official to the state, faxed the proper documents, and shortly thereafter had the official personally call me and apologize and tell me it was ok to continue.

    Bottom line, the local authorities answer to the state. Report them if they are jerking you around. Minnesota Dept. of Labor and Industry.