One of the many unfortunate legacies of King Bjorn Skogquist's reign is the diminishment of Anoka's volunteer advisory boards.
2008 was the third year in the smaller room at Greenhaven. It's called a Board Appreciation Dinner. It is meant to be a recogniton and honoring event of the many citizen volunteers of the city.
It was a bad omen, a few years ago in the largest room, Mayor Skogquist said in his opening remarks, "People have asked me, why do you bother with advisory boards?"
After that it went downhill. This year and last only two retiring board members came forward (one each year) for their service recognition. 2006 it was painfully obvious we were broken when Bjorn read 10-12 names and none of them were even there. How sad.
2007 the King himself left immediately after opening remarks. Basically saying "Nuts-to-you" to the whole room.
He handed the program to his manager instead of mayor pro tem Mark Freeburg. Once again indicating the rest of the council was irrelevant. He and his manager were the ones running things.
I remember Mayor Beberg was especially proud of the high rate of agreement of the council and advisory board recommendations.
Skogquist's record is all over the place to say the least. He will totally ignore unanimous recommendations. Other times he backs down opposition by saying we have to do this because of a board's recommendation. Arbitrary and capricious seems too mild a description.
One year a fund raiser at Skogquist's residence was posted as a meeting for the HRA. He had basically taken over that advisory board with his appointments. He's been observed holding blatant meetings-after-the-meetings with a majority of that board. Technically that's a violation of Open Meeting Law. But Anoka's a frontier, just give it a shot politics, no rules.
Background research indicated that city manager Tim Cruikshank had very little experience working with Advisory boards or even Department heads when he came to Anoka.
That helps explain why these two key groups goals were not even incorporated into council goals in 2007 like always had been done in the past.
That's another unfortunate thing and Anoka's loss.