Mayor-elect says police are top priorityAddressing the staffing needs of the Hudson Police Department is first on the agenda for Mayor-elect Dean Knudson. He said he would be talking to new Police Chief Marty Jensen to see if there is something that can be done “right away” to increase police presence on the city’s streets.
By: Randy Hanson, Hudson Star-Observer
Addressing the staffing needs of the Hudson Police Department is first on the agenda for Mayor-elect Dean Knudson.
“I’m going to start off working on the police department because I think that has been a top priority, and I said I would during the campaign,” Knudson replied when asked about his plans following Monday night’s City Council meeting.
He said he would be talking to new Police Chief Marty Jensen to see if there is something that can be done “right away” to increase police presence on the city’s streets.
An even more immediate concern for Knudson is deciding which alderpersons to appoint to which City Council committees. There will be changes, if for no other reason than that the council will have two new members.
Pam Brokaw was elected to replace Dennis O’Connell in District 2, and Lori Bernard won the District 3 seat being vacated by Paul Radermacher.
“I’m just excited to get into the job and see what we can do,” Knudson said. “I think there are positive changes that we can make over time, working together with the council. We’re going to need to be innovative in a number of ways.”
One of the things that will require innovation, he said, is finding a new home for the Hudson Area Joint Library.
The voters’ instruction to city and library officials in the April 1 referendum to looking into buying the Nuclear Management Co. headquarters as the new home for the library was clear, he said. “…We’ll definitely be doing that.”
At the same time, Knudson has some reservations regarding the plan initially put forward. It assumes that municipalities will purchase the NMC building and then wait for private funding to come in to pay half the cost, he notes.
“We have to have the private money. And that private money has to come forward soon,” he said. “…We can’t make a commitment of public money and then wait and hope for private money to come in.”
“Honestly, I think the plan that was put forward was kind of a rough-idea framework plan. … We will look into it. But we need to do that without preconceived notions that that plan is exactly the plan that will move forward, because if that happens — and that’s a big if — it may look a little different than they want.”
He added: “It’s a beautiful building. It would be a beautiful corporate headquarters if this plan doesn’t go through.”