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Hudson asked to join American City County Exchange

A request for the city of Hudson to join the American City County Exchange was postponed Monday night after council members requested more time to review the organization.

According to its website, the American City County Exchange is a nonpartisan forum for local leaders and focuses on making taxpayers a priority in decision-making. The cost for membership is $50 a year.

Council member Randy Morrissette said he asked to have the request added to the agenda to prove a point to the members that had voted to join the National League of Cities. He said that membership will prompt requests for more, and never should have been approved in the first place.

"You didn't represent anybody," he said. "You played a political game."

During public comment, Darla Meyers referenced an email from Council member Joyce Hall asking for input from staff regarding possible membership to the National League of Cities before council approval of it last month. Meyers questioned, with no emailed response, why the council still moved to join the league. She asked the city to join the American City County Exchange, saying if the council did not it would show it is trying to placate a special interest group.

"Liberal special interest groups never settle for one little bone you may throw them," Meyers said. "My opinion is they will never give up until the city of Hudson is declared a sanctuary city along with all the other poisonous tentacles that would go along with that designation."

Diane Yocum, a Hudson business owner, said she felt joining the National League of Cities was political, and wanted an organization that would match with her value system. She said the American City County Exchange with its focus on limited government, taxpayer transparency and free market principles meets that.

"If you're going to stay with the NLC then I think with all fairness you should counteract that with the ACCE," Yocum said.

Tony Bol of the Hudson Inclusion Alliance said the alliance, which is made up of Republicans and Democrats, neither condemns nor condones the joining of the exchange.

"We are not afraid of education. We are not afraid of learning from other cities around the state," Bol said. "And if you this body that we've elected get some ideas from the ACCE and you bring them to this table and you vote on it that's the process we're supposed to be in."

Roy Sjoberg of Hudson said the exchange is a "sinister organization" that will focus on privatization of government services. American City County Exchange is associated with the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative organization that Sjoberg said is used to promote corporate interest.

"This organization has an agenda so I just would ask you to pause before you join the organization," Sjoberg said.

City Administrator Devin Willi said the council can join as many groups as it wants, but the staff would not be able to support all of them.

"I just don't want the expectation out there to the community that staff members will be providing for whatever research," Willi said.

Council members John Hoggatt and Tom McCormick said they wanted more time to look into the organization. Action on the item was postponed to the next council meeting on Monday, March 26.

Rebecca Mariscal

Rebecca Mariscal joined the Hudson Star Observer as a reporter in 2016. She graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a degree in communication and journalism. 

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