Greetings Neighbors,

It’s the time of year when snow blowers are relocated to the back of the garage and spring garden tools and bicycles move to the front! Despite a mild winter no doubt we’re all eager for warmer temps.

On behalf of the City Council, I sincerely thank all SFL residents who contacted our State representatives to oppose the recent proposed State legislation that would usurp Minnesota cities’ local zoning ordinances and require more density and types of multiple housing in cities. The proposed mandate ignores the unique characteristics of cities and doesn’t take into consideration stress on city budgets and potential assessments residents would incur to abide by infrastructure requirements necessary to provide water and sewage treatment to many more residents because of increased density.

The City Council took immediate steps to gain exemption for SFL from the proposed law as it would have extremely undesirable consequences for SFL. As such, we enlisted services of a formidable lobbyist, who facilitated my meeting at the Capital with Representative Mike Howard, one of the co-authors of the Bill. After listening to SFL’S unique circumstances, he provided assurance to us that SFL would be exempt from mandates in this Bill. SFL email communications about this matter were sent to those on the City email list. See the SFL website home page for more information in the “From the Mayor” area.

Recent indications are this zoning restriction Bill appears to be “dead” for this legislative session which is a testament to positive local activism. In addition to SFL, many other community leaders and residents galvanized to vigorously protest the Bill. That said, it is likely that this legislation will continue to be proposed in future legislative sessions because of strong bipartisan support of legislators. We will continue to be vigilant and may once again ask for your support to object to a new iteration of this Bill.

The City Council wishes to extend our heartfelt appreciation and thanks to our long-time City Attorney, Tim Kuntz, for his decades of outstanding work on behalf of SFL! Tim has indeed earned his upcoming retirement. We have been the beneficiary of Tim’s extensive municipal law knowledge and his thorough level-headed representation. He has been a terrific partner to the Council and his sage advice delivered with calm objectivity has been an asset to the effective governance of our City. I know the Council, City staff, and all residents join me in wishing Tim a healthy, fun and fulling retirement doing his favorite things with family and friends. “Thank you, Tim!”

As Tim transitions to retirement, Kori Land, a partner in Tim’s firm will assume the City Attorney role for SFL. I have known Kori for over 30 years, and she is an excellent attorney and extremely well-versed in municipal law. We welcome Kori to our team.  To effect this transition, and to resolve a meeting time conflict with another city Kori represents, the Council voted at the April 2024 Council meeting to change the City Council meetings to the second Tuesday of each month, this change will also lessen conflicts with voting dates that SFL often incurs.

Mark your calendars for these May events!

Friday, May 3rd at 5:30 PM., our annual SFL Spring social event will take place at Ozzie and Shannon Nelson’s home. It is always a fun event to connect with friends and neighbors. You should have received your invitation which gives more information. I look forward to seeing you there!

Saturday, May 4th beginning at 9:00 AM, our annual SFL Arbor Day activities will be helmed by our Forester, Jim Nayes. This planting event is a fun, eco-friendly (rain or shine) activity that offers children of all ages an important nature and community service experience to beautify our community and watch their plantings grow over the years. Please also see the SFL website for more information.        

Wishing you a fun and safe summer!

Dan O’Leary