Potential auditing for Kasson city employees' computers, proposed new meeting time
KASSON — The city of Kasson is considering an audit of city employees' computers.
City Administrator Theresa Coleman said during Wednesday's council meeting that she and Mayor Steve Johnson are looking into a "computer policy" for the city.
On Dec. 11, Johnson had Coleman send a message to all city employees that warned their computers might be audited.
"I am thinking of doing an audit on all city employee computers," Johnson's message said. "You may want to let them know that this could be coming and to be very careful what they put or have put on their computers."'
When asked what initiated the audit discussion, Johnson said he had heard other mayors say they audit computers periodically.
"There is really nothing that spurred this," he said. "I'm really not sure we will even do it as I haven't even looked into the cost. No hidden agenda at all."
During Wednesday's public forum, Dodge County Commissioner Tim Tjosaas addressed some earlier statements made about the Folkestad Building project, which occurred during his time as mayor.
During a previous council meeting , Johnson asked about the sale of the former Folkestad Garage Building on Main Street. The mayor questioned the previous council's $1.4 million investment in the building, which appraised for around $390,000. Johnson recommended an investigation into the spending.
The Folkestad Building was purchased by Kasson to serve as a business incubator . During his time on council, Tjosaas said that there was never an intention to sell the building after a year and a half. The plan was to rent it to long-term tenants.
Tjosaas said that all the information regarding the Folkestad Building project was public and that several open meetings were held to discuss the use of Rochester sales tax money, the purchase of the building, the engineers' estimates to bids.
"It's all out there. … I wanted people to understand why we did that project. Economic and community development," Tjosaas said. "I would say it was a good project from that standpoint."
New meeting time proposal
Johnson proposed that the city council meet earlier on Wednesdays. The council now meets at 6 p.m., and Johnson suggested the time be changed to 5:30 p.m. because of city staff compensation hours as well as weather.
However, Melissa Ferris said the earlier time could prove problematic for Kasson residents who work outside of town and don't return home until 5:30 p.m.
"If you change the meeting time, it's difficult for the large working public in Kasson who work in Rochester," Ferris said. "If you get off work at 5, 6 p.m. is optimal for most working people."
Johnson responded that city council sessions are videotaped and uploaded to the city website and YouTube, and that residents are able to watch from home if they can't attend meetings.
But Ferris said that doesn't allay her concerns.
"It does not allow people to call in during public forum or after the fact," Ferris said. "Come to the meeting, or lose your right to speak. That's where my concern lies."
The item was tabled for further discussion.