Recently in Hard News 2: City Hall Reflections Category


Attending the Duluth City Council Meeting Monday evening gave me much
insight into government and the city of Duluth as a whole. When we first arrived we
met with Counselor Hartman, UMD history alumni, former Student Association
member, and program director for Veterans' Memorial Hall. He told us about his job
and explained how he is a "Counselor At Large" which means he represents the
entire city of Duluth. He explained some of the projects and issues in Duluth that are
in the works, such as parking meter cameras, bike routes, water mains, and the 300‐
foot rule.

City Council members earn respect


Prior to attending the city council meeting on Monday I didn't have any expectations other than to be "bored," while at the meeting. Once I arrived at City Hall, and sat in the board room where we were introduced to Dan Hartman, a council member for City Council, and he laid out what was going to happen at the meetings, I felt more comfortable. I knew what to expect and what to hope to listen for, and possible subjects that could affect me as a resident of Duluth and a student at the University of MN, Duluth.

Dedicated reporters serve the community


After listening to city councilor Dan Hartman and attending the budget hearing and city council meeting Monday night, I realized that it takes a great deal of dedication to the community and city when working as a reporter. To be a reporter, one must serve their community by attending council meetings and reporting what happens at them in order to inform the general public. Thus, journalists need to know how city council meetings work and understand the typical procedure conducted at these meetings. I was able to learn about the Duluth City Council and how the local government works this past Monday night, and I also learned about how to cover individual issues that are discussed at these meetings within a newspaper article.


My JOUR 2001: Report & Writing I class decided to attend the Duluth City Council meeting on Monday, October 25. It was a unique experience for me because I had never attended a City Council meeting before.


I learned a lot during the city council meeting last Monday, and actually found it to be interesting. Honestly, I was worried it would be really boring, but surprisingly it wasn't. I did space out a little in the budget meeting, but mainly because I had no idea what was being said. Parts of it were interesting to listen to during the Public Works and Utilities Budget, especially since I now pay for my own utilities. I got a little sneak peek into what I was paying for and if my bills will go up next year or not. However other than that I was completely lost.

The actual city council meeting was the most interesting to me. I liked listening to the proposals for the city. I've never really paid attention to the progress going into the city, it seems like I, like many others, see only the problems and wonder if they will ever be fixed. I learned in the meeting that a lot of these problems I see around the city are in the workings to be fixed, and that's always a positive thing to hear.

During the meeting, I also heard a lot of issues I had no idea were issues for the city. For example: the salting of the roads affecting the trout in the rivers. I thought Linda Sellner had a good point, and it was good to hear city council members agreeing with her. It made me realize that people in the city actually do have a voice, and will be listened to by others. I've actually been thinking now that I can bring up an issue I have to the city council and see if anything can be done. I understand that it may not solve my problem, but you never know. The city council is much more open and willing to help than I originally thought it was.

Short council meeting seemed long


The City Council meeting was somewhat interesting to attend. I liked the building and location of where it was held at.


I learned quite a bit from attending Duluth's City Council meeting this Monday, and I appreciate the fact that our class got more of a "behind the scenes" experience. In high school, I had to attend a City Council meeting in Eveleth for my government class, but we just got thrown in the City Hall with a notebook and had to attempt to figure things out on our own, which most of us did unsuccessfully. On Monday, however, I thought it was really neat that Dan Hartman was willing to meet with us beforehand and give us insight on what's going on in Duluth these days and what was going to be discussed during the meeting. What I liked most about Dan was that he wasn't that much older than any of us, so he knew what it was like to be a college student in Duluth, and also that he talked about things on a level that we could understand, since most of us had very little prior knowledge about City Council meetings before the one we attended on Monday.


The whole experience with the city council was a great once for me, as I learned quite a bit about the council itself, how a budget hearing works, and what kinds of topics and procedures they use for a meeting.

Council works together to find solutions


Attending the Duluth City Council meeting on Monday helped me to realize how important local government is. So many people are hard on government, but the meeting helped me to see that they are there to better our community. I enjoyed watching as the councilors worked together to find a solution that would please the majority of citizens.


When our class got to talk to Dan Hartman, a very young Duluth City Council member, I realized that no matter how young you may be you can still have a great impact on the world around you.
Dan talked about how when he was a college student, he was never really interested in politics because he believed that it was not in his power to change anything. After whining and complaining about things that he thought should be done, his friend finally convinced him to join the UMD Student Council.


Monday night's city council meeting opened my eyes to the process of policy making for the city of Duluth. I had never been involved in my hometowns local government so this experience was quite the eye opener.


The Duluth city council meeting was an experience for an inspiring journalist. Taking the time to meet and speak with Dan Hartman was informative and it gave us a lead on what is covered in the meetings. When speaking to Mr. Hartman, I had the pleasure of learning a little about him and his decision to be a city councilor. I also learned he was a graduate from the UMD and loves Twin ports area. He graduated from the university with a degree in History and his day job is with the downtown Depot. The last thing he touched on about himself was his time in the Student Association at the university and it lead his passion for making a difference in the community, whether it was at school or in the city.


I found the city council meeting to actually be interesting. It did get long though when they started debating about the wording for the tree removal ordinance. To me, it did not seem that important and they should have just moved on. So I learned that the very minor details do matter and the city council members are the ones who decide it. As a citizen, it is hard to remember that a lot of the things we are allowed to do are decided by the city council members.


The city council meeting was far more interesting that I had expected. This isn't saying too much, as I expected it was going to be so boring I might fall asleep. The budget meeting actually started off interestingly enough, with information about the increase in steam heat, which will affect me personally. The long discussion with the public works people was less interesting, though when Councilor Anderson started questioning them about certain things they didn't bring up it got to be borderline dramatic. However, overall it wasn't anything special.

City Council meeting similar to jury


I learned many interesting things in attending the city council meeting. I was surprised that several news crews showed up to tape it. All of the council members had their own name tag and were allowed to speak when President Anderson gave them permission. He would tell the council member it was their turn and then at the end would thank them. The meeting reminded me somewhat of a jury because they all were able to vote on the issues and they would sometimes argue their opinions back and forth with one another.

No perfect candidate, solution to problems


Dan Hartman made a point during the preliminary meeting that impacted me, He said no matter what you decide it will upset somebody. I thought this related to our everyday life decision we make. Usually both parties can't win. This helped me understand that there is no perfect candidate that will feel exactly how I do on every issue. I believe that there are topics that seem insignificant compared to funding higher education or other hot issues these days. Dan taught us the solution to this problem and it is called consent agenda where if everyone agrees they don't waste any time debating the issue, which is not only used in state council but also in Congress. Delegating a separate group called the Public Utilities Commission for all the major utility issues in Duluth was a great idea because now we have council that specializes in this area.


Though I have been to a city council meeting before I learned more about it because of the citizens' involvement. Stan Hendrickson was very passionate about the issue he brought before the council. He felt he wasn't being heard and continued to go over his time limit even after he was asked to wrap it up twice. I researched Mr. Hendrickson a little and was not surprised to find other issues he's addressed in different forums.


After attending a Duluth City Council meeting, I can officially say that I am happy there are people willing and eager to do these types of public service jobs and deal with unhappy constituents because I don't think I would have the patience to do it.

Learned a lot about City of Duluth


After attending both the budget and city council meeting, as well as listening to Councilman Hartman on Monday night, I was surprised at how little I knew about what was happening in the city I live in.


The Duluth City Council meeting was an interesting learning experience for me. I learned that city council members were not opposed to voicing or showing their opinions. At the beginning of the meeting, when citizens are allowed time to voice any concerns, Stan Henderkson spoke. He was very opinionated and clearly a bit angry about his issue. Some of the council members seemed humored a bit, and would look to one another and whisper a opinion.

Before the City Council meeting even began, there was a Budget Session. During that time, the budget for the city of Duluth for 2011 was discussed. The main demonstration that took place during the session, which was led by Todd Fedora, was the 2011 Public Works and Facilities Presentation.

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