EX-MAYOR CRITICIZES CITY STAFF - MEMBER KYSYLYCZYN PROMPTS LIQUOR
Author: STEVE SCOTT, Pioneer Press
John Kysylyczyn is more than two years removed as mayor of Roseville but still
has the city on its guard, this time over his contention the city manager
overstepped his authority in easing penalties for businesses caught serving
alcohol to minors.
Kysylyczyn alleges City Manager Neal Beets lifted one-day license suspensions
that had been issued last year to three businesses found to be first-time
violators of the city's alcohol enforcement ordinance.The controversial former
mayor, who was elected to a four-year term in 1999, frequently sparred with
other city officials. In 2003, he lost his bid for the City Council. Since
leaving office, he has remained a frequent and vocal critic of some city staff
and council members.
Kysylyczyn says the ordinance, adopted while he was in office in 2000, allows
only the council to hear appeals, reduce penalties or set conditions for
City staff members declined to comment because the matter is under police
review, at the instigation of Kysylyczyn who filed a formal complaint.
One employee, who asked to not be identified while the investigation is
ongoing, said Beets was not guilty of wrongdoing but acted according to past
practice, which required offending businesses to appeal to the city manager
and police chief.
Beets referred questions to the city attorney.
"The information the former mayor provided to the city is being
reviewed," City Attorney Jay Squires said, "and no determination has
been made whether anything improper was done."
The City Council was set to discuss the issue at a public meeting last month.
But it was taken off the agenda shortly after Kysylyczyn filed a misconduct
complaint with Roseville police, who referred it to the Maple Grove Police
Department to avoid a conflict of interest.
A Maple Grove investigator said he expected his review to be complete in about
Kysylyczyn raised the alcohol compliance issue after he obtained copies of
e-mail correspondence between Beets and Police Chief Carol Sletner, as well as
letters written by Beets to the three businesses.
He said he obtained the correspondence as part of a public records request he
made about an unrelated issue. He provided copies to the Pioneer Press.
Because the three businesses -- the Green Mill Restaurant, Roseville VFW Post
7555 and Old Chicago restaurant -- do not voluntarily participate in the
city's alcohol server training program, their penalties for a first offense
would have been a $500 fine and one-day suspension of their license.
"We knew the $500 fine for these businesses was almost meaningless, and
that the teeth that teaches the lesson is the suspension," Kysylyczyn
told the newspaper.
In letters to the three businesses, Beets lifted the one-day suspension,
upheld the $500 fine and required them to make a $500 charitable donation and
participate in the city's training program.
"The wording of the ordinance says only the council can do those things
and only in extraordinary circumstances," Kysylyczyn said.
The City Council, meanwhile, will wait for the legal investigation to run its
"Certainly, the issue of how we handle these appeals is an appropriate
one for the council to take a look at, and I have every intention of doing so
once this other matter is concluded," Mayor Craig Klausing said. "No
one had ever made this an issue before."
Author: STEVE SCOTT, Pioneer Press