Osseo Council Member Resigns After Tense Meeting
Osseo City Council Member Harold Johnson has resigned effective May 5.
The Osseo City Council accepted his resignation and declared a vacancy on the council at its May 8 meeting.
Johnson has less than two years left in his term. State statute dictates that the council fill the vacancy by appointment.
His term started on Jan. 4, 2021 and ends Dec. 31, 2024.
To fill the vacancy, the city will accept letters of interest from eligible candidates until noon on May 17.
Resignation Follows Committee Disagreement
In April, Johnson walked out of a discussion on the city’s 150th Anniversary Planning Committee after other members of the council accused him of organizing an unsanctioned committee and violating open meeting laws.
Johnson told the council the committee was acting independent of the city and did not need council approval. He also said city staff members had not moved quickly enough to begin planning the event.
The council was scheduled to discuss the creation of a city-sanctioned planning committee on May 8, but instead moved that discussion to June 12.
Johnson referred to the committee in his letter of resignation.
“[City Administrator Riley] Grams knew well in advance that a planning committee was going to be held and refused to take action,” Johnson wrote in his resignation letter. “There is no reason for [the] city to think they need to set up any type of committee to control this planning committee at this time.”
Several residents attending the meeting spoke in favor of Johnson.
“I was appalled at what transpired,” one resident said. “This council needs to put aside its ego or whatever it is that is causing this dysfunction and work together in a professional manner for the good of all the Osseo residents.”
Mayor Duane Poppe, and Council Members Juliana Hultstrom and Mark Schulz thanked Johnson for his service to the city.
“You will be missed,” Poppe said. “Sorry to see you go.”