The Grand Forks Model: City emails show quick response in Alerus Center suspensions

Last month, the City of Grand Forks placed two Alerus Center employees on suspension following allegations of workplace hostility. Now, following an open records request by the Grand Forks Herald, there is evidence as to how proactively the City responded to the allegations; it was the same day.

Per the Herald article by Sam Easter, here’s the City Adminstrator Todd Feland’s comment on the same-day-response to hire a law firm to provide an outside investigation into the issue:

You’ve got to prepare so that if an issue … occurred, we had the pieces to move forward,

Also telling are the internal emails sent upon discovery of the problem. Here’s an excerpt from a Grand Forks City staffer sent to the law firm the same day the allegations surfaced:

We are in need of an investigator to look into some management issues at our events center and we would prefer not to handle this situation in house.

What an extraordinary reaction to a difficult problem. Too often we see institutional thinking attempt to sweep problems under the rug or simply refuse to acknowledge they exist. Problems and challenges will always find us, but it’s how we handle them that makes all the difference. Kudos Grand Forks; You’ve set the bar on effective local government high!

Josh Wolsky

Developer & Writer @TheMinot Voice, Fan of the Souris River, There's a lot to Savor about Minot. Fortunate to be a 'former' City Council member ;)

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