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John Nephew

Maplewood City Council Policy & Politics


Behrens Reimbursements

This week's Maplewood Review features an interesting article about Margaret Sletten Behrens, who sits on the board of the Ramsey County Soil and Water Conservation District. Ms. Behrens was the only person who filed to run for the office last fall, and now has made waves by submitting unusually large requests for per diem and mileage reimbursements. Apparently she is billing the taxpayers for things like attending Mayor Longrie's monthly forum at the Maplewood City Hall. (A $25 to $75 per diem, plus mileage, for two hours of mostly listening to the mayor's admirers praise her and bash Will Rossbach?!)

The article casts a new light on the following exchange, which took place at our council meeting of June 8th, 2009. Behrens' father, Ralph, and her sister, city council candidate Elizabeth Sletten, lobbied to have Ms. Behrens appointed to the Fish Creek ad hoc commission:

At the time I didn't see the point in telling the conservation district who they must appoint to attend our ad hoc commission meetings, if they wished to send a representative. But now it sounds like Behrens was looking for more meetings to attend in some official capacity, if conservation district staff and other board members had started to question the validity of paying for her to sit in the audience at Maplewood City Council meetings.

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