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Cold Spring, Richmond City Admins Butt Heads Over Police Department [AUDIO]

Ashli Gerdes, WJON News

COLD SPRING — Two city administrators butted heads during the Cold Spring City Council meeting Tuesday night.

Cold Spring City Administrator Paul Hetland and Richmond City Administrator Martin Bode are in a mutual agreement to end the Joint Powers Agreement with the police department. However, neither have support from their councils.

On March 24th Bode sent a letter to the Cold Spring City council requesting a joint meeting to discuss their options regarding the police chief contract. The council instructed Hetland to meet with Bode to address Richmond’s concerns over the agreement.

Hetland and interim police chief Chris Boucher met with Bode. After that meeting Hetland suggested that the Cold Spring City Council look at the possibility of terminating the contract stating it was a mutual decision. He says the meeting with Bode got heated quickly.

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In an E-mail to the Cold Spring City Council, Hetland states, “Chris Boucher and I site that our primary reasons to terminate the contract are for financial and political stability, to increase department efficiencies, and to better serve the people of Cold Spring.”

During the council meeting Bode stated that it is his personal belief and not the wishes of the Richmond City Council to end the agreement with Cold Spring. Bode says he’s ashamed with the way Cold Spring treated police chief candidate Eric Johnson during the hiring process.

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Some council members say that they are concerned that their administrators can’t work together. Richmond council member Pat Evans says both city administrators are going to have to find a way to work together.

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Hetland says it’s hard to have a conversation about the agreement.

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It was the decision of the Cold Spring City Council not to take action on the proposal. Mayor Doug Schmitz says he wants to let the council cool down before they move forward with any decisions regarding the Joint Powers Agreement.

Wakefield Township is also exploring the option of ending their contract with the Cold Spring-Richmond Police Department.

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