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Farmington council, school board will hold joint meeting

It's been nearly three years since the Farmington City Council and School District 192 Board of Education members sat down together to talk, but that changes next week.

On Monday, the two government bodies will hold a joint meeting at Farmington City Hall, more or less just to catch up on what is happening within each other's organization. It's the first joint meeting the two groups have had since before either city administrator David McKnight or superintendent Jay Haugen was hired.

That's not to say there hasn't been communication between Farmington's two bodies of elected officials. Once a month, McKnight and Haugen and members of their respective staffs meet to give updates on plans and projects.

"The main purpose (of the monthly meetings) is to make sure the communication is open so we don't go through what we went through in the past. I can bring anything to Jay, and he can bring anything to me," McKnight said.

But next week's workshop takes that communication one step further. With a few projects coming up that will affect the school district, council members invited the school board to meet, Haugen said. He's looking forward to it, because he's never participated in such a joint conversation.

"It sure sounds like a great idea," Haugen said. "I think we're going to have a fairly open-ended conversation."

McKnight and Haugen are working on the agenda this week. So far, there are a few common-interest topics on the list, like a 195th Street expansion project that will widen the road that runs past Akin Road Elementary School and Meadowview Elementary School. The city is also doing some work this summer on Flagstaff Avenue this summer, which affects access to the high school.

Each group will bring its own updates to the table. McKnight plans to share some of the city's plans, while Haugen expects to give an update on the school district's Innovation Zone project and its quest to customize learning for students.

And, McKnight said, there may be opportunities for the school district and the city to work together on some partnerships.

"This is a good opportunity to get together and talk about things, face to face. It will be a good meeting, and it has been a while. That's one of the reasons we wanted to do it," McKnight said. "We have two new members since that time, they have at least two new members, too, so it's a good chance for us to get together and make sure that open dialog happens."

The joint meeting will be held July 22, starting at 5:30 p.m., at Farmington City Hall. The meeting will be telecast on the city's cable Channel 16, and rebroadcast at a later date on Channel 10. It will also be streamed live on the city's website,

An agenda for the meeting is also posted on the city's website.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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