It’s going to be easier for the public and the media to find out what the Duluth City Council, Planning Commission and Downtown Development Authority are going to be doing at their meetings.
The city is providing online access to the full agendas though a portal on its website. Citizens can access copies of the agenda summary and information packet that city officials receive to explain issues and help them make decisions. The information packets can be quite lengthy. The packet for tonight's city council work session, for instance, is 35 pages in length.
To sign up for access, click here, create a user name and a password, and check off which agendas you want to view and/or print out. Only the city council and planning commission agendas are currently available.
The agenda for the 6 p.m. Monday, May 7, Duluth City Council work session includes several proposed amendments to an existing ordinance to further regulate massage businesses in the city and control prostitution. The work session occurs in the Community Meeting Room at .
According to the agenda: “The City of Duluth has experienced a continuing problem with crime and unlicensed massage occurring at massage therapy businesses in the city. Increased police and administrative resources are being required to address this problem.”
The proposed changes include:
- Limit the number of massage businesses in the city
- Increase the regulatory license fee for massage businesses
- Require more stringent background checks for massage business applicants and managers
- Create a Massage License Review Board to consider appeals
- Redraft the appeals procedure for massage therapy business suspensions, revocations and license denials
- Draft a new requirement that all massage therapy businesses must compel their therapists to submit to fingerprinting at the request of city officials and to verify their identity and state certification
The council’s work session tonight takes the place of one that would have regularly occurred on the fourth Monday of the month. May 28 is Memorial Day, a holiday.
Council members discuss, but take no official action on items during work sessions. If an issue requires action, the council directs the city clerk to place it on the agenda for the next regular meeting. This will be Monday, May 14, for this month.
The council recently established a policy for citizens to speak at work sessions in an orderly manner. A sign up sheet is placed at the entrance table for up to six citizens to speak for a period of two minutes each at the beginning of each work session. Comment cards are also available. As always, written statements may be sent to the city staff or mayor and council.
The meeting and information packet for tonight’s May 7 meeting of the Duluth Planning Commission are also available on the city website. The planners will meet at 7 p.m. in City Council Chambers at Duluth City Hall.
The planning commission agenda includes a request for a special-use permit to allow an office to locate in the former Sensibly Chic shop at 3131A Main Street. David Cossette, who owns the building, has requested the SUP.