Oak Lawn Township has lost its trust in Brainerd and asked Crow Wing County commissioners Monday at Oak Lawn Town Hall what it can do about it.
The Oak Lawn Township Board is concerned how Brainerd has been annexing land from people who have petitioned the city, including property in the township.
Brainerd has maintained a policy of only annexing property where property owners have requested and petitioned for annexation, but the city does actively pursue residents outside of the city to inform them of any benefits of annexing into the city.
It was a consensus among township members that they form a committee with the city to discuss differences and concerns about annexation. County representatives were asked by the township officials to participate.
Peter Herlofsky Jr., county administrator, said this is the best thing the township can do. He has listened to members of the township and the city and both parties sound reasonable.
"Everything you say here makes sense," he said. "You need to get together and find a way to work together without having the county choose a side."
Jim Hill, county commissioner, said the county does not want to get in the middle of the two jurisdictions and make one party upset. If both parties agree to sit down and talk with each other a lot of the problems can be solved, he said.
Commissioner Gilbert Dewes agreed.
"If you can't sit at a table and talk you are going to have to circle the wagon," he said.
Mark Haglin, Oak Lawn Township supervisor, said he wants to work with the city. He said the township has tried to work with council members already, but Haglin feels like the city is telling them one thing and doing another.
"The board trusts the city about as much as a car salesman named 'Slippery,'" commented Rick Adair, Oak Lawn board chair.
However, the township board is willing to discuss openly with the city its differences and wants to come up with a solution to the annexation issue.
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