Helmberger to return to TEDA

TUESDAY, MAY 28, 2019 — Mayor Orlyn Kringstad moved to re-appoint, at the special May 28 meeting of the City Council, Marshal Helmberger to serve on the Tower Economic Development Authority as a Tower business owner representative. The new, full, city council gave its unanimous approval to his appointment and it is expected Helmberger will be seated on the TEDA board at its next meeting in June.

The re-appointment came a surprise to many local Tower government observers. Eighteen months ago, at the 2018 city reorganization meeting, then mayor, Josh Carlson unceremoniously removed Helmberger from the economic development authority because insubordination. The removal was handled as a small inconsequential item of city business, most likely because the city council was not into dramatic theatrics at that time.

During a Tuesday Special Meeting of the Tower City Council Mayor Kringstad stated that Helberger’s removal as TEDA President was illegal. The Mayor, however, did not provide any written advice from council, or any documentation whatsoever which would support his claim.

More than one whistleblower has provided evidence, and individually reported to the State of Minnesota Auditor, what they believe is clear evidence indicating fraudulent activity between Kringstad and Helmberger while they were in pursuit of a TEDA loan from the city favoring Kringstad. At the time of the loan Helmburger held the position of TEDA president.

It is understood that the potentially fraudulent loan remains under investigation by the State Auditor, although no official determination or recommendation has yet been forthcoming from the state.

The motion by Mayor Kringstad to return Helmberger to TEDA was approved 5-0, by the new full city council.

One seat on the TEDA board remains unfilled and is awaiting a recommendation from TEDA before the city council fills the seat.

Holdover TEDA members are:

Rachel Beldo, City Council representative

Richard Hanson, resident

Joan Broten, resident

Steve Peterson Sr., at large member