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Dear Brooklyn Park City Council:

It has come to our attention that there is an item on the City Council agenda for Monday July 24th, 2017, item 7.2 to discuss the resignation of the Brooklyn Park Fire Chief, Ken Prillaman and a separation agreement between the Fire Chief and the City.

As a community, we would like to state our support for Chief Ken Prillaman. He has always been a great asset, friend and excellent worker of our city and community. Chief Prillaman has gone above and beyond serving our community and has instituted the necessary changes needed in our city to address our growing and changing community needs. His commitment to our communities has extended beyond the borders of our cities. His efforts should be lauded, and his example should be emulated.

We would like to raise the following issues:

We are concerned that according to the Star Tribune article on July 21st, 2017, some council members including the mayor have admitted that, one council member has created a hostile work environment that has made it impossible for the Fire Chief to continue to work in our city. Such misconduct should not be acceptable within any rank and file in our city, especially from those who hold public office.

We want to condemn this behavior in the strongest terms, the misuse of entrusted public office and position to harass a city employee in the course of carrying out his duty and serving the community well.

We are concerned that this behavior sets a very bad precedent and example in our city. We need to guarantee city staff a safe and supportive environment so that they are not intimidated to carry out their duties effectively in order to bring about the much needed change that our city needs. This behavior will diminish all the good work and partnership that we have been carrying out as community groups and members with the city to build trust and enhance government and community relations.

We are concerned that if this action goes ahead, we will not be able to attract the competitive future talent that we need in our city to be able to propel us into the facing the future challenges and opportunities that we need to address. It also tarnishes our reputation and public image as a city.

Given this, we ask the following:

That the City Council of Brooklyn Park make an official apology and request to keep Chief Prillaman as the Brooklyn Park Fire Chief.

That the City Council of Brooklyn Park reinstate Chief Prillaman as the Brooklyn Park Fire Chief, but also clearly lay out and put in place policies and structures that will ensure that he has a safe, conducive and supportive environment in which to work.

That the City of Brooklyn Park, look into its Charter and institute a code of conduct policy for elected officials that clearly prohibits interference, unfair targeting and bullying of City staff and Contractors in the process of carrying out their duties in serving the community and also lay out disciplinary steps for such action.

That the City Council of Brooklyn at the Monday July 24th, 2017 meeting pass a motion of censure against Central District Council Member Mark Mata, who has been named as the problem in this matter.

That council member Mark Mata would recuse himself from any future fire department issues.

That Council Member Mata is immediately relieved of his duties as an On Call City of Brooklyn Park Fire Fighter due to his misconduct and work place hostility.

Thank You very much for your immediate consideration to this matter.

Hereby signed:

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