Monday's City Council meeting in Red Wing promises to feature an interesting discussion of Mayor Dennis Egan's new second job as a champion for the Minnesota frac sand industry.
Egan said he signed an employment contract last week to be the executive director of the newly formed Minnesota Industrial Sand Council, a coalition of various companies with interests in frac sand, gravel and other aggregate products. Egan is a professional lobbyist and he also has registered himself to lobby on behalf of the sand council.
He said he won't step down as mayor while he collects a paycheck from the sand industry because he doesn't believe it's a conflict to be advocating for frac sand companies.
Meanwhile, Red Wing City Council President Lisa Bayley, a Harvard-educated lawyer, said she's been swamped with complaints, questions and concerns about the mayor's personal economic interest in advancing the frac sand industry at a time when so many people around Red Wing and throughout southeastern Minnesota oppose the expansion of sand mining.
Egan has joined the leadership ranks of a sand lobby group even as his city is deciding what stance to take on possible state government involvement in regulating sand mines.
"If the facts are as we think they are, it could prove to be a very serious matter,'' Bayley said about Egan's new job. She declined to elaborate. Click here for a full reading of the Star Tribune story.