Forest Lake has a problem

From the sound of things, Forest Lake is taking Lake Elmo’s title of Washington County’s most combative city government.

There is lingering resentment in the city after the City Council voted against allowing a clinic to help children with mental health issues in the community, despite approval of the plan from the city’s planning commission.

The Council had already sent the proposal back to the planning commission for more study, and the commission sent it back to the council again — unanimously — prior to the April 9 Council meeting, during which Mayor Ben Winnick said the planning commission hadn’t answered several questions.

That didn’t set well with planning commissioner Eric Langness.

“Every council directive for planning commission was considered and addressed,” Langness said earlier this month.

Winnick objected to Langness using his “bully pulpit” to call out his vote.

“It was a cheap shot,” Winnick said about video of Langness’ remarks being posted to a community Facebook page.

How do spats like this end?

Last night, it ended with Langness reading a statement about the brouhaha, calling Winnick a “coward” during the public comments portion of the City Council meeting, and Winnick saying, “We’ll see you sometime when you’re not in here. We’ll see who’s a coward then, you piece of s—.”

Forest Lake mayor Ben Winnick just ended the open forum portion of tonight's city council meeting responding to a planning commissioner with "We'll see you sometime when you're not in here. We'll see who's the coward then, you piece of s__t."

Posted by Washington County Watchdog on Monday, May 21, 2018

“Lies are being said, and I called out a couple of people for intentionally lying,” Winnick told the Forest Lake Times.