Government Notes

Public invited to council chambers' dedication Minneapolis City Council will dedicate its new chambers on Jan. 18.

A $2.6-million renovation project, which started in January 2001, has restored plaster wall panels, pendant light fixtures and two 7-foot-by-10-foot reproductions of John Bradstreet murals. The council resumed using the chambers at the Dec. 27 meeting. During renovation the council held its meetings in the Federal Courthouse and Room 103 of City Hall.

Originally occupied in 1905, the chambers have seen two extensive renovations, in 1923 and 1956. The current

renovation restores the 1923 look.

The public is invited to attend a free open house from 2 to 6 p.m. on Jan. 18. Guided tours and light refreshments will be provided.

Familiar face in new administration Former Minneapolis Finance Director John Moir, who departed in 2000 partly because his financial advice wasn't being heeded, will return to city government in the Rybak administration.

Moir, who worked as finance director from 1992 to 2000, will serve as city coordinator. "The city is facing serious financial challenges, and this is an opportunity to help the mayor and City Council sort out their priorities," Moir said.

Moir is leaving Springsted Inc., where he worked as an independent public financial advisor for the past 18 months.

Some new faces in City Hall will include David Fey, currently executive director of Seward Redesign, as deputy mayor; Laura Sether as senior policy aide and press secretary; and Peter Wagenius as senior policy aide and council liaison. Sether and Wegenius served as Rybak's co-campaign managers.

New jobs for Sayles Belton staffers Two key staff members of former Mayor Sharon Sayles Belton have found new work.

Ron Thaniel, senior policy aide for transportation and public safety for Sayles Belton, took a job with the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington, D.C. He will serve as assistant executive director for transportation policy.

Ann Freeman, communication director, accepted a job with the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. She will work as director of public relations.

Lunch with Councilmember Lisa Goodman at new location City Councilmember Lisa Goodman (7th Ward) will be holding her monthly lunch meetings with constituents at a new location in 2002.

Starting with the Jan. 23 event, Goodman will hold the lunches at La Toscana, 3220 W. Lake St.

In 2001, Goodman held the meetings at Acadia Caf. Goodman said it was time for a change, but it probably didn't help that Acadia owner Tom Berthiaume picketed one of the lunch meetings over Goodman's support for Lydia House, a supportivehousing project in Stevens Square.

Other Lunch with Lisa dates include Feb. 27, March 27 and April 24.

-- Brent Killackey