By Nicole WK

Senator Bill Ingebrigsten addressed the City Council at the July 21 meeting.

After more than 50 years of public service in law enforcement and then as a Minnesota State Senator for District 8, Bill Ingebrigsten is hanging up his hat and retiring. 

The Pelican Rapids City Council invited him to the July 21 meeting, where he complimented Pelican Rapids on what an inviting community it is and spoke about his time as a senator. 

Lawmaking frustrations

Ingebrigsten expressed frustration with the stalemate Minnesota’s house and the senate came to over the bonding bill. He was further frustrated that they could not pass a tax or a transportation bill before the session’s end. 

While his caucus stood firm in giving money back to taxpayers, with a surplus of more than $9 billion, there are many ideas about how to spend the money.

“It’s easier to govern when there is a deficit because there aren’t as many people asking for funds,” said Ingebrigsten.

As a member of the Public Safety Committee, Ingebrigsten spoke about the difficulties of addressing policing issues in the Twin Cities and called Pelican Rapids “a slice of heaven” compared to Minneapolis. He blamed Governor Tim Walz’s delayed response to the civil unrest in 2020 for the continued issues the committee has had to address, such as the City of Morris abandoning its police department entirely after being unable to staff it. 

Accomplishments also highlighted

On the flip side, the senator was happy to report that they were able to pass a $2 billion unemployment bill that includes federal funds. They also passed a bill earmarking $1 billion to expand broadband internet access in rural areas. 

Goodbye and good luck

Before bidding farewell, Senator Ingebrigsten thanked the council for inviting him, mentioning that he wished more cities would do so. Then, believing that public service members should “live in glass houses” of transparency, he gave out his personal cell phone number (320-325-6200) for anyone who would like to reach out to him for any reason.

Mayor Brent Frazier wished the outgoing senator good luck in the future and thanked him for his service to the district and the state of Minnesota.