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Rice Lake City Council holds first meeting

Rice Lake officially became a city on Thursday night as it held its first City Council meeting to address a host of logistical and procedural matters — and then celebrated with cake.

The former township just north of Duluth had its incorporation request granted by a judge in August, and elected a mayor and four city councilors earlier this month to lead the state's newest city.

Councilors John Goman, Greg Andrews, Suzanne Herstad and Robert Quade took their oaths of office Thursday.

Mayor John Werner was not in attendance; he has been undergoing treatment for cancer at a Veterans Affairs hospital on the West Coast. Werner reported last week that he had completed chemotherapy, had a good prognosis and hoped to be back in Minnesota by the end of the month.

Goman, who had been the most recent chairman of the town of Rice Lake, was appointed acting mayor on Thursday.

In other business Thursday to establish policies for the new city:

r The council voted to hold its future meetings on Tuesday evenings, the same time that the town board met. That may be re-examined going into 2016.

r Pay for councilors was set at $65 per meeting, with the mayor receiving $75 per meeting. Again, those are the same rates that had been paid to the town supervisors and chairman.

r The city's website is now