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Does an Eden Prairie resident serve on the Emily City Council?

The Emily City Council is investigating whether one of its members really lives in the city.

We know that candidates for Congress don’t have to live in the district they’re seeking to represent; that’s why Congresswoman Michele Bachmann can run for re-election in the 6th District, even though redistricting has put her home in the 4th.

But with city councils, it’s different. You do have to live in the city you represent. And now officials in tiny Emily, pop. 813, are grappling with the issue.

There’s been a complaint that City Council Member Jan Mosman really lives in Eden Prairie, not Emily, says the Brainerd Dispatch.

Mosman responded that she has moved to Emily, about 30 miles northeast of Brainerd, but also has a home in Eden Prairie.

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Records show Mosman lists her primary residence as Eden Prairie and her cabin in Crow Wing County as seasonal/recreational and a non-homestead, the paper said.

She was elected to the Emily council in 2010 for a term that runs through 2014.

The paper notes that Mosman has previously said she has important reasons to go to the Twin Cities often, but they are personal.

A hearing on the matter packed the town hall building on Thursday, when City Attorney Steve Qualley told the council:

“If the person no longer resides within the city where elected, the city council of that city has the authority to determine that the person is no longer eligible to serve as a city council member and declare the office vacant.”

And, according to the paper, Qualley said that if the council determines one of its members is not a resident and subsequently deprives that person of the ability to serve in a position they were elected, it was his opinion the council needed to make “very definite and specific findings concerning the non-residency in order to declare a vacancy.”

No action was taken at Thursday’s informational hearing, but the City Council is expected to take up the matter again Tuesday night.