As I was door knocking for permissions for yard signs the other day, a resident that had earlier been approached by one of the “Our Minnetrista” candidates said to me “So who is this woman council member they’re talking about that is no good? This sign isn’t for her is it?” Laughing, I said “No, that no-good council member would be me, but I’m not running. This sign is for Elroy Balgaard” and proceeded to talk about his views on protecting Minnetrista’s rural landscape, reducing debt, taxes, managing growth, etc. The resident ultimately took Mr. Balgaard’s sign.
“Our Minnetrista” is an organization promoting both incumbent Minnetrista city council candidates Pam Mortenson and John Tschumperlin. Residents have noticed all the signs and are asking “Who is Our Minnetrista?” Neither their old WordPress website nor the current one at ourminnetrista.com indicate who the people are behind this organization. They are, in fact, a small group of public officials, school board members, ex-city employees and others with a vested interest in maintaining the current power structure and taxing authorities at city hall. One might conclude they don’t want their names on the website because they know being affiliated publicly with the organization could harm their reputations. And they’d be right.
“Our Minnetrista” says on their WordPress site they promote “ethical and independent leadership in our city.” Yet the candidates they currently promote have voted with the Mayor on virtually every vote they’ve cast. Independent? As far as ethics go they operate in the shadows and have discredited candidates and council members that disagree with them by sending private messages and anonymous flyers alleging misdeeds knowing they will never have to provide evidence to substantiate their claims. Ethical?
They say they promote “effective” leadership, but effective at what? On the front page of their WordPress site they tout one of their past candidates (our current Mayor) championing a 50+ acre city master campus plan that would plunge the city deeper in debt
. Thankfully they’ve failed at that so far but they will try again. All of their financially supported candidates have increased your city property taxes every year they’ve been in office. Their candidates have road blocked attempts to competitively bid out engineering contracts and voted for outrageous salary increases (one for 19% last year) with disregard to how these decisions burden the city’s already over-taxed taxpayer.
There is a lot at stake in this election. “Our Minnetrista” is determined to maintain control of city hall, the taxes, regulations and relationships they need to implement their agenda. If you want higher taxes, more debt, growth, regulations and special vendor relationships that don’t have to compete, take one of their signs.