Three Rivers Park District authorized to purchase million dollar property on Little Long Lake

Took a brief respite from blogging after the election and then missed our council meeting Retreat Drive Three Rivers AcquisitionTuesday night because of a virus. I watched the entire meeting on YouTube last night though and was disappointed only one council member, Mike Molitor, voted against Three Rivers Park District (TRPD) acquiring a 17 acre lot on Little Long Lake with a million dollar home on it (which they plan to demolish).  Whalen, Mortenson and Tschumperlin voted to pass the resolution.

TRPD will take this parcel off the city, county and school district tax roles when the sale is complete. Appears the land owner and TRPD have been negotiating this for quite some time.

This property is currently generating over $16K annually in city, county, and school district property tax revenues. $16,000/year x forever is what this decision will cost remaining taxpayers who will have to come up with the difference to cover these lost revenues.

The parcel is currently zoned Ag and can’t be subdivided into less than 10 acre parcels, so even if TRPD didn’t acquire it, it would’ve remained in its current state probably forever. Now that’s a good use of taxpayer dollars isn’t it?

“Our Minnetrista” upside down and backwards

It is city staff that takes direction from the city council, not vice versa. “Our Minnetrista” which is supporting both incumbent candidates Pam Mortenson and John Tschumperlin advocates that council members take their direction from the City upside down minnetristaAdministrator. In an email I received from an Our Minnetrista leader, David Kolb, back when I was a candidate, he said “you will be more successful as a candidate and Council Member if you take your guidance from the City Administrator….” And that’s exactly what “Our Minnetrista” elected candidates have done.

When the City Administrator wanted to spend $20,000 on a community survey, they said sure. When the City Administrator wanted to give his assistant a 19% pay increase, they said sure. When the City Administrator said not to competitively bid the city’s engineering contract, they agreed. When the City Administrator and Finance Director said we need a 6.01% preliminary tax levy increase, they said sure.

As long as candidates go along with “Our Minnetrista,” a group consisting of ex-city employees, elected officials, school board members, vendors, and others with a vested interest in keeping the current taxing authorities in place, they can be assured of financial backing for their campaigns. Our Minnetrista will raise contributions for them, provide literature, a website, video commercials and advocacy.

ballot 2018Remember that tomorrow when you vote. Remember also that you don’t have to vote for 2 candidates (ballot says vote for UP to 2) and you can cast a single vote for the only candidate that understands it is the city staff that takes direction from the city council, not vice versa. #ElroyBalgaardForCityCouncil

Minnetrista incumbents raise over $8K to hang onto their city council seats

Minnetrista incumbents have raised over $8K to hang onto their city council seats. Pam Mortenson and John Tschumperlin raised over $4,000 each and have spent all but a few hundred dollars of it to hold onto their seats on November 6. Here are the latest campaign finance reports for Pam Mortenson, John Tschumperlin and challenger Elroy Balgaard.  Previous reports for the candidates are posted on the city’s website.

When I ran for city council 2 years ago, I only spent a few hundred dollars on some signs and literature that I hand delivered myself. So why are things so ramped up this election? There is much at stake and lots of money to be made (or not) based on who wins. But more importantly the status quo could be threatened by an outsider that doesn’t rubber stamp the recommendations of city staff and the mayor.

In reviewing the campaign finance reports I was expecting “Our Minnetrista” to be our minnetrista disclaimerlisted as the incumbents’ political committee because their literature states that it was “Prepared and paid for by Our Minnetrista, PO Box 193, Mound, MN 55364. But there is no political committee named “Our Minnetrista” that has filed a campaign finance report this year, despite the fact their website is collecting donations for both incumbent candidates and they are paying for campaign literature.  “Our Minnetrista” certainly appears to meet the definition of a “political committee” as defined by state statute and, as such, would be required to file campaign finance reports. Someone may want to look into that.

Minnetrista’s rural character is at stake in this election

The slogan on Elroy Balgaard’s flyers, “Keep it Rural”, resonates with the people I’ve been talking with, even those living in the more densely populated Minnetrista housing developments. I was in Hunters Crest over the weekend and many of those homes border beautiful marshes and prairies that residents cherish and want preserved.

City Council members have the authority to approve Planned Unit Developments (PUDs) in areas outside the MUSA line that are zoned “Rural” as well as “Urban Reserve” that could drastically change the entire landscape of Minnetrista. Make sure you vote for someone who will not support higher density PUDs than current primary zoning allows in these areas. In the 2040 Comp Plan there is something called “Limited Secondary Zoning” that essentially allows higher density in these zones if the council deems it appropriate. It’s important who you vote for.

 

Minnetrista incumbents raise over $8K to hang onto their city council seats

Minnetrista incumbents have raised over $8K to hang onto their city council seats. Pam Mortenson and John Tschumperlin raised over $4,000 each and have spent all but a few hundred dollars of it to hold onto their seats on November 6. Here are the latest campaign finance reports for Pam Mortenson, John Tschumperlin and challenger Elroy Balgaard.  Previous reports for the candidates are posted on the city’s website.

When I ran for city council 2 years ago, I only spent a few hundred dollars on some signs and literature that I hand delivered myself. So why are things so ramped up this election? There is much at stake and lots of money to be made (or not) based on who wins. But more importantly the status quo could be threatened by an outsider that doesn’t rubber stamp the recommendations of city staff and the mayor.

In reviewing the campaign finance reports I was looking for “Our Minnetrista” to be our minnetrista disclaimerlisted as the incumbents’ political committee because their literature states that it was “Prepared and paid for by Our Minnetrista, PO Box 193, Mound, MN 55364. But there is no political committee named “Our Minnetrista” that has filed a campaign finance report this year, despite the fact their website is collecting donations for both candidates and they are paying for campaign literature. Someone may want to look into that.

Minnetrista’s rural character is at stake in this election

The slogan on Elroy Balgaard’s flyers, “Keep it Rural”, resonates with the people I’ve been talking with, even those living in the more densely populated Minnetrista housing developments. I was in Hunters Crest yesterday and many of those homes border beautiful marshes and prairies that residents cherish and want preserved.

City Council members have the authority to approve Planned Urban Developments (PUDs) in areas outside the MUSA line that are zoned “Rural” as well as “Urban Reserve” that could drastically change the entire landscape of Minnetrista. Make sure you vote for someone who will not support higher density PUDs than current primary zoning allows in these areas. In the 2040 Comp Plan there is something called “Limited Secondary Zoning” that essentially allows higher density in these zones if the council deems it appropriate. It’s important who you vote for. #ElroyBalgaardForCityCouncil

 

“Keep it Rural Minnetrista” Elroy Balgaard for City Council video

The slogan “Keep it Rural” resonates with the people I’ve been talking with, even those living in the more densely populated Minnetrista housing developments. I was in Hunters Crest yesterday and many of those homes border beautiful marshes and prairies that residents cherish and want preserved.

City Council members have the authority to approve Planned Unit Developments (PUDs) in areas outside the MUSA line that are zoned “Rural” as well as “Urban Reserve” that could drastically change the entire landscape of Minnetrista. Make sure you vote for someone who will not support higher density PUDs than current primary zoning allows in these areas. In the 2040 Comp Plan there is something called “Limited Secondary Zoning” that essentially allows higher density in these zones if the council deems it appropriate. It’s important who you vote for.