Minnetrista caucuses

A big thank you to all the Minnetrista residents that came out to the party caucuses last night! A special shout out to all the conveners, those that volunteered at the high school and middle school, and those elected as delegates and precinct officers. It was great to see so many in our community that want to be involved!caucus pic

Minnetrista caucus locations tonight 2/25/2020

caucus finderYes, there are caucuses tonight for Minnetrista! Below are the major party caucus locations for Minnetrista, February 25, 2020 at 7pm. If you’re not sure which precinct you’re in look it up here (or click above caucus finder) so you can find your room. There are usually people at the door to point you to your precinct room.

Minnetrista DFL Caucus: Mound Westonka High School, 5905 Sunnyfield Road E, Minnetrista, MN 55364

Minnetrista GOP Caucus: Grandview Middle School, 1881 Commerce Blvd., Mound, MN 55364

Delegates will be chosen for upcoming party conventions to endorse various candidates for state and congressional offices. Get involved!

 

Mayor attacks opponent reading personal blog at council meeting

The politicization of the Minnetrista city council meetings are in full swing. Mayor Whalen, in an unprecedented breech of civil decorum, decided to turn the February 18

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council meeting into a political attack on her opponent for the Minnetrista mayoral seat by reading a personal blog post outlining why the Minnetrista 2020 election is important. Yes, this was at a public council meeting, paid for by taxpayers, to attack a political opponent. I’m not making this up.

First, I should thank the mayor for sharing the blog post and giving it more visibility. The fact our city is being run by outside interests is real. What is more disturbing, however, is how anyone expressing an opinion that differs from those outside interests is targeted.

These past months I’ve had personal social media accounts disabled twice because of pressure from these interests that donated to the mayor’s previous election campaign. I’ve had to fight battles to have official minutes reflect what actually occurred instead of what these interests wanted in the public record. Outright blatant lies have been circulated in the community alleging illegal campaign contributions on my part that never happened. I’m sure there is more to come.

It appeared the most troubling aspect of the post, to the mayor, was about “instilling a service-oriented culture” at city hall. Apparently she doesn’t feel a need to address that and didn’t like hearing that people in the community do.

I’ve always tried to “leave my stuff at the door” when I attend council meetings. Council meetings are for getting the work of the city done, not to intimidate or shame those you disagree with. Using a public forum, paid for by taxpayers, is an inappropriate venue to wage political warfare. But apparently not in Minnetrista.

Silencing Minnetrista

The thought police are working overtime in Minnetrista. There is a group opposed to my candidacy that knows the only means to maintain their taxing authority is to silence those that reveal conflicts of interest, corruption, and illegal campaign practices in Minnetrista.
 
I awoke this morning to see that my account on Nextdoor.com was disabled after sharing the latest Minnetrista Governance Blog (MGB) post about Minnetrista being run by Censoredoutside interests at the expense of residents. The post didn’t mention my candidacy for Mayor, any other candidates for public office, or even any public officials. It was simply a post to create awareness of how important it is for residents to pay attention to what’s going on in their community.
 
The Nextdoor.com neighborhood “lead” made a public post yesterday threatening to ban anyone making political posts and then promptly disabled my account. They removed the MGB post mentioned above as well as an earlier one correcting Mayor Whalen’s fuzzy math about tax levy increases.
 
Nextdoor.com’s guidelines actually say that local political posts are allowed on the main newsfeed as long as they’re civil, which they were. I’ve found most of the uncivil comments in the past have come from individuals affiliated with this group. Maybe Nextdoor.com should give us all a list of topics that don’t upset them. 
 
We should all be grateful the Minnetrista thought police don’t control WordPress or Facebook. 

Minnetrista city election – why care?

I’ve been meeting with residents in Minnetrista neighborhoods over the last several weeks and invariably someone always asks “What’s so important about this year’s city election?” The answer: Outside interests are running the city and none of them live or pay taxes here in Minnetrista. Outside consultants, contractors, vendors and organizations put pressure on the council to serve their interests ahead of yours. money electionsConsequently, taxes go up every year and will continue at an even faster pace going forward. We are growing and have important decisions coming up next year that impact your property rights, taxes, fees and freedoms.

I am also hearing from residents frustrated in their dealings with the city as they seek permits, variances, or access to information. Rather than having an excellent experience they often leave irritated and angry. Instilling a service oriented culture at city hall is important for residents to be treated with respect and for staff to understand their purpose is to serve the community. Unlike private sector businesses that know their survival depends on treating customers well, public sector organizations can become complacent knowing their “customer” has nowhere else to go.

The November election in Minnetrista is of paramount importance to every Minnetrista resident. Unlike the national elections where partisan politics divide the country, every Minnetrista resident can agree that outside interests should not continue running our city.

 

 

 

 

 

Mayor Whalen’s blog on increasing your taxes

I think some clarification is in order here.

Mayor Whalen states on her new blog “When determining our levy one of the things we look at is growth. The County Assessor estimated that we saw a 2.0% – 2.5% overall new home growth. If you subtract that from the final levy increase (over 2019) of 5.66% it leaves an increase of approximately 3.2%-3.7%”

mayor's blogThat’s assuming, incorrectly, that for every percent in growth the city needs a 1:1 ratio increasing the tax levy. That’s simply not true. First, the 2-2.5% referenced here is the increase in the city’s total market valuation from new homes, not the number of new homes built. That could be a very small number of expensive homes or a lot of inexpensive homes. There is no correlation between market valuation increases and a need for higher taxes.

The tax levy should only be increased because of increased costs (plus inflation) due to growth, not simply because of market valuation increases. Theoretically you could have one home built that accounts for the entire 2% growth…which wouldn’t justify any tax levy increase at all. I’m not implying that is the case, just using an example that makes the point.

Meet Minnetrista candidates Wed Jan 22 at 7pm Woodland Cove

PLEASE SHARE WITH MINNETRISTA NEIGHBORS! Candidates for the Minnetrista city council and mayoral race will be at the Woodland Cove Clubhouse, 3800 Woodland Cove Pkwy, Minnetrista, next Wednesday, January 22 at 7pm. Come join your neighbors for a cup of coffee and conversation about Minnetrista. Hope to see you there! Please RSVP to: cathleen.reffkin@outlook.com (Woodland Cove host) so there’s enough coffee!

Event is paid for by the Shannon Bruce for Mayor Committee.