The inside story on Minnetrista local issues: This blog is to inform citizens and give them a perspective on matters of importance in Minnetrista, MN. Opinions posted here are my own and do not reflect official positions of any public body or official.
I discovered 39 fake “Shannon Bruce” Facebook accounts today (that weren’t there last week) and reported them all to Facebook this morning. All were identical but set up with a different id#. If anyone sees any Facebook posts appearing to come from me that they suspect may be “fake” please let me know as we investigate who is behind this. Thank you!
MINNETRISTA SHOULD HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THE PARTISAN AGENDA of the GreenStep program designed to lure public officials with awards & recognition at the expense of their communities. I don’t like dealing with dishonest organizations, or people for that matter. How’s this for transparency? After the video posted yesterday exposed their funding deception the GreenStep Cities folks removed the Met Council’s logo from their site. They continue to deny the Met Council is a program funder despite the fact it appears on their own website.
GREENSTEP CITIES EXPOSED – As I was about to publish this today I discovered that the GreenStep Cities program has removed the Metropolitan Council logo from their “About” page where this, below, was captured last month. Yep, it’s gone. Now they have it in small type in parentheses, to obscure it even more. Read on…
I was asked to speak last month at a Victoria city council meeting on concerns regarding the Met Council’s GreenStep Cities program. The program had recently been rejected by the city of Plymouth and had received less than glowing coverage in the press of late due to transparency issues and the Met Council’s agenda to extend control throughout the state by getting local governments to adopt their “model ordinances.” A GreenStep Cities representative presented as well.
The video below speaks for itself and highlights the deception and clearly partisan agenda of this program. For those that want to see the unedited version it is available on the city of Victoria’s website.
The city of Minnetrista has not joined this program but the council has not voted not to either. The program is marketed as being voluntary but once adopted cities are pressured…or “encouraged” to progress through the steps as they compete with each other for awards at the League of Minnesota Cities annual meeting. Mayors are lured by recognition and awards and staff ends up spending their precious time measuring and reporting data to the Met Council instead of tending to city matters.
The Minnetrista city council will be discussing the possibility of adopting a nuisance property ordinance at an upcoming council work session due to a property that has been the subject of complaints over the years. I am not necessarily opposed to one but have some concerns to be addressed:
The difficulty of establishing a definition of a “nuisance.” One person’s art is another person’s junk and the subjective nature of prohibiting certain things on private property is inherently problematic.
Making a nuisance property ordinance applicable city-wide to all properties requires uniform language. It is literally impossible to take into account the geographic landscape of each property in the largely rural areas where some may have trees/hills obscuring the sight of prohibited things and others without trees or hills are at a disadvantage and would be more scrutinized. HOAs have their own restrictions that may cause confusion.
Burdening the city with complaints from neighbors that just don’t get along for a variety of reasons. Far too often people aren’t willing to resolve issues with their neighbors face to face and turn to the city as a first, rather than a last, resort.
I sympathize with the residents I’ve heard from and have driven by the property in question which is, indeed, unsightly and looks like a junk yard. If I lived next door I wouldn’t be happy either.
However, if the majority of the council wants an ordinance I believe there must be a process to ensure property owners are protected from frivolous complaints. I would suggest the following:
Require the Complainant to obtain at least three signatures of other property owners within a quarter mile of the property detailing precisely what the nuisance items are and what the remedy requested is (remove, store out-of-sight). This step would help ensure it’s a real neighborhood concern, rather than a personal quarrel, and warrants the city’s involvement.
Once signatures are obtained a demand letter from the city could be mailed to, or served on, the respondent giving the property owner notice and timeframe for remedy before being penalized with a fine. Provisions for anonymity should be available for Complainants.
As far as defining what a nuisance is, as long as the above process is in place, a broad definition referencing what a “reasonable person” would consider an unsightly eyesore that impairs their ability to enjoy their property or affects the valuation of their property, would seem reasonable. I’m not a fan of setting limits on types of items or numbers of vehicles, trailers, farm implements, etc. There are just too many variables to consider.
Any time the city decides to regulate what property owners can or can’t do we must weigh the consequences of any restrictions on the rights of private property owners vs. the benefits to the community at large. Restrictions always have costs to one group and benefits to another so we must take great care in weighing consequences to both.
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!
Yes, 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
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
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.