There are two city council seats up for election in Minnetrista and three candidates on the ballot competing for them. It appears current council member Mike Molitor will not be running again which is too bad. Although we didn’t always agree on everything he had a mind of his own and I respect that.
Returning trust and integrity to city hall is what this election is about but the following video is an example of what we’ve had in the past. The person in the video is one of the three candidates for city council, Damian Young, who is currently serving on Minnetrista’s Planning Commission.
The clips below were taken from a Minnetrista City Council Meeting during a hearing on the licensing and regulation of golf carts. Mr. Young was in support of regulating and licensing golf carts and was trying to convince the council that, not only was he in favor of the ordinance, but the Planning Commission was in favor of it as well. In spinning his tale he had forgotten I had attended the Planning Commission meeting he was referring to.
Minnetrista needs elected officials that don’t resort to deception to achieve their goals. We’ve seen enough of that in Minnetrista.
Below are the websites and Facebook pages for Minnetrista council candidates:
Facebook: MacGregor for Council @MinnetristaCouncil2020
Facebook: Reffkin for Minnetrista City Council @reffkinminnetristacitycouncil
No campaign website or Facebook page as of 8/12/2020
Election integrity is the big deal and the city of Minnetrista took an enormous stride toward that end last Thursday at a specially called council meeting to discuss the election process in Minnetrista and the role of election judges and absentee ballot board members.
State law requires that an absentee ballot board be established by the city council that is comprised of election judges, chosen from the major party lists, to accept/reject absentee ballots. It was discovered that in the past Minnetrista had not been appointing an absentee ballot board and had, instead, been using city staff to perform these duties.
Thanks to the Minnesota Voters Alliance filing a petition against the city of Minneapolis for doing virtually the same thing (Minnetrista differs slightly in that it only handles walk-in absentee voting presently) and pointing out applicable statutes showing cities are required to use election judges, chosen from party lists to establish the ballot board, Minnetrista was given the opportunity to scrutinize their past practices and to comply with the law.
As a result, for the first time, the Minnetrista city council has established an absentee ballot board comprised of election judges chosen from the party lists and will not be using city staff to accept/reject absentee ballots.
So why is this such a big deal? Because local government staff, whether from a city or county (both process absentee ballots), care very much about who will serve on their city council, board of county commissioners, state legislature, on up to the Governor and POTUS. They work closely with these elected representatives and develop relationships with them over time. Those relationships, good or bad, create an inherent conflict of interest in the performance of certain election duties that can impact election outcomes. No one would argue they don’t. That’s precisely why our laws require elections judges from different major political parties to be present when absentee ballots are accepted & rejected.
Unfortunately the practice of using local government staff to perform election duties meant for election judges is widespread throughout the state of Minnesota and likely the country.
Other cities’ and counties’ elected representatives need to ask questions of their election administrators to make sure they are complying with the law. There’s still time to get it right before the general election. And that’s a big deal.
I thought emergency orders were for protecting the public from something. I was wrong. Listen to the city of Minnetrista’s attorney from Kennedy & Graven explain:
Got it? If you ask how Minnetrista’s “indefinite” emergency order makes anyone safer you will come up empty. But if you ask how it might help the city get it’s hands on federal taxpayer dollars, well…there’s still time to figure all that out as long as the order stays in place…indefinitely.
The Center of the American Experiment posted the story below asking “Could Cities Extended Emergency Orders for Coronavirus Undermine 2020 Elections?”
Could the municipal emergency order pave the way to position the city to receive federal funds to implement mail-in voting?
Asking questions is a good thing. Election integrity is a good thing. Making sure everyone who is legally entitled to vote can do so knowing their vote will be counted is a good thing. Using a pandemic for political purposes is not.
I had the audacity to vote no on approving a professional services agreement with WSB Engineering that referenced a fifteen year old contract that was not provided to council. Listen to the 3 minutes of challenge that followed:
WSB Engineering, the city’s contracted engineering firm, receives more money from the city than any other vendor yet none of their services are subject to competitive bidding. They advise the city on what projects to do, determine their feasibility, get paid to develop project specifications and then earn “indirect costs” of 20% on many of those projects when awarded. The city has no professional engineering expertise on staff to evaluate WSB’s proposals, studies, specifications or costs. That needs to change. www.ShannonBruceForMayor.com
It’s been well over a month since Mayor Whalen issued the 3 day emergency order for Minnetrista that removed council oversight because of the COVID19 pandemic. The night it was declared it was also extended by the city council indefinitely on recommendation of the city’s legal counsel. Back then there were a lot of unknowns that are now known.
We know the projected death rate of COVID19 has fallen dramatically from what original models predicted. We know that the recovery rate is close to 99%. We know that the vast majority of deaths have been in long term care facilities (Minnetrista has none of these) and to date none of our first responders have been infected according to weekly reports the council receives (one is awaiting test results).
So I asked to add an agenda item to our 5/4 Monday council meeting to discuss rescinding the emergency order in Minnetrista. The order can only stay in force until the council votes to remove it. We are all still under the Governor’s stay-at-home order and I questioned the purpose of even having a local emergency order continue since it has essentially not been needed for anything so far.
The answer was that none of the other cities are rescinding their emergency orders and we don’t know what will happen in the future so it should stay in place. So it seems developing powers of clairvoyance is required. We will have another opportunity to discuss it at our next meeting. www.ShannonBruceForMayor.com
How are you different than our current mayor? That’s a question I’ve been asked frequently and I’d like to answer it here so when Minnetrista residents vote they can do so fully informed. First I’ll speak to who I am not, then to who I am and what my priorities will be.
- First, I am not the mayoral candidate that lied on financial disclosure reports about who donors wrote their checks to. That was the current mayor.
- Second, I am not the mayoral candidate that accepted illegal campaign contributions, one in excess of 10 times the legal limit. That was the current mayor. (Actually that was the reason for lying on the reports…so those illegal contributions wouldn’t be detected).
- Third, I am not the candidate that invoiced the Westonka School District for mayoral campaign mailings. That was the current mayor.
- Fourth, I am not the candidate that was actively involved in an illegal political committee that “corrupted the political process” (judges’ words) in Minnetrista and was sanctioned for it. That was the current mayor.
Who I am is someone that believes the Mayor’s job is to represent Minnetrista residents and their interests above those of vendors, consultants, outside organizations or staff. As Mayor my priorities will be:
- Restoring ethical, transparent leadership. We need a leader that respects our laws and isn’t afraid to call out conflicts of interest.
- Eliminating wasteful spending & prioritizing basic services. We can’t do that if special interests are controlling Minnetrista.
- Protecting residents’ private property rights. Liberty and property rights are a cornerstone of our Constitution.
- Instilling a service oriented culture at city hall.
Minnetrista has been controlled for too long by a small group of very connected, powerful influences that put their interests above the taxpayers. It’s time to make a change. Volunteer or donate at www.ShannonBruceForMayor.com
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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
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!
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.