John Budziszewski’s Tries Bowman-Like Cheap Shot

By Andrew Richter

You know, you’d think someone who got 26% of the vote in the primary and came within 8 votes of being ousted would show some humility. Then again, we’re talking about John Budziszewski.

Yesterday on his facebook page he took a cheap shot at the three victorious primary challengers for the city council seats;

Budziszewski: “4th Budget Meeting again no Dahl, no Kolb, no Parsons oh my.”

Nice! What a charmer you are. Why do they have to show up for these meetings? Jeff Kolb has been a regular at council meetings and work sessions for the past two years and has served on the Planning Commission. How can anyone question his dedication? Olga Parsons and Elizabeth Dahl are smart people who have been at many council meetings recently as well. They, unlike the current people running for re-election, will actually bring new ideas to the table and a fresh set of eyes.

This reminds me of former Mayor ReNae Bowman attacking Jim Adams and myself for not showing up to budget meetings back in 2012 (I was knocking on doors trying to talk to residents to take Mayor Bowman’s job for the record). Could this be a similar attack? It’s right out of the Bowman playbook. Anyone wonder who is advising Mr. Budziszewski?

Ward 3 Resident Lynn Haney made the following comment on his page: “My question is this, are residents allowed to speak at these meetings? If not, they may be listening to them online like I do.”

Good point, residents are not allowed to speak and you can listen to the audio but Mr. Budziszewski was having none of it and offered this smart ass response:

Budziszewski: “I’m sorry. I was mistaken. I thought they were seriously running for city counsel with an emphasis on the budget. My bad.”

Nice spelling……I guess nobody can run for the council unless they attend these boring meetings where no new ideas are discussed. Maybe they were out knocking on doors and listening to the audio tapes afterwards. What’s wrong with that?

I’m wondering what Mr. Budziszewski was doing at the budget meeting since he has nothing to offer. He’ll just want to bond the public works building and move money around from other funds to make it “look like” there’s no tax increase hoping we’re dumb enough to fall for it.

Here’s an idea Mr. Budziszewski: how about come up with just one idea, one budget cut, one positive things to say from this alleged “fiscal conservative.” Nah, I’m asking too much.

You can see Mr. Budziszewski’s facebook post before he erases it HERE 

He doesn’t allow people who disagree with him to comment on his page but perhaps you can email your disgust though he never responds;

Maybe you’d like to call him since his phone number is on his facebook page;


Tell him Pat Summerall sent you.


August 28, 2014 at 10:51 am 2 comments

I Can’t Get Those Four Hours Back

By Andrew Richter

OK this is an example of the sacrifices I make to the people who read this blog. I listened to the Crystal City Council’s four-hour August 21 work session, and honestly, my friends it was awful.

It was a horrible way to spend fours. I’d rather have had a root canal, a colonoscopy, watched Best Friends Wedding twice, or read childish rants by a certain former mayor in the paper. It was that bad.

I came away from the meeting with three conclusions;

*There will be no cuts at all

You have to trust me on this folks. There is NO appetite at all on the council for budget cuts. We will have the same amount of employees, they will all get a raise, and nothing will really change. The council is just trying to figure out how they can move money around to make it happen. Of everyone on the council on Ward 3 Councilman Casey Peak offered anything specific and he immediately pounced on. It’s almost as if everyone is just sitting around waiting for someone else to say something.

*The three incumbents running for re-election have no ideas at all

This is a fact; Mark Hoffman, Joe Selton, and John Budziszewski offered nothing. For all their alleged “experience” they offered to new ideas, no cuts, no vision for the future. Their strategy seems to be to sit back and hope someone else says something so they don’t have to. It proves me right again! They are the ones who pushed the 60/40 option for the Mill & Overlay and offered nothing for cuts to pay for the 40% that comes from the budget just like I said they would. Come on John Budziszewski, Mr. no tax raise under any circumstances, where are your ideas?

Of course, if they do come up with any idea, it won’t be for less government. No, it will be to move money around or bond for something (which of course will cost taxpayers even more), anything but cutting government.

*We are getting a tax increase

I don’t care what anyone has pledged the council is looking at a 2-4% tax increase. They have to pass a preliminary budget at the September 2 meeting and they haven’t agreed to one cut yet. We are going to have a tax hike; book it.

If you are to listen to this meeting you can click HERE but just trust me; you don’t want to.

August 25, 2014 at 10:31 am Leave a comment

Everything Is a Political Football

By Andrew Richter

Now I know everything is political but we’ve reached a new level here in Crystal.

Crystal hasn’t had a council meeting in about a month and a lot has happened in that time. We had a debate, a primary election, and of course, my resignation from the Planning Commission. However, it wasn’t until the council meeting on August 19 that my resignation was to be accepted.

Now folks to be honest with you I had completely forgotten about it….that is until I watched the council meeting on August 19.

Mayor Jim Adams read out the Consent Agenda (which is a routine matter) and my resignation was number 4. Mark Hoffman made a motion to accept the agenda and Laura Libby seconded. Just then John Budziszewski made a motion to amend the Consent Agenda to remove number 4 (my resignation). The motion was immediately seconded by Joe Selton. Councilman Budziszewski offered no reasoning for doing this other than he wanted to “vote on it separately.”

The council did so and Budziszewski “abstained” from voting on my resignation. Interestingly, Selton voted to accept it. Why vote for a motion to vote on it separately and then accept it anyway? Perhaps this was coordinated?

OK maybe I’m getting a little paranoid here but, I don’t get it. What is controversial or what does someone hope to gain by “abstaining” from accepting a resignation? Oh well, I have to remember something; everything from here on out, every word said will be politicized, especially if it comes from me.

I just find it funny that they can’t even get through the Consent Agenda without politicizing it.


August 21, 2014 at 4:21 pm Leave a comment

Community Solutions MN Radio Podacst Ep 8

In this episode, we break down the 2014 primary for Crystal, MN. We take a look into the macro and micro data, and historical trends. Follow along and apply these same analysis processes to your own city!

August 21, 2014 at 6:59 am Leave a comment

What Does It Mean To Be A Public Servant?


I just re-read this post I wrote a while back that I think is very important and timely. This is the conversation we need to be having running up to November. Share it with your friends!

Originally posted on Community Solutions MN:

By Jason Bradley

We hear the term “servant” being thrown around a lot in the public sphere. Our elected officials are called “public servants” and the motto of all police departments seem to be “to protect and serve”. Are we seeing the great servants of our time in government… or are we taking for granted a word that should have a lot more meaning than it seems to?

A servant is someone that is in the service of another. Meaning he or she does the bidding of the person (or people) they are in service of. They look to do right by and make happy the person or people that employed them. For those of us not in government, it means that we help our elderly neighbors with clean-up after a storm or snow removal, being a volunteer coach, or working at a soup kitchen. It implies that we are…

View original 1,050 more words

August 15, 2014 at 7:44 am Leave a comment

2014 Primary Results And What They Mean

by Jason Bradley

Well, another primary election has come and gone. Congratulations to those that made it through, and to those that did not, thanks for the good race. I was encouraged to see so many people that got involved in the process. You put yourself out there, and I commend you for that.

Here’s how the much-anticipated races in Crystal broke down:

Section 2-

Olga Parsons- 48.67% (330 votes)

John Budziszewski- 26.25% (178 votes)

Karen Lincoln- 25.07% (170 votes)

Olga handily won this race. John almost was eliminated. Karen ran a strong campaign, and made a big impact. I believe, however, that her presence hurt Olga, and not John. Both campaigns have strong messages about the malaise that is plaguing our Council. John is going to have an uphill battle into November.

Ward 1-

Elizabeth Dahl- 57.61% (246 votes)

Mark Hoffman- 35.60% (152 votes)

Carla McPipe- 6.79% (29 votes)

Elizabeth was the big winner of the night with over 57%. Getting almost 2/3 of the votes in a primary (and almost twice as many as the next contestant) is a very telling sign. Mark has to gain 15 points in 11 weeks. As for Carla, if you are not involved in the community, and are not registered to vote, you will have an uphill climb. People want to know you value the area you look to represent.

Ward 2-

Jeff Kolb- 57.59% (258 votes)

Joe Selton- 28.13% (126 votes)

Randy Rosario- 14.29%(64 votes)

Jeff was right on Elizabeth’s heels percentage-wise, again getting almost 2/3 of the vote and over twice the votes of Joe Selton. Generally, you think that you need to get just over a third of the votes to move past the primary. Joe did not, and that spells trouble for his campaign moving forward. While he made it through the primary, he is going to have a tough time distancing himself from the actions and policies of his wife, ex-Mayor ReNae Bowman. I believe the backlash is still having an effect this election cycle. Randy did a little better than Carla, but his lack of involvement really hurt his campaign.

I took two big things away from this election:

  • The incumbents are in trouble. They received 456 votes, out of 1,553 cast. That is a cumulative 29.36%. I mentioned in my article yesterday that there was a high level of dissatisfaction with the incumbents, evidenced by the number of candidates with a similar message. This proves what I said. You can’t be disrespectful and run roughshod over people forever. Eventually they will get tired of it. I assume that much of the support that was thrown to Lincoln, McPipe, and Rosario will go to the non-incumbents, keeping with the message of their campaigns.
  • Voter participation is still way too low. 1,553 votes were cast. That is such a scant percentage of eligible voters that it’s almost sad. Having our voice heard is the lynch pin to making our republic work. With all of the alternatives available to us, re: early voting and absentee voting, there is no excuse not to vote, other than you don’t care. Voting is one of our most basic responsibilities, and you owe it to yourself and your neighbors to get educated on what is happening in your city, who’s running, what they stand for, and then go tell somebody.

That is why we at Community Solutions MN exist, and why we will continue to battle on, so that you can keep apprised and spread the word. We’re going to have a very exciting run up to November, so strap in and get ready!

August 13, 2014 at 10:36 am Leave a comment


by Jason Bradley

13. That’s the low estimate on how many emails I’ve gotten to vote in today’s primary. I’ve gotten at least four from one single group. How many other e-mails and phone calls have you gotten in the past week? (Maybe even from me?) Is it overload? I can see how so many reminders can get wearisome, but the fact is that most Minnesotans don’t take the primaries seriously. The numbers that vote in primaries are far lower than that of the general election.

How many times have we voted for “the lesser of two evils”? We wouldn’t be forced to vote for anyone based on being less worse than the other candidate if we would just take the 10 minutes to get educated and vote in the primaries. It allows us to choose the best candidates from the existing pool. I’ve got separate thoughts on party politics, endorsement, and primaries that I won’t get into here, but at the local level? This is where we really get to hold people’s feet to the fire.

Take 2012. Incumbent Dave Anderson was knocked out of the primaries. Ex-mayor ReNae Bowman barely skated through. Now, Renae’s endorsed candidates Mark Hoffman, Joe Bowman (sorry, I mean Selton), and John Budziszewski are up for your consideration. There are primaries for each incumbent this time around. Mark hasn’t had an opponent, let alone a primary in a loooong time. There is a clear anti-incumbent sentiment in Crystal these days for various reasons, but a lack of transparency and and respect seem to ring throughout all of the challenger’s mission statements. Crystal is definitely headed in a new resident-sensitive direction, and I’m excited to see what happens tonight.

Now, I don’t want to make you think for a moment that I expect all of the incumbents to lose, but I feel pretty confident we will see close returns and we may see a race or two between two challengers or with an incumbent coming in second place. That will be very telling in the way that the rest of this cycle will go. The question you need to ask yourself? “Has my voice been counted?” See you at the polls!

August 12, 2014 at 4:24 pm Leave a comment

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