December 4 Crystal City Council Meeting Part 1

December 8, 2012 at 12:12 pm 5 comments


OK Andrew Richter back…..I want to now start my series of posts on what happened at the City Council meeting on December 4, 2012.

Now, first off, what brought me to the council meeting was the fact it was supposed to be their annual truth-in-taxation hearing. This is where they attempt to explain the budget and tell you how hard they’ve worked and that there is nothing they can cut without the city going to hell in a hand basket.

I went to the city website to read over the budget the Friday before. One problem, I couldn’t find it. I clicked on “budget” and it went to the 2012 budget not the 2013 “proposed budget.” I also looked at the “news” area of the city’s website and didn’t find any reference to a truth-in-taxation hearing set for December 4. That’s not much transparency.

Finally, on Saturday December 1 the agenda posted. I took a few minutes to read it over. I noticed that item 3 of their regular agenda was a “resolution regarding Crystal’s participation in Minnesota GreenStep program.”

December 4 Agenda

I asked my self “what is the Green Step Program?” I had never heard of it. I had never heard this item discussed and here the council was set to vote on it!  So I spent part of the afternoon doing some research on what the Green Step program was and I was shocked at the content.

I found out that the Green Step Program is being pushed by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. It is an all-encompassing program to force change in our cities. the program covers energy, housing, transit, roads, land use, parks, and economic development. It has 28 “best practices” and hundreds of “sample ordinances.”

Check it out for yourself

Green Step Program

Now forget what you think of global warming (oh excuse me, climate change) and just concentrate on one thing; is it really fair to vote to enter a program that involves all of this with no public discussion whatsoever? I checked the previous agendas of earlier work sessions and all I found was that is was on the “work session agenda” for November 20.

So I called a few friends and had them do some more checking. We only had three days to do something about this. We decided that we had to go to and try to delay this. By Monday night we had about 12 people committed to going to the meeting.

Still, I felt I needed more information. I didn’t want a confrontation with the city council. So on Tuesday morning I email the council, Mayor Bowman, and the city manager Anne Norris. I asked where the hell the budget was and what was up with this Green Step business.

Anne Norris shot back first saying that “the budget” was on the FAQ’s page. It won’t be on the “budget page” until it’s passed. So we have to pass it to find out what is in it. And that the resolution regarding the green step program was to “recognize the conservation and sustainability measures we’ve already taken with various projects as well as those that are already in the works.”

Now that’s bull. This was my response; The resolution plainly says “The Council will consider a resolution regarding Crystal’s participation in Minnesota GreenStep program.” It does not say that you are going to “recognize the conservation and sustainability measures.” This tells me we are going to JOIN other green steps cities. Is that right??

After that Norris admitted that yes we intended to join. Mayor Bowman then chimed in that I was “paranoid” and that I was promoting the “agenda 21 takeover.”

Now I don’t how the conversation veered to that direction but I should have just dropped it at that point. I made the mistake of responding to it. Needless to say, the conversation got way off track. I tried to express my frustration about how all these forms of government advocate the same things; high density housing, transit, more bike paths, more sidewalks, green energy, and so on. I’m worried about who or what is being pushed. I feel I’m not being listened to.

Needless to say I should have just dropped it. The mayor shot back with a diatribe about how I should “move out to the middle of nowhere” and that they are practicing “good government” and that I don’t respect her. My writings are “vengeful” and that she’s the “victim”. I also listen to too much Glen Beck.

That’s the background.

Stay tuned for part 2…….

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Entry filed under: Agenda 21, City Government, Crystal, Environment. Tags: .

Who Are We, Why Are We Here- An Addendum Hidden Agendas Part I

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Paul Seefeld  |  December 8, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    Why does she feel like she is always being attacked, and takes everything so personal? Glad to see her going!

    Reply
    • 2. Josh Gregovich  |  December 11, 2012 at 6:51 pm

      I asked her that question on facebook, she says she doesn’t take things personally. When I gave her examples of this happening she erased my posts and banned me from making comments on her page.

      And then she wonders how she lost the election….I hope the door hits her on the way out…

      Reply
  • 3. michaelclibby  |  December 10, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    When I look at the GreenStep model ordinances it looks to me like a lot of them actually increase your freedoms. They ensure that there is a way for home-owners to install solar or have non-traditional yards (lots of gardens or native vegetation). Or helping to keep cities safe/accessible to pedestrians. Lots of people, for whatever reason, cannot just drive everywhere. But their work and taxes help pay for the infrastructure of the city that other residents and businesses rely on. It makes sense to be inclusive for that reason.

    But as for the 2013 budget… seems to me that recently the city has wiped a lot of good stuff off their web site and that a 2013 budget was one of those things… I swear I’d seen it there. Which I don’t get why they wouldn’t make more information available.

    We don’t agree on a lot of issues, but thanks for keeping Bowman’s and Norris’ feet to the fire!

    Reply
    • 4. communitysolutionsmn  |  December 10, 2012 at 5:32 pm

      We probably agree on more than you think! For instance, energy self-sustainability is a great idea. Giving home owners more freedom over the choices they make on their property is essential. I argue, however, that if you are tasking government with the responsibility of administrating these things, the individual is relieved of freedom, because the government has made the choice for us. The power must reside with the individualo. In cases where the City must decide (sidewaks and such), the power to choose must be with the City, not another structure outside of it. When we pass on the ability to make decisions ourselves, we give our liberty away. Choices must stay local for that reason. We have the power to make these decisions ourselves. To become a “Green Step City” we need to implement a certain number of their proposals. I’m just saying we need to do what’s best for Crystal, because we decide it’s good for Crystal.

      Thanks for the kudos!

      Reply
  • 5. Tom Mathias  |  December 11, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    First of all, Mayor Bowman will be attending her final meeting soon. Congratulations! I am not at all surprised they don’t have the budget up on their site. If it is like Robbinsdale’s budget it probably comes in a 3 or 4 inch thick binder. A municipal budget is a big thing with individual sections for each department with line item listing of everything they plan to spend money on. They have probably never had anyone ask to read it. That probably includes Mayor Bowman. She gets a copy and is expected to read and understand it.

    Reply

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