Community Solutions Podcast- When Wild Mayors Attack

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In this episode, Jason and Andrew sit down for a follow-up discussion with New Brighton Council Member Gina Bauman and city council hopeful, Sue Erickson. This is an important podcast no matter where you live, because this is really what goes on in so many city councils, especially when the existing power structure gets challenged. We start out talking about some existing city issues and the upcoming election, which tells us a lot about the existing climate in the city, but then Gina drops a bombshell. Mayor Val Johnson tries to set up her own Diversity Task Force without even consulting the rest of the city council until this point. She already has hand-selected her task force members. Long story short, Council Member Bauman calls her on it and Mayor Johnson becomes unhinged. You need to hear her tell the story first, but you will still want to see it for yourself. You can see the work session video here.  Ever since the city was called out on violating state statute on changing election years from odd to even, Mayor Johnson has taken off the gloves. There’s no room for bullies on a city council. New Brighton needs a mayor with some humility.


October 11, 2017 at 12:45 pm Leave a comment

Community Solutions MN- What Happens When Nobody Votes

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This show may be about Golden Valley, MN, but indirectly it is also about your city. You see… your city or school board elections might have terrible turnout. That allows them, in a way, to do what they want to with little accountability. They know people won’t mobilize to vote them out. This is the tale of such a city, and there are many like them. Maybe your city has great turnout, but the city council still does crazy things like assembling “green” task forces to justify what they want to do, implementing life cycle housing without market demand, or creating mixed used development where it doesn’t belong. Either way, this podcast is for you, as we hope to open your eyes and give you some ideas to beat back the barbarians at the gate.

October 5, 2017 at 2:47 am Leave a comment

Community Solutions Podcast- Round and Round

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In this episode, Jason and Andrew discuss the new American phenomenon that is sweeping the countryside: roundabouts! I know, the thought of them makes you shout for joy… ok, maybe not for joy, but they do make you shout. We’re going to tell you all about where they came from, the theory behind them, and why they are popping up everywhere. Whether you live in the city or in a rural area, your local government has discussed them or has actually built them. This is an important conversation we need to have now, because the others are having it, and will not stop their agenda willingly.

September 29, 2017 at 1:44 am Leave a comment

Community Solutions Podcast- Of Debt and Borrowing

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In this episode, Jason and Andrew discuss various ways that cities incur debt. We illustrate how bonding works, and why you pay more for a bonded project than they tell you that you do. We also explain Tax Increment Financing (TIF) and how it is a game of playing favorites. Both of these types of financing have grown over time, and you need to understand how it affects you.

September 20, 2017 at 3:54 pm Leave a comment

Robbinsdale Plays Follow the Leader

By Andrew Richter

For years here we’ve been telling you how cities are the world’s biggest copy cats. The city of Robbinsdale is proving us right! From the Sun Post;

The Robbinsdale City Council is reviewing the city’s tobacco regulations, specifically as it relates to the substance’s accessibility to minors. The council last reviewed the regulations in 2014, following 2013 updates to policies after the introduction of e-cigarettes to the market.

City Manager Marcia Glick said the county’s health department periodically contacts the city to discuss possible gaps in regulation specific to new products that arrive on the market, and to address youth access to those products. In May, the county contacted city staff after Edina increased its age limit for purchasing tobacco products

So in other words, Robbinsdale is taking marching orders from the county. What happened to representing Robbinsdale? Who cares if Edina did something? Why is that a reason for Robbinsdale to do this?

The council entered discussions about potential ordinance updates in June. In mid-July, the council authorized enlisting the aid of the Public Law Center to review the city’s current tobacco ordinances and to help prepare the suggested changes. The council has since met with tobacco vendors to discuss the proposed updates, and will soon host a public hearing about the issue.

The suggested amendments to the city’s tobacco regulations, intended to reduce youth access to products, include:

– Updating the license application to include a section that collects information to investigate whether the applicant has had previous sales violations related to licensed products, which would add a basis for denying a license for offenders;
– Updating the city’s code to conform to state statutes;
– Considering raising the city’s legal age to purchase tobacco from 18 to 21;
– Restricting the sale of flavored products (excluding menthol, mint and wintergreen) to vendors who only sell products to ages 21 and older, and those who derive at least 90 percent of their sales from licensed products;
– Requiring a minimum price and package size for cigars, with proposals for a five-pack minimum at $13, or a single cigar at $4;
– Requiring child-resistant packaging for liquids that contain nicotine;
– Deferring to state law for underage use, possession, or purchase and eliminating local penalties;
– Adding a penalty for anyone underage using false identification.

So the city wants to price fix, raise the smoking age, and increase penalties. Why? What is the problem? What Robbinsdale resident has brought these concerns to you? Or are you just doing something because someone else is? This is not representing We the People!

A public hearing is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 26, in the council chambers at City Hall, 4100 Lakeview Ave. N. The public is welcome to attend and voice opinions and concerns.

Yeah like a decision to do this hasn’t already been made.


September 19, 2017 at 4:38 pm Leave a comment

Up and at ‘Em Show 274

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Here’s an interview we just did with Jack and Ben on the Up and at ‘Em show, Episode 274. We discuss the importance of building a farm team and and why we need a strategic approach to long term success in Minnesota. Enjoy!


September 18, 2017 at 6:25 pm Leave a comment

Community Solutions Podcast- Introduction to Counties

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In this episode Jason and Andrew are fresh off speaking to a group in the Metro area, and decide to have a late-night sit down to discuss county government. Counties are often the least publicized form of government, but handle tons of money, make sweeping regulations, and push for big infrastructure projects. It’s time to become more aware of what a County Commission does, so that we can keep them more accountable.

September 14, 2017 at 1:14 pm Leave a comment

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