Community Solutions Podcast- Listener Questions

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In this episode, it’s all about you. Everywhere we go, in our email, on our blog, on social media, we get questions from people who, like we were nine years ago, just waking up to how messed up our local governments are. They take it for granted that because they live in a ‘like-minded” area, that their city, county, and school governments are like minded. Likewise, those who live in an area where they are not in the majority, believe that it is a hopeless, uphill battle. Both of these streams of thought are wrong, and can be overcome with a little sweat equity and desire. We want to share our knowledge with people, because it can be a daunting task to undertake alone. Today, we will answer some of your most popular questions. So, listen in, grab a pen and paper, and think of some of your questions for us. They may hit a future episode of the podcast!

August 16, 2017 at 3:35 pm Leave a comment

ReNae Bowman Should Resign

By Andrew Richter

It was just three short years ago when former Mayor ReNae Bowman’s allies on the Crystal City Council intimidated me to resign from the Planning Commission for telling the truth about a councilman’s behavior. Bowman praised these council members for their “courage” in attacking me. Well, now she is the chair of the Environmental Quality Commission and let’s look at some of her recent comments;

Her first comment was about the Crystal Ball last spring;


I’m sorry….white persons ball? Were there signs that said white only? Talk about delusional…..the council and volunteers work super hard to hold a city gala and get called racist for it. Where is there evidence of racism?

This next beauty is Bowman calling on council members to be held personally liable for the actions of others;


What? Personally responsible? Ms. Bowman you know damn well that the council doesn’t hire and fire officers, nor do they train officers. Police cadet programs are not administered by the city of Crystal. Besides, if you felt so strong about this why didn’t you propose to hold the city council personally responsible when you were the mayor? Opinions sure are different when you and your friends aren’t in charge…..

Her complete and total hatred of Mayor Jim Adams and Council Member Jeff Kolb is obvious here;



Using the mayor’s office for personal gain to grow his business? Where is the evidence of that? Calling Jeff Kolb a creep? OK it’s obvious you hate them but this is beyond hate.

But she saves this doozy for last;


Look at that? She, as the current chair of a commission and as the former mayor, is encouraging residents to falsify a survey. Think about that. How is this acceptable? This conduct can’t go unchallenged.

I publicly call on Ms Bowman to resign. If she refuses I want the city council to vote her out of her position. Let’s apply the same standard to her that was applied to me. I know she will play the victim like she always does but it’s time we stop being intimidated by her. Let’s confront her on her behavior. She is going to hate me, Mayor Adams, and the city council no matter what we do, and she doesn’t deserve the position she holds.

August 11, 2017 at 3:49 pm 1 comment

Community Solutions Podcast- The Budget Process

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In this episode, Andrew and I discuss the process of creating a municipal, county, or school board budget. There’s a lot of smoke and mirrors in the budget process. It’s only a part of the complete financial picture of an entity. Yet, it’s important to understand what goes into a budget, how department budgets are determined, and what that means on your overall tax bill. We discuss all that and more. Summertime is when this whole budget process begins, so what better time to dig in than now!

August 9, 2017 at 12:07 am Leave a comment

Community Solutions Podcast- HUD and Local Government

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In this episode, Jason and Andrew discuss the history and the growing power of the Department of Urban Housing and Development (HUD) over the ability of local governments to effectively govern themselves. From waving around billions of dollars with strings attached, to trying to dictate what kinds of development should go in our comprehensive plans, HUD has a lot to do with it. Affordable housing, equitable housing, high density… HUD has been advising cities create more of it and then provide grants to build it that cities think they can’t live without. HUD may not have the money that the Departments of Defense or the Treasury have, but make no mistake, they have thousands upon thousands of employees and many departments. Like it or not, HUD directly affects your community. How? Listen on!

August 2, 2017 at 1:25 pm Leave a comment

Community Solutions Podcast: Taking Care of Business

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In this episode, Jason and Andrew discuss the finer points of how business gets done on a city level. From the origin of an idea, to how it gets introduced, discussed, and eventually passed. Some cities are active in setting their agendas, other cities just defer to the City Manager. Sometimes there is a power struggle over who sets the agenda. Almost always, however, residents find out and are heard way too late in the process. This episode is a must-listen for anyone that wants to understand how city business is handled and why it is handled like it is.

July 26, 2017 at 3:39 pm Leave a comment

Community Solutions Podcast- The Rise of the Executive Branch

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In this episode, Jason and Andrew talk about the historical function of the executive branch of government, and how it has accumulated power over time. We explain how, through progressive reforms, the executive branch of local government has become the source of new policy in addition to executing it. We expose the networks of un-elected  bureaucrats that drive the creation of the same local laws everywhere. We have a little fun with history, but not without drawing some important connections that show serious flaws in the very foundation and organization of local government. Hopefully it will help spur the wheels of change for your community.

July 19, 2017 at 1:48 pm Leave a comment

Community Solutions Podcast- Of Virtue and Vice

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In this episode, Jason and Andrew discuss the constant beating of the drum to restrict tobacco and alcohol. Cities are passing laws to raise the legal age to buy tobacco, restrict certain kinds of tobacco from being sold, not repealing local ordinances to allow Sunday sales, etc. Why is government always trying to dictate their moral code to us? Who makes them the arbiter of virtue versus vice? Edina, St. Louis Park, and Bloomington are all teaming up with Tobacco21. Ely, MN won’t lift their ordinances to ban Sunday sales. It is part of a larger agenda, and you need to know about it.

July 12, 2017 at 2:41 pm Leave a comment

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