Community Solutions Podcast- History of the Met Council


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In this episode, Jason and Andrew discuss the history of the Metropolitan (or Met) Council. The Met Council was created in 1967, pursuant to federal legislation. It gave the organization the power to manage wastewater treatment networks. It’s powers have grown incrementally by state statute to include transportation, land use, housing, and parks. Do you know if its creation was at the hands of republicans or democrats? Are you sure of that answer? This organization wants to grow from seven counties to eleven. It’s never enough power. This podcast is not only useful if you live in that eleven county area. It is also useful if you live in out-state MN, as you have the Minnesota Association of Development Organizations (MADO) and its ten member regional development organizations doing much of the same work. The legislature must limit its power at the very least, or at the very most #endthemet!

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January 11, 2018 at 1:23 am Leave a comment

Community Solutions Podcast- City Code Task Force


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In this episode Jason and Andrew discuss an idea that they have floated around for a while, the City Code Task Force. What is that, you ask? Well, cities have way too many laws. Some are dictated by state law, some are necessary to the running of a city, some are outdated, some are overly punitive, some are duplicative… So, how do we get get a handle on local ordinances? How do we streamline the rules we are governed by? Some will say to just let it be until an ordinance causes a problem. This however creates an overabundance of laws that we can’t ever hope to understand or follow. It becomes cumbersome, and too easy to break the law. What if residents of a city came together to go over a city’s ordinances and told their government how they want to be governed? Enter the City Code Task Force. This sounds great in theory, but it’s even better in practice. This is our case study from Crystal, MN, who had great success with the Task Force. Now other city’s are asking how to do the same thing. This should be the way things are everywhere. Here is our story.

January 4, 2018 at 12:09 pm Leave a comment

Community Solutions Podcast- Wait, You Can Tax Me Too?


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In this episode, Jason and Andrew discuss all of the different ways you can get taxed other than from the usual sources. We all know about the city, county, and school board levies. But what about transit authorities, watersheds, park districts, regional development commissions… there’s a whole mess of them in Minnesota, and even we were not aware of them all. Your state legislature has approved the creation of these special taxing authorities and districts, giving them power to require money from you… and in most cases, you didn’t even know it. So what are all of these special taxing authorities and districts? How do we keep them accountable? How do we roll back the tide of overwhelming taxes, keeping them accountable? A cup of coffee a day for multiple people gets expensive fast.

December 27, 2017 at 4:13 pm Leave a comment

Community Solutions Podcast- Party Control of Nonpartisan Politics


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In this episode, Jason and Andrew give you some insight into what happens when political parties get involved in nonpartisan politics. Aren’t these elections “supposed” to be nonpartisan? Yet one party has had a massive ground game to fill these local seats for decades, and it has worked. Here is evidence of such action. The DFL (local and Kieth Ellison’s office) and Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation (AFL/CIO) called a secret meeting in our beloved Crystal that we got wind of. Well, we invited everyone to go! This meeting was designed to turn people against the current nonpartisan city council, and look for possible Democrat candidates to run against them in 2018. Well, we kinda threw a wrench in their plans. These seats are supposed to remain local, and not sold to the will of some party machine. Here is an account of some of the things we heard about this meeting. You can be sure that this is also happening where you live. This is how they gain and keep control of these offices.

December 21, 2017 at 7:16 pm Leave a comment

Community Solutions Podcast- We’re Missing the Big Picture


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In this episode, we discuss the common misnomer that you can say that your state is of a political persuasion when you are worried about the state level races and not the local ones. So much money passes through local governmental bodies, and combined, more than at the state level. Regulations that cannot get through state legislatures are being implemented directly at the local level (i.e. increasing minimum wage, raising the minimum age to buy tobacco, ranked choice voting, etc…). We have to start taking nonpartisan races seriously. We have to start filling advisory commissions. Every year that goes by, and we think that these races and appointed seats don’t matter, is another year we miss out on building a solid political foundation. It’s like building a million dollar house on a foundation of crumbling cement block. No matter how sturdy that house looks, it’s being undermined by a foundation that refuses to support the house. Serving in local government is not a lesser job. We have to realize this and fix the problem.

December 14, 2017 at 12:16 pm Leave a comment

On The Up and At ‘Em Show- Episode 332


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We once again joined Jack and Ben on the Up and At “Em show (Episode 332) to tell our story and promote our addition to the PodBabble podcast network! We’re joining a number of other great podcasts about everything from dating to sports, to libertarianism. Feel free to listen to them all… just make sure to listen to ours first! That’s a lot of ways you can now get our podcast. In addition to PodBabble or linking to it on YouTube from here, you can also find it at it’s home on libsyn.com, or by typing “Community Solutions” into iTunes, the Google Play store, or Spotify. No more excuses! Listen. Share. Pay it forward. Thank you so much!

December 11, 2017 at 12:03 am Leave a comment

Community Solutions Podcast- But This is Free Money!


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In this episode, Jason and Andrew are talking about grants. Don’t check out on this one. Grants fund a number of projects in your city, and/or county, and/or park district, and/or school district, etc, etc… These projects are heralded, because someone else is paying for it. It’s “free” money. Is it really free? Who pays for these grants? Are you sure that you don’t? Every grant has strings attached. It pays for all or part of a project being done in a specific way, and is often with disregard to the character, history, or population of the community that is slated to receive the grant. It can be as simple as putting lights on a little league field to as complex as redesigning a city center to meet the environmental “standards” du jour. So tune in and share with your community!

December 7, 2017 at 1:36 am Leave a comment

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