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

Community Solutions Podcast- Is New Hope Out of Control?

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In this episode, Jason and Andrew discuss three distinct issues being discussed by the New Hope City Council: 1) organized garbage hauling, 2) the proposed maximum tax levy for 2017, and 3) the details of the new city hall/police station/fire station/public pool project. New Hope may be completely out of control, but they are not alone. These are three subjects that your city has faced, is facing, or will soon face. It doesn’t matter where you live, this podcast will help you understand your community better. Don’t you go anywhere!




September 7, 2017 at 3:28 am Leave a comment

Community Solutions Podcast- Townships

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In this episode, Jason and Andrew discuss something that may be a little foreign to all you city-dwellers. That is townships. What are they? How are they governed? Are they subject to the cities around them? Are they a bastion of freedom? We’re going to give you the absolute best introduction to townships that you’ve ever had. Sit back, take some notes, and shoot us your questions!

August 30, 2017 at 2:53 pm Leave a comment

Community Solutions Podcast- Do You Have What It Takes?

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In this week’s episode, Andrew and Jason discuss what it takes in order to see success in turning around your city. In the end, the answer is a lot more simple than you might think. A good percentage is just old-fashioned elbow grease. What kinds of things have you got to be willing to do? In addition to what you need to do, what are the intangibles? What characteristics automatically make you a contender? The answer may surprise you. There’s a place for you no matter what your personality or interests. Find out what that might mean for you here. Not everyone is built to be a candidate. One trait will end in failure every time. Come on in and see where you measure up!

August 23, 2017 at 2:10 pm Leave a comment

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