Shark-MADO is Running Loose


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I don’t care where you live in Minnesota, you live under some form of regional government. A handful of places are governed by Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO’s), like the Metropolitan Council in the Twin Cities seven county metro area. Most of the rest of the state falls under one of ten Regional Development Organizations (RDO’s). Each of these RDO’s are charged with increasing economic development in their area, but that takes on a whole slew of causes with it, including housing availability, transit, broadband, water quality, the arts, bike trails, and walkability. How do all of these RDO’s maintain the same goals and strategies across the state? All ten of these organizations are contained under the Minnesota Association of Development Organizations (MADO). MADO is like a master group over these ten RDO’s that sets a framework of statewide goals through their Develop MN 2016 Plan. This plan has shaped comprehensive plans in cities all over the state. We argue that all areas of the state of Minnesota are not created equal, and should be allowed to decide what’s in their own best interest. Find out all about who they are and what they are asking of Greater Minnesota.

Also we discuss the plan for District 281 (Robbinsdale Schools) to implement another referendum on top of the two, ten year levy items that were passed four years ago to support their new money making scheme, I mean their new Unified District Vision. This is some of the worst financial management we’ve seen in a long time, and we discuss it in the local lowdown.

Have you checked out our Spotify playlist? At the beginning of each episode Jason quotes some song lyrics that have to do with the subject matter of the podcast. Andrew never knows what they are, but now he can… and so can you! We’ve launched the Spotify playlist: “Community Solutions Music From the Podcast“! You can listen to Roundabout from Yes after listing to Episode 30 on Roundabouts… or kick back and enjoy a rocking playlist just for the thrill of it. We add a new song every week. Subscribe and enjoy!

Don’t forget that you can also subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, and Spotify, or go out to the PodBabble Podcast Network!

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June 13, 2018 at 9:43 am Leave a comment

Crystal City Candidate Julia Hill Threatens to “Clothesline Kids”


By Andrew Richter

You know it wouldn’t be the political season unless we have a fight in Crystal. There is now an open seat in Ward 2 as Jeff Kolb is not seeking re-election. One of the folks running for that seat is Julia Hill.

Ms. Hill has long made negative comments about yours truly, of which I can handle. Hatred is something you just have to live with in politics. Her comments about others, though, are going to be fair game here. She tried to “whitewash” or “scrub” her Facebook page recently, but she wasn’t quick enough. We’ve got some good stuff and I’d like to start with this;

OK now I would not advocate that kids run at dogs. That can be dangerous, but what kind of conduct is it to threaten to “clothesline” them? Then she calls them “little assholes?” Wow that’s classy. What’s going to happen when you are at a council meeting and a citizen disagrees with you? Are you going to threaten to clothesline them and call them an asshole? Even if Ms. Hill isn’t serious, and I sure hope she isn’t, it’s not very funny. She could have simply asked kids to not run at her dogs, couldn’t she have? And by the way, the word God should be capitalized.

The post was shared by our former mayor who says she “loved the public service announcement.” Once again, a whole lot of class here. Ms. Hill will probably now play the victim and try to somehow turn this around on me. Well, they are your words Ms. Hill not mine, I just have bigger audience than you.

Judge for yourself folks, the campaign had just begun…..

June 7, 2018 at 4:49 pm Leave a comment

The Real Scoop at the MNGOP Convention


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Well, here we sit at the MNGOP 2018 state convention in Duluth. This is kind of surreal, as I used to door guard and usher in this building (the old Duluth Arena) for concerts, circuses, the Ice Capades, and (most importantly) UMD Bulldog hockey games. I know, I know… I was a St. Scholastica grad, but I grew up watching the Dogs, so I just needed to employ some cognitive dissonance.

It’s also strange to be sitting in the press pit after so many years spent on the floor of these things. No sudden urges to consent “aye” though. Our take is going to be a little different than most other outlets. Sure, I could tell you all about what’s happening right now as I’m listening to Mayor Randy Gilbert talk about endorsing Mary Guiliani-Stevens… but you can probably hear about all of that stuff from everyone else sitting in this area.

Then why are we here? There is a whole other story here. It is one of the two largest gatherings of political activists in the state (one being Republican and the other being Democrat). There are people here that are running for city councils, county commissions, school boards, soil and water conservation boards, sheriff… and it’s important to tell their story too.

We’ve been wandering around here since Friday, and have had people coming up to me and saying “I’m running! Now what?” We’ve also heard from those that have said, “I’ve been looking everywhere for someone that does local, Minnesota news. I’m so glad to have found you!”

In this episode, we interview some folks we knew (or met) that are running for nonpartisan offices around the state. Get introduced to John Ulrick, Paul Knier, Paul Seefeld, Derek Nelson, and Stacy Braun. They are all running for different offices, so it’s a great look into the different kind of positions available out there where you can give back to your community. We also take some time to break down the caucus/convention process and weigh it against primaries. It’s a bit longer than the average installment, but we think you are going to enjoy this one.

Have you checked out our Spotify playlist? At the beginning of each episode Jason quotes some song lyrics that have to do with the subject matter of the podcast. Andrew never knows what they are, but now he can… and so can you! We just launched the Spotify playlist: “Community Solutions Music From the Podcast“! You can listen to Roundabout from Yes after listing to Episode 30 on Roundabouts… or kick back and enjoy a rocking playlist just for the thrill of it. We add a new song every week. Subscribe and enjoy!

Don’t forget that you can also subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, and Spotify, or go out to the PodBabble Podcast Network!

June 6, 2018 at 12:41 pm Leave a comment

Bringing Home The Bacon


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The Minnesota Legislature had been arguing over a $825 million bonding bill that looked to fund all sorts of great projects all over the state. From pet projects in Brooklyn Park to Minneapolis, Rochester, Duluth, Dayton, Inver Grove Heights, Warroad (and the list goes on and on)… money is being spent like they’re printing it. $122 million was included in affordable housing money. Housing is a local issue, even though the Met Council tries to orchestrate how it looks. A large sum was given to local roads. Money was given to the Met Council to dole out in grants. Where does it end? It doesn’t matter what party is in control. They both spend money like drunken sailors, and that’s an insult to drunken sailors. How do we stop this? Where are the elected representatives with any sense of principles or responsibility to their constituents’ money? Does it even matter who we elect? Whether this bill passes in the end, or Gov Dayton vetoes it, you see where the legislature’s priorities are. I’d put my bet on pork futures after listening to this podcast.

In the Local Lowdown, we discuss the recent creation of a Racial Equity Plan in Edina. (Spoiler Alert for a future podcast: Edina is only one of several cities in Minnesota that are creating these… and it’s driven by a national special interest group.) This stems from an incident in Edina where a minority pedestrian was handcuffed by police. In a city that is 88% white, they want to see more minorities involved in city government, matching higher Hennepin County percentages. They also want to change the housing policies to recruit more minorities to come live in Edina. It is a strange experiment in social engineering and social justice that needs some further investigation.

Have you checked out our Spotify playlist? At the beginning of each episode Jason quotes some song lyrics that have to do with the subject matter of the podcast. Andrew never knows what they are, but now he can… and so can you! We just launched the Spotify playlist: “Community Solutions Music From the Podcast“! You can listen to Roundabout from Yes after listing to Episode 30 on Roundabouts… or kick back and enjoy a rocking playlist just for the thrill of it. We add a new song every week. Subscribe and enjoy!

Don’t forget that you can also subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, and Spotify, or go out to the PodBabble Podcast Network!

May 30, 2018 at 10:12 am 1 comment

What We’re Up Against


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Have you ever wondered why the all of these special interest groups seem so well funded and so organized? All the while, we can’t seem to rub two nickles together for our side of the argument. Are we really that outnumbered? Not according to the conversations we have with people. So, how does the vocal minority have so much money? Well, rich people give money to large foundations that, in the name of doing good, have turned around and given millions upon millions of dollars to groups like  Planned Parenthood, Smart Growth for America, Green Step Cities, Zero Population Growth, etc.

How do we counteract all of this money? We discuss some ideas, but I think that with a little education (like what’s found in this podcast), people with money might reconsider what they are funding.

Have you checked out our Spotify playlist? At the beginning of each episode Jason quotes some song lyrics that have to do with the subject matter of the podcast. Andrew never knows what they are, but now he can… and so can you! We just launched the Spotify playlist: “Community Solutions Music From the Podcast“! You can listen to Roundabout from Yes after listing to Episode 30 on Roundabouts… or kick back and enjoy a rocking playlist just for the thrill of it. We add a new song every week. Subscribe and enjoy!

Don’t forget that you can also subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, and Spotify, or go out to the PodBabble Podcast Network!

May 23, 2018 at 1:19 pm Leave a comment

Reigning in the Met Council


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There are 408 Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO’s) in the United States. Only one, our own Metropolitan Council, is made up entirely of appointed individuals. Representative Jason Lewis (R- CD2), is trying to pass an amendment to make the Met Council conform to the other 407 MPO’s, by electing at least some of their members. This sounds like a great opportunity, and conservatives everywhere seem to be hailing this as the most amazing thing since Jell-o Pudding Pops. We don’t want to let anyone have powers of taxation without representation. We argue that while the intent of this amendment is good, that it might hurt the cause of limiting or eliminating the Met Council. We cannot take our eye off the ball here. We discuss why.

Also, we talk about Minnetonka’s new master plan for the Ridgedale area in this week’s Local Lowdown (Ridgedale: A Vision for 2035). It’s complete with high-density housing, mixed use development, managed access points with roundabouts, biking, walking, greenways, etc. It’s a city planner’s utopia. We discuss the project, the plan, and the propaganda being used to sell it to the public.

Have you checked out our Spotify playlist? At the beginning of each episode Jason quotes some song lyrics that have to do with the subject matter of the podcast. Andrew never knows what they are, but now he can… and so can you! We just launched the Spotify playlist: “Community Solutions Music From the Podcast“! You can listen to Roundabout from Yes after listing to Episode 30 on Roundabouts… or kick back and enjoy a rocking playlist just for the thrill of it. We add a new song every week. Subscribe and enjoy!

Don’t forget that you can also subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, and Spotify, or go out to the PodBabble Podcast Network!

May 16, 2018 at 1:36 pm Leave a comment

A Case Study in Party Over People


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It’s nothing new. If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a million times, local races are supposed to be nonpartisan, because the issues are so close to the people, that there is no room for allegiance to a party platform. The community should always come first. Parties, however, always demand allegiance. Nowhere do we see this blind fealty any more than in St. Louis Park, MN. Now if you’re in the other 852 cities in Minnesota… this is not your cue to tune out. St. Louis Park is leading the way with a ton of bad legislation that you need to be able to recognize before it comes your way. They have implemented Tobacco 21, warrantless rental inspections, bike lanes galore, planned housing, mixed use development, MN Green Step, etc. They are also making plans around racial equity, facilitating the Southwest Rail line, landlord-funded relocation fees, and Ranked Choice Voting.

That leads us to the second reason you need to care: Mayor Jake Spano is not only the mayor of St. Louis Park. He is also the deputy Secretary of State, involved with the National League of Cities, League of MN Cities, and other groups that will take these policies they are implementing and push them on your city’s staff and elected officials. This city is an important Democratic stronghold in this state, both as a testing ground for local ordinances and for selling them to the rest of the unsuspecting state.

Have you checked out our Spotify playlist? At the beginning of each episode Jason quotes some song lyrics that have to do with the subject matter of the podcast. Andrew never knows what they are, but now he can… and so can you! We just launched the Spotify playlist: “Community Solutions Music From the Podcast“! You can listen to Roundabout from Yes after listing to Episode 30 on Roundabouts… or kick back and enjoy a rocking playlist just for the thrill of it. We add a new song every week. Subscribe and enjoy!

Don’t forget that you can also subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, and Spotify, or go out to the PodBabble Podcast Network!

May 9, 2018 at 9:58 am Leave a comment

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