Mayor Bowman and the Truth About Crystal Airport


I’d like to take a moment to reintroduce you to our challenger for Crystal mayor, ReNae Bowman. She’s got a long record to help us know exactly who she is. Here is one such article from 2012. It contrasts what she would say depending on her audience. It’s important to know the difference between who she says she is, and who she really is. This is an important election. Study well!

Community Solutions MN

During the Crystal Mayor’s debate, Mayor Bowman made the assertion that she fully supported the Crystal Airport, going as far as coupling an active airport with a public amusement park (good luck getting the FAA on board with that…). This is a ridiculous statement.

Let’s not even go into the obvious; that the airport is still listed on the City’s redevelopment plan. Any local news outlet should have been able to look into that, but hasn’t bothered. Let’s take it a step further, and do some old fashioned investigative journalism. The Crystal Airport is held up only by the Metropolitan Airport Commission (MAC), who owns the property. I happened upon the transcripts of MAC meetings from November 7 through December 17, 2007, where Mayor Bowman voices how she really feels about the Crystal Airport. While Community Solutions does not endorse candidates, we will report on newsworthy items we see happening…

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September 23, 2016 at 10:11 pm Leave a comment

My Official Acceptance


By Andrew Richter

I am happy to accept this appointment;

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Sept. 20, 2016

CITIZENS LEAGUE ANNOUNCES NEW TRANSIT STUDY COMMITTEE
Is there a better way to govern, plan, and fund a transit system to strengthen the region?

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – The Citizens League is convening a new study committee to look at transit in the region through the lens of governance, policy, and funding. The study committee will be chaired by Peter Bell, former Met Council chair. Ann Lenczewski, former legislator and chair of the Minnesota House Tax Committee, will serve as vice-chair.

This focus on transit—defined broadly to include all modes—is the result of a more general study of the Met Council that the Citizens League completed earlier this spring with a 19-member task force of community members. In that final report, the task force reported that while experts maintained that the region’s system of transit governance, planning, operating, and funding worked well despite its seemingly fragmented and complex nature, there remained important questions related to accountability and transparency, efficiency and effectiveness, and equity. Given the limited time the previous group had to review these issues, it recommended that the Citizens League undertake a separate study.

“As our transit system continues to expand it is important to make sure that our funding structure is adequate, equitable, sustainable, and transparent,” said Peter Bell.

“Almost everyone agrees that we do not currently have a sustainable system for addressing long-term transit needs related to both workforce changes and aging,” said Sean Kershaw, Citizens League Executive Director. “In the last session, transit funding questions ultimately prevented a number of other funding and policy issues from being addressed. Instead of limping along, we want to study the current system to see if there could be a better way to plan for a stronger region now and in the future.”

Through recommendations and an open call to all Citizens League members, the new transit study committee will include the following members:

Chair and Vice-Chair
· Mr. Peter Bell, Former Metropolitan Council Chair (2003-2011) (Chair)
· Ms. Ann T. Lenczewski, State Government Relations, Lockridge Grindal Nauen and former Minnesota House of Representative, Chair of Tax Committee (Vice-Chair)

Members
1. Mr. Abou Amara, Director of Public Policy, Neighborhoods Organizing for Change
2. Mr. Michael Beard, Scott County Commissioner, District 3 and former legislator
3. Mr. Bill Blazar, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Business Development, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce
4. Mr. Patrick Born, former Regional Administrator, Metropolitan Council and current Citizens League Board Member
5. Mr. James Erkel, Attorney and Director of the Land Use and Transportation Program, Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy
6. Mr. Ethan Fawley, Executive Director, Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition and member of Transportation Advisory Board
7. Ms. Mary Giuliani Stephens, Mayor of Woodbury
8. Ms. Elizabeth Glidden, Vice President and Council Member (Ward 8), Minneapolis City Council.
9. Mr. Jason Grev, Director of Government Relations, Ecolab, Inc.
10. Ms. Mary Liz Holberg, Dakota County Commissioner, District 6 and former legislator
11. Ms. Nancy Tyra-Lukens, Mayor of Eden Prairie
12. Mr. Scott McBride, Transportation District Engineer, Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT)
13. Mr. Jim McDonough, Ramsey County Commissioner, District 6
14. Mr. Peter McLaughlin, Hennepin County Commissioner, District 4 and Chair, Counties Transit Improvement Board
15. Ms. Kenya McKnight, President, Black Women’s Wealth Alliance and member of the Transportation Advisory Board
16. Mr. Vayong Moua, Director, Health Equity Advocacy, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota
17. Mr. Andrew Richter, organizer for Community Solutions MN, former planning commission member for City of Crystal and former chair of the Crystal city code task force
18. Mr. William Schreiber, former legislator and retired lobbyist with Messerli and Kramer
19. Ms. Patty Thorsen, Member of the Transportation Accessibility Advisory Committee, Metropolitan Council

The transit study committee will take on this effort this month with the goal to release a report by February 1st to inform the 2017 legislative session. 

Well my friends I know some of you probably think I’m crazy for accepting this appointment but unless sceptics of transit get their feet wet at this level we will never change things. I want to thank the Citizens League for this appointment and for their willingness to bring in transit opponents. Look for my updates very soon!

September 20, 2016 at 7:44 pm 1 comment

Bowman’s Public Works Building Flip-Flop


By Andrew Richter

Now, I have to say that I’ve never seen the financing of a building get so much attention in an election but the Angry Bird/Sour Grapes candidates continue to advocate that borrowing should have been done to pay for the new Public Works Building in Crystal. None more so than former mayor ReNae Bowman. Here are the comments from her website:

I would have bonded for at least $10 million dollars to preserve other accounts and interest income.

OK everyone got that? Bonded for AT LEAST $10 million (meaning that would have been the minimum) with of course the interest payments for 15 or 20 years that go along with it that she doesn’t mention.

But, Bowman was singing a different tune back when she was the outgoing mayor in 2012. There were no worries then about our cash reserves, or bond rating, or interest income. In this Mayor’s Minutes from December 3, 2012, Bowman brags that she did such a great job, the public works building could mostly be paid for “upfront.”

So what’s changed? Why was it great to pay for the public works building upfront in 2012 and horrible to do it in 2015?

I think what changed was the political landscape. Bowman and her friends aren’t in charge anymore and she hates the current mayor and council so much that she simply HAS to criticize whatever they do. What else could it be?

Bowman’s Quote

September 19, 2016 at 8:27 am 1 comment

Despicable Bowman Rips City Code Task Force


By Andrew Richter

To show the contempt ReNae Bowman has for the current mayor, city council, and the people who volunteer to serve on committees check this out:

$90,000 in legal fees to move periods and semi-colons around in the code book.  When I was mayor, we knew we had obsolete codes, but if they are not posing a problem, why spend the money? During my time in office, if there was a problem with a code, we fixed it, if not, the code book was left alone.  I don’t believe in spending money on things that do not improve or sustain the good life in Crystal.  This was an empty attempt to look like work was being conducted. 

She is speaking about the City Code Task Force which I used to chair. She’s basically making fun of our work trying to change and modernize the Crystal City Code. I can tell you that me and all the committee members took great pride in our work and spent hours trying to eliminate codes, change them, reword them, and come up with ideas to make them better. We didn’t move around semi-colons and periods. This idea was great and innovative as no other cities to my knowledge have done this. Instead of waiting for city staff to do something, Mayor Adams and the council took the initiative and got citizens involved in their own changing the city code they have to live by.

I can’t tell you how offensive I find this. This is just despicable, even for Bowman. She could have volunteered to be on this task force or dragged her ass to a meeting or done something about the city code when she was the mayor but no she’d rather sit at home in her underwear and make fun of our work.

What a disgusting human being.

Bowman’s Garbage

September 16, 2016 at 2:22 pm 2 comments

New Hope Proposes 10.68% Tax Increase


By Andrew Richter

The bad news for New Hope citizens just never ends. After a 7.04% increase in the levy last year and a doubling of the franchise fee, Mew Hope isn’t done. They are proposing a 10.68% tax increase for 2017!

1) Fund balance maintains close to 45% of expenditures if this budget is maintained

2) Overall levy increase is 10.68%. Prior year increase was 7.04%

3) LGA to be used for equipment replacement savings – not general operations

You can see it in the next council packet conveniently located on HERE page 45 LOL

When are you people in New Hope going to throw the bums out?

September 12, 2016 at 8:20 am 1 comment

Bowman Lies About Jim Adams’s Attendance At Blue Line Meetings


By Andrew Richter

Angry Bird/Sour Grapes Mayoral candidate ReNae Bowman is at it lying yet again; this time in a comment in the Sun Post:

Bowman: Most important is that citizens should look at Mayor’s Adams attendance record at the Blue Line’s core committee meetings. These were the meetings where the needs and design desires of the community were discussed with project leadership. It is difficult to communicate those needs if one does not show up. The current mayor and the council liaison to this committee attended only half of these meetings. Crystal residents were never properly represented at these meetings. If this council feels it was ignored, they themselves should try showing up and participating in the process or at the least be transparent enough to tell us why they are not attending. I believe the attendance records are a matter of public record.

Yes Ms. Bowman, they are! They are right HERE

There are 19 meetings that have minutes we can access and Mayor Adams has attended 13 of the 19 meetings which is better attendance than most people on that committee. The former Mayor either can’t count or she’s relying nobody to do any fact checking.

Sorry Ms. Bowman, you won’t get away with your lies here….

Sun Post Article 

 

September 8, 2016 at 9:11 am 2 comments

Southwest Chaos; What it Will Cost You?


By Candace Oathout

So I have been watching the machinations that are being used to fund the Southwest Light Rail project. A project that lacks popular support. The immediate DFL fomented “crisis” is that the “evil” republican majority in the Minnesota State Legislature who passed both a bonding bill and a budget BEFORE the end of Session is that they are somehow obstructing the workings of government. Never mind that Governor Dayton vetoed the budget and the Senate threw in a last minute amendment to the bonding bill that was not even presented for consideration until the last 30 minutes of the Session. It’s not their fault, no they tried really hard, they really, really did.

And of course the socialists at Hennepin County are on board:

Hennepin County, partners bridge state’s funding gap for Southwest LRT Hennepin County will increase its funding commitment to the Southwest Light Rail Transit project, helping to bridge a funding gap left by the Minnesota Legislature. Acting as the Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority, the Hennepin County Board voted Tuesday in a special meeting to increase its share of the project by $20.5 million, for a total funding commitment of $185 million, or 10 percent of the project’s capital costs.

The incestuous relationships that are the HCRRA and the Hennepin County Board keeps all state funding in the hands of very few decision makers neatly bypassing the voters and local community leaders.

Combined with a similar proposed increase by the Counties Transit Improvement Board and a promise by the Metropolitan Council to raise $103.5 million in Certificates of Participation – a financing tool used previously by the Met Council and the state – the county’s additional infusion is helping the project bridge the $144.5 million funding gap left by the state, and fulfilling the federally mandated local share. In previous years, the Legislature has contributed some funding to this project, about 1 percent. The Metropolitan Council has indicated it will wait until July 2017 to issue the certificates, in hope that a different session of the Legislature will be able to move the funding forward.

Isn’t it interesting that this “crisis” in funding that HAS to be settled RIGHT NOW will not actually have the Metropolitan Council’s participation until JULY 2017?

Shouldering the state’s share

Regional Railroad Authority Chair Peter McLaughlin agreed with comments from others on the board that it was unfair for the county to have to shoulder what should have been the state’s share. “This is not a perfect solution but it reflects a willingness by local government to act after legislative inaction,” he said. “Today’s vote keeps the project moving forward, it avoids costly delays, and it nails down missing pieces needed for the federal application that will bring more than $900 million to Hennepin County.”

Mr. McLaughlin seems to be suffering from the delusion that he has the authority and power to tell the elected Legislature what to do.

This action, coupled with tomorrow’s votes at CTIB and the Met Council ensure that the project can move forward to request matching funds from the Federal Transit Administration.

Bringing value to the region

The value of a well-integrated transit system – cars, buses, trains – exceeds the investment, in terms of connecting people with jobs, improving the environment and increasing economic competitiveness, said County Board Chair Jan Callison. “I don’t think the state of Minnesota can buy those advantages for $144 million with anything but transit,” she said.

Well it could repair or replace 144 miles of lanes to relieve congestion in the Twin Cities couldn’t it?

Already, 90 percent of the engineering and design is complete for Southwest Light Rail Transit, which runs from downtown Minneapolis to Eden Prairie. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2017. The project is expected to begin passenger service as an extension of the METRO Green Line in 2021.

Currently we have about $149 million “invested in SWLRT about 1/10 the of the total cost of construction and BEFORE OPERATIONAL COSTS!

The Counties Transit Improvement Board and the Metropolitan Council will vote on their increased shares later this week.

September 1, 2016 at 12:57 pm Leave a comment

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