The Strange Case of the Truth and the Crystal Mayor Race
In a recent post in her blog, current Crystal Mayor, ReNae Bowman, said the following “I hate a liar, I have never lied to get elected. My belief is that if a candidate is willing to lie to get elected, what will they be willing to lie about after they are elected.”
Does she hate a liar? Let’s take a look at one item, and see if her claims hold up. After all, if you’re willing to lie once, the burden of proof is on you to prove you won’t do it again. Before her first term, Mayor Bowman came campaigning at our National Nite Out party. She was asked about the rumor she wanted to do away with the Crystal Airport (the airport is in our neighborhood). She reassured us that there were no plans to get rid of the airport. She has also stated in many City Council meetings and in debates that she is in favor of the airport, and that, again, there are no plans to get rid of the airport. If ReNae is as honest as she claims to be, then there is no way I can prove differently. Is this all empty conjecturing? Well let’s first look at the City website. If you were to look up Area 1 of Crystal’s re-development plan, the Crystal airport is listed. OK, maybe ReNae is the lone voice of dissention. Please see the following articles and let me know how you think she feels about the airport.
These articles sure don’t paint a picture of a mayor that is trying to convince MAC to keep the airport open. In fact, it’s exactly the opposite. She belittled members of the commission to try and coerce them into shutting it down. Remember, whether MAC closes the airport or not is not the issue. Her intent to close it, should MAC ever relinquish control, is the issue. It is her intent that creates a discrepancy with her words. Her words fall short of the truth (or in other words, is a lie).
In the Mayor’s own words, “I have never lied to get elected. My belief is that if a candidate is willing to lie to get elected, what will they be willing to lie about after they are elected.” If she told people in the Skyway community that there were no plans to close the airport, which was a lie, then her recent statement about never lying to get elected is a lie. Maybe we can help answer her question about if someone is willing to lie to get elected, what they will be willing to lie about after they are elected, with some other discrepancies:
- She further asserts- “Crystal houses do not linger in the market. If the city is going in the wrong direction, why is our housing stock so strong?” No, the EDA buys them with our tax dollars, tears down the house that was lingering, and leaves an empty lot. Every neighborhood has multiple sites like this across the city. There are also, despite what she says, foreclosed, empty homes, sitting around the city, just fewer of them standing.
- She also says- “I have a demonstrated track record of serving individual citizens, not special interest groups.”, except that her membership on the Bottineau Boulevard Partnership put her on the opposite side of the issue from the individual citizens that didn’t want the changes to County Road 81. How can you support both points of view?
- “Budgets must be transparent and if they are not, changes must be made to make them transparent.” You’ve had eight years to make our hard to understand Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports, easier to understand. Why did it take eight years to become an issue? I gather it’s so that few people would be able to discover the tax increases you keep saying don’t exist.
- ” Hundreds of Crystal citizens know first hand that I am available to answer questions, help solve issues and tirelessly work as an advocate for their rights as citizens.” Again, the Bottineau Boulevard Partnership. Did you advocate for those people?
- “Our property values are preserved and in fact values are increasing.” My home value has fallen tremendously since 2006, and yes, seems to have bottomed out. This is a metro wide trend in both directions. Trying to take credit for this is disingenuous.
- “Record of citizen service and respect” I’ve seen this Mayor act disrespectfully to many that have the nerve to disagree with her. I’ve been on the receiving end. I’ve seen my neighbors and friends in the community be on the receiving end. I’ve seen groups of concerned citizens get insulted by her with acts unbecoming the office of a public servant.
- “As I have campaigned, I have discovered there are no issues communicated by the citizens.” No one of the standing room only crowd had an issue with the County Road 81 project, huh? How about the last City Council meeting, where residents were unhappy with the street reconstruction plan for their area? No issues there, either? In fact, I spoke with Andrew Richter about his experiences campaigning before the primary, and he said that it was difficult to find people that didn’t have at least one run in with the City. That’s why Councilmember Dave Anderson lost big in the primary, and our mayor only escaped by 200 votes- because there are no issues.
Here’s the problem, lies are not lies, because she says so. The truth is always backed up by facts and figures. The facts and figures are not in her favor. There are transcripts, video, documents, writings, and personal experiences that tell a tale much different from the one that people experience. In Mayor Bowman’s case, the facts just don’t add up. No amount of lies and intimidation tactics can change that. If the mayor’s chair is feeling a little warm nowadays, she’d better hope her pants are flame retardant.