December 4 Crystal City Council Meeting Part 3

December 19, 2012 at 5:04 pm 6 comments

By Andrew Richter

OK here is the long-awaited part 3 of the city council meeting on December 4.

We pick it up with the people who came and spoke. The following people addressed the council;

Andrew Richter (myself)

Olga Parsons

Jim & Candace Oathout

Jason Bradley

Caleb Dahl

We all spoke on various things that had to do with the Green Step Program including land use, housing, proposed ordinances, transit, transportation, parks, and streets. The information we spoke about came directly from the Green Step Program itself. Here are links to the Green Step website and the council meeting video so you can look at them and judge us for yourself.

Green Step Program

December 4 Council Meeting

We asked for, including me, the vote for this to be postponed so residents could get better educated on this issue and then see if Crystal should become a part of this program.

When Caleb Dahl was done speaking, Mayor Bowman had a huge look of disdain on her face. She then said, “I just also want to point out that this particular recommendation does not require that we rebuild the city. And to rebuild this city would be to have to come in and occupy it with a military force because there is no way we could make everybody sell their land do some of these things. So it does not require rebuilding of the city.”

After sighing twice at us, she let John Budziszewski and Julie Desher speak. John spoke about lot sizes and the EDA building new homes. I’m not sure what his point was but he was respectful to us. Julie pointed out that at the November 20 work session, she was given only a short highlight brochure on the Green Step Program and that there really is a lot to this program. She felt she wasn’t informed  enough to vote yes.

Deshler: “I’m not I’m not comfortable passing a resolution when I’m not informed enough about the whole program. I don’t mind passing a resolution two or three weeks from now or a month from now, but (pointing at us) it’s important to these people, we work for them, they are asking us to back up and slow down a little, let’s study it. I think that’s fair.”

Deshler than asked to table the matter.

Then a guy named Ben Johnson who I didn’t know also spoke on this matter and asked that it be postponed.

Mark Hoffman spoke then again. He once again pointed out that there was no spending involved. Again he missed the point completely (maybe on purpose). Hoffman said that the “recommendations” in Green Step are not requirements. Yes we know that, but why join this “club” if you don’t intend to do some or most or all of this?

Janet Moore then spoke echoed a lot of Julie’s sentiments and recommended tabling it.

Mayor Bowman then gave a five-minute tirade much of which was probably aimed at me;

Bowman; “Number 1 I don’ t think we should table this because it has been here and it has been in front of us before, we have taken people’s input.”

Really? When was the public hearing on this? What date was that? Bowman means that the COUNCIL discussed it and decided on it for us.

Bowman: “To have 21 people show up and say don’t do this is somewhat of a hijacking of the process to me.”

What? How are we hijacking the process? Citizens are concerned about an issue and came before their representatives. How many times have I heard this council say they want people at work sessions, at council meetings, and that they can’t solve a problem unless they know about it. Mayor Bowman herself champions citizen input time and open forum. So what did we do wrong exactly?

She then took another personal shot at me.

Bowman: “I know you all will just go home to your blogs and write more vile things but oh well.”

So should anyone that disagrees with you just stay home and shut up? I thought dissent was patriotic.

Bowman: “Not everything is a conspiracy, and just because the terms best practices and performance standards are used that does not mean someone is trying to take away your civil rights.”

After speaking about how green her employer is she took another shot us;

Bowman: “I’m amazed at how many times we can be treated like we’re stupid like we have not even looked at this and we have…….to even waver on it is, there is no reason to do it.”

So one the one hand, committing us to this program doesn’t mean we have to do anything but on the other hand we have to do it or we’re going to die. That makes no sense. In addition, Janet Moore and Julie Deshler both expressed that they felt they didn’t know enough about this and wanted more time, so I guess not everyone has looked at this.

Janet Moore spoke next.

Moore: “I’m going to have to vote against this because I don’t know what it all consists of.” She then respectfully thanked us all for showing up.

Dave Anderson then said that council members were website information about the Green Step Program. I don’t know if that’s true or not but again I point out that the PUBLIC was not informed of this!!

Mark Hoffman then for the third time spoke about how this isn’t about anything fiscal. Again, that misses the point. And if it’s not that big of a deal then why can’t it be tabled?

So finally it came time to vote. Here’s how it went;

Hoffman: AYE

Moore: Nay

Selton: Nay

Anderson: Aye

Bowman: Aye

Budziszewski: Abstain

Deshler: Nay

The motion failed to get four votes so it was defeated.

Mayor Bowman of course was a gracious loser and proceeded to threaten us.

Bowman: “Well let’s just hope, I gonna keep my eye on this myself because if we end up having the concept of the environment hijacked and shot down by 21 people I’m gonna be really upset with this community. So I will also be keeping my eye on this particular piece.”

So citizens you “represent’ hijacked and issue and now you are going to keep your eye on us…..Perhaps you should be mad at the four people who didn’t vote for this rather than us the citizens. Since we don’t get a vote I don’t know how we can hijack an issue.

Of course, we all know that three or four years ago this issue would have been passed with two minutes of discussion. but now there are engaged citizens who don’t blindly accept whatever environmentalists say. And this council has to deal with us.

I’d like to publicly thank the four members who didn’t vote for this and  hope that the new mayor will take a hard look at this program and have a long public discussion before bringing  it up again. And hopefully we can also be treated better. It’s a victory for our city and for local control…..for now anyway.


Entry filed under: Agenda 21, City Government, Community, Crystal, Environment, Mayor, Transportation.

Hidden Agendas- Part 2 Bitter Bowman “Out With a Bang”

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. communitysolutionsmn  |  December 19, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    Great posting!!!!

  • 2. Josh  |  December 19, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    It’s embarrassing to me, that a mayor who claimed to be “for the people”, would treat people who are showing they care about the community the way she does. She has shown time and again that she can’t take any criticism without become extremely defensive and in many cases rude.

    The people of Crystal saw this and have shown her the door. I have no doubt that Mr. Adams will treat the community different and will be open to listening to every opinion, no matter how much he may disagree with it. And he will never talk down to and disrespect people the way that ReNae has.

    Than you Andrew and all the others who came to the meeting and gave their opinions on this matter. Your voices were heard.

  • 3. numbersguy  |  December 19, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    Andrew, Thanks for a great three part reporting series!!!! Thanks to all the citizens that stood up to the CITY!!!!

  • 4. Paul Seefeld  |  December 20, 2012 at 12:06 am

    I would really have liked to have been the fly on the wall at the Selton/Bowman house that night. Selton didn’t say a word the whole time and then voted no against his WIFE. Wow!

  • 5. Michael C. Libby  |  December 27, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    Can’t wait for your analysis of the Dec 18 meeting! Mayor Bowman, being recognized for her years of service, took the opportunity to rant for about ten minutes about a number of issues.

  • 6. Vicki  |  December 27, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    Thank you for your service to our community. Rock on.


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