Ramsey Imitates Crystal Part 1
By Andrew Richter
Well, Crystal is not alone when it come to condescending and arrogant people on their city council. The city of Ramsey is closing the gap. When Ramsey citizen Wayne Buchholtz asked about a recent land deal he was the victim of a disgusting personal attack by council member Randy Backus.
Now first I must disclose that Buchholtz is running for a city council seat, however that is no reason to personally attack him. He is a property owner and a taxpaying citizen who regularly attends council meetings and work sessions. And, he like everyone else, has a right to come to open forum and voice his concerns, regardless of whether he is running for office or not.
Mr. Buchholtz had concerns regarding a current sale of a parcel of land owned by the Ramsey HRA. The details of the deal were only made public after the fact. Buchholtz asked several questions regarding the price of the sale which just over $3 a square foot. He pointed out that the city had recently sold other parcels of land for three times the price. Buchholtz did concede that every deal is different but the difference in price is significant. Also the city was going to assume the expenses of the utilities infrastructure and there was no price tag to that.
Buchholtz also pointed out who the owner of PSD LLC is a man named Jim Deal who is a big financier of DFL causes. He, in fact, financially back five of the seven council members including Mayor Sarah Strommen. To see his company receive a piece of land for such a low price after financially backing is at least questionable and it does raise your eyebrows. There is a such thing as an “appearance of impropriety.”
After he spoke Mr. Buchholtz was personally attacked by council member Randy Backus; “I know it’s the night before primary, I would ask candidates to go knock on doors instead of creating political issues where none exist.”
So, in other words, if you’re a candidate, stay home and shut up.
Backus then went on to blame previous councils for buying land and claimed Mr. Buchholtz has political signs on their property so he’s to blame! He then gave this ReNae Bowman like quote directed at Buchholtz;
Backus: “I wold ask our staff how much time this guy has cost us doing witch hunts and searching for things that don’t exist and secret deals with the boogeyman. Anybody want to venture a guess on how much time, how many calls, and e-mails we gotten from this one person looking for things that aren’t there…..I’d go knock on doors if I were you.”
Well, that’s nice; council members talk about how much they want to hear from citizens and how they want citizens involved in their community UNLESS they disagree with the council or question their actions.
Mr. Buchholtz tried to defend himself against Mr. Backus but Mayor Sarah Strommen wouldn’t allow that. In fact, someone was whispering in Mr. Backus’s ear to “not answer him.”
Mr. Buchholtz showed up at the next meeting as well on August 26. What happened there you ask? Tune in for part 2 next time!
Watch the VIDEO here