Crystal City Councilman Jeff Kolb Takes On The Met Council

February 26, 2015 at 9:53 am Leave a comment


Met-Council-Testimony-Cropped

by Jason Bradley

Yesterday, the Minnesota House held a hearing in the new Subcommittee on Metropolitan Council Accountability and Transparency on House Bill (HF75) which is possibly the most important of the new Metropolitan Council-related bills. The others are fairly benign, but this one would make any Met Council plans and projections advisory in nature. Why is this a big deal? Because the Met Council has largely operated as a cabal of thugs, pushing City and County governments around, binding them to policies that are bad for their area, and projections that are consistently incorrect. Should this bill pass the house, it will most likely fail in the Senate, and most definitely fail at the Governor’s desk. Still, we need to start this move toward weakening (and eventually eliminating) the Met Council now, and never give up until we win.

That leads us back to yesterday. City Councilman Jeff Kolb testified in front of the House Committee on the abuses of the Met council upon Cities, and particularly ours (our City has sent the Met Council numerous letters in disagreement of certain policies, which have largely gone ignored). His testimony can be found here. I will not repeat what he said. You are capable of reading it for yourself. The real story is this. Folks like me have been pressing for limitations or expiration of the agency for a long time, and we are finally starting to see some traction.

The Met Council has threatened Cities with revoking grants and litigation for refusing to fall in line. I know I’ve told this story before, but I remember when the old regime was in power, and the Met Council ordered all of the Cities in the metro to do mandatory sump pump and footing drain inspections. I did my research and found existing Supreme Court jurisprudence about exact incidences like this, and that search warrants needed to be issued to do the inspections. The City Attorney (bless his heart) discounted my examples without ever reading the opinion of the justices, and ex-Mayor Bowman (who is on record as loving the Met council) said that 1) the Met Council would punish the City if they didn’t comply, and 2) if I didn’t allow the inspection, my water would be shut off and I could dig a well. Charming. She also said that issuing warrants was not feasible because it would be bad to arrest so many people over this (proving that she believed it’s just easier to violate people’s rights, and she didn’t understand basic public concepts like the difference between search and arrest warrants). That, however, is a whole ‘nuther story.

At any rate, it is refreshing to see the Crystal City Council take the lead on this issue. We have become a dumping ground for unsuitable projects, from light rail, to increased housing density, and smaller lot sizes. I applaud the new Council’s stand on the Met Council and the freight rail. It’s about time we had representatives in this city that are not afraid to show some teeth. They are taking a leadership role among the rest of the metro area. The old Council would have just found a way to make it work at our expense… and don’t you ever forget it.

 

Jason Bradley is an entrepreneur in the music industry (Jason Bradley Liveand Paper Lanterns Intl) and owns a consulting/advocacy/education firm that specializes in non-partisan politics (Community Solutions MN). Jason Bradley helps others to reach their goals in music and reduce the size and influence of government.

Connect with Jason on Google+

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Entry filed under: Crystal, Met Council. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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