Champlin Throws Its Hat In The Ring For Ridiculousness
by Jason Bradley
Let’s move north of Crystal for a bit. After all, we are an equal opportunity watchdog. In Champlin, we have a City Councilman that has been raising eyebrows!
To start, Champlin had a long time (15+ years) Councilwoman sitting in Ward 1. She was challenged many times but always retained her seat. There were rumors that she had moved out of the city, yet retained her seat for sometime. Conveniently, she resigned from the Council after the time for a special election had expired.
Along came Ryan Karasek, who was appointed to the Ward 1 Council seat.
Let’s back up for a moment… After more digging, Ryan launched a Facebook page and was poking around at a Senate run in 2011. John Hoffmann ultimately ran, and won that seat.
Since his appointment, Mr. Karasek has made a few questionable comments and statements. He is also a real estate agent operating in the city of Champlin, but we’ll get back to that in a minute.
Recently, there was a Planned Unit Development (PUD) for a high-end home development on the northern edge of the city. The Planning Commission supported said development. The plan (and the planning Commission’s recommendation) moved to the City Council. The developer had planned on a clubhouse and a couple other amenities that they removed before it went for Council vote. Karasek flipped out on the changes stating that “the City grants you certain privileges” and “this feels like bait and switch”, even critiquing their siding choices. Really?
After some behind the scenes debate, the developer decided to reduce the home size (4500 square feet now REQUIRES a home sprinkler system) and asked the Planning Commission for variances on almost all of their properties. The Planning Commission asked a lot of questions and the proposed changes passed, but not with unity.
NOW, Karasek loves the development. Loves their “new” siding choices, loves their concrete driveways, etc.
HERE IS THE BEST PART! He actually said “as a real estate agent in Champlin, I can’t wait to start selling these homes!”
You can watch it here, starting at 37:50: Champlin City Council Meeting April 27, 2015
The question is, should he have abstained from any of the votes, agreed to not sell homes in the area, or both? He certainly should not be involved in holding power over developers, whose homes he turns around and sells. That is unethical, and believe me, we’ve had some experience spotting that kind of stuff over the years. Just to avoid the appearance of being unethical, I would have avoided this like the plague, but not this guy.
How many clients does he have lined up to purchase this style of home? Why was he against it before he was for it? Is there not a huge conflict of interest here?
This man seems to be ignorant of ethics, just like so many others in power. Do we really want to keep people like this in office? Just another reason to pay attention to local politics.
Jason Bradley is an entrepreneur in the music industry (Jason Bradley Live and 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+