Final Thoughts and an Appeal on the Crystal Municipal Elections
by Jason Bradley
Well, tomorrow is the big day. Some of us will go out and pull the lever for our favorite candidate. Some will pull the lever for the candidate they hate the least. Far too many will not go out to vote at all. Some who will vote are informed, some are misinformed, others are entirely uninformed. If you read Community Solutions MN, you can be rest assured that you have the best information at your fingertips.
What started out as a quest for information eight years ago, turned into fascination (okay, maybe more of an obsession), and then into reality. We began an experiment that has turned into experience. It was little more than hope when we began, but has now brimmed into confidence.
Local politics is about doing what’s right for people in your community, not towing the party line. That’s why these are non-partisan races. Yet, we have four candidates in Crystal (Bowman, Budziszewski, Kiser, and Munson) that have run to a party and shouted their affiliation from the rooftops. Who can tell me what the Democrat position is on parking bans, or the Republican position on backyard chickens? It just doesn’t work that way.
I remember a recent mailer that came endorsing ReNae Bowman from the AFL-CIO that stated her support of fixing bridges and fair pay. Those are not city issues! Cities don’t set wages, save for their own employees. There are no more bridges in Crystal needing attention. The Bottineau Boulevard bridge is brand new! What is this mailer even saying, other than pandering to special interest groups on association alone?
Instead, the ex-mayor and her slate have embraced the Met Council and their ivory tower mandates for a city they know nothing about. She (and Johnny B during his short-lived stint on the Council) has run to special interests pushed by state and county government, and publicly made fun of residents that tried to express opposing views.
The former mayor has lied about increased taxes during this campaign. While, yes, the tax levy is going up this year, the hidden taxes (such as street assessments) are going away. No more getting hit with a huge one-time tax, plus interest if you can’t pay it right away. You will see these payments spread out (minus the interest) over time on your property taxes. Taxes under Bowman and Johnny B went up every year without eliminating special assessments!
She has lied about the impacts of paying for the public works building with available cash. She said that the decision to pay for the building with available cash drained our reserves and hurt our financial standing. That’s not true. Moody’s has stated that our cash reserves are strong, and the current bond rating reflects that sentiment. The city saved money by paying in cash!
Bowman and Johnny B have frequently disparaged the people she had to work with. She called Vets and the VFW they attend a “crony clubhouse” that gave bribes to Julie Deschler, a Council Member she didn’t agree with. The only problem? It was completely false! She accused Councilmember Kolb of stealing her husband’s lawn signs. Again, false! She has tried to rake Mayor Adams through the mud numerous times. She called her opposition “Trumpsters” without any justification. She ripped the City Code Task Force, a group of citizens that volunteered to review our City Code for unnecessary or outdated ordinances. Remember, she also called Andrew, myself, and other residents nasty, vile, conspiracy theorists, un-American, anarchists, and more.
Speaking of street reconstruction, it shows that Bowman does whatever is politically expedient, versus basing anything on principle. For example, she was all for paying cash for the public works building, before she was against it. After she flip-flopped, she stated her reasoning for bonding a large portion of it as that the payments should be spread out over time, to disperse the cost over future generations of residents. Yet, she wants to nail the homeowner with the full cost of street repairs (plus interest), rather than spread out the payments over time. That is unprincipled and intellectually dishonest.
I want to remind people of the political climate over the last two election cycles. It was tense here in Crystal. ReNae and John were ousted because of their lack of respect for people and their affinity for allowing other governmental groups to come and do as they please in our city. She has lied to residents about plans to redevelop the Crystal airport. She refused to approve the canvassing board’s election results when Mayor Adam’s beat her. She approved of corporate welfare to build the Crystal Medical Center, despite the protests of the residents of that neighborhood. Her farewell address was laden with bile and disdain for the will of the people. The tone has indeed changed over the last two years, and it should be pretty noticeable to the community.
You have a choice. You can vote for a slate of party loyalists that will do whatever is necessary to pay that party back for their support and keep their support going forward, or you can think about casting your vote for their opponents (Adams, Peak, Deschler, and LaRoche), three of whom have shown that they do the people’s work, and one that would make a fine addition to this Council because of her servant’s heart. Crystal is a better place to live because of the work this group has done: we can raise chickens for food, point-of-sale inspections are a thing of the past, work sessions are finally being recorded and available online, the Canadian National rail line conquest has been stalled, railroad quiet zones are coming in 2017, the City Code Task Force has reviewed our code for outdated and unnecessarily restrictive ordinances, maintained Crystal’s strong financial standing, and have exposed hidden taxes, so that they show up on your property tax statement. No more tax surprises! Now you have the facts; go vote!
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.
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Entry filed under: City Government, Crystal, Uncategorized. Tags: Casey Peak, City Council, City Government, Community Solutions MN, Crystal, Election 2016, Jason Bradley, Jeff Munson, Jim Adams, John Budziszewski, Julie Deschler, Minnesota, Nancy LaRoche, ReNae Bowman, Therese Kiser.