Monkey See, Monkey Do

October 17, 2018 at 2:40 pm Leave a comment


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We’ve said it a million times, but cities (including counties and school districts) are the worst copy cats in the world. If one city implements something dumb, like franchise fees, Tobacco21, or MN Green Step Cities, the cities around it begin to implement it as well. Bad policies seem to spread across the state like a plague. This happens because all of the city managers/administrators and planners belong to the same organizations. They go to trainings by some group like the League of MN Cities, and bring these radical ideas back home to slip into council and advisory commission packets.

The use of local option sales taxes are on the rise. Hennepin County loves to implement them for building new sports stadiums. We also have seen a number of localities discuss using them. We discuss the local option sales tax issue in Sherburne County to cover the costs of operating and maintaining their transportation system. Elk River is placing their plan to implement a local option sales tax on the ballot this fall to cover the costs of revamping a park at Lake Orono, including the ice arena. We break down the implications of these tax increases for you.

St. Michael and Albertville are looking into building their own ice arena to serve all of its local teams. The cities teamed up with the school board to seek state assistance for the multi-million dollar project, which residents will be paying on for a long time.

You’ve heard about cities like Eden Prairie and Richfield that have tried to implement firearms ordinances, controlling what they think they can get away with. St Louis Park had to join in with everyone else. City staff brought a plan to ban all private firearms sellers. They also are looking to disallow the rental of city property for gun shows and destroying all retired police firearms and those seized in criminal investigations. (Note that a conviction isn’t mentioned.) Interestingly, the Planning Commission members told the city council to go take a walk.

We also take time to discuss the implications of a Justice Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court (this was recorded pre-confirmation), and where the court system has gotten so far off of their original mission to weigh the constitutionality of an issue, rather than make policy.

Have you checked out our Spotify playlist? At the beginning of each episode Jason quotes some song lyrics that have to do with the subject matter of the podcast. Andrew never knows what they are, but now he can… and so can you! We’ve launched the Spotify playlist: “Community Solutions Music From the Podcast“! You can listen to Roundabout from Yes after listing to Episode 30 on Roundabouts… or kick back and enjoy a rocking playlist just for the thrill of it. We add a new song every week. Subscribe and enjoy!

Don’t forget that you can also subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, and Spotify, or go out to the PodBabble Podcast Network!

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