Posts filed under ‘City Government’

Jason Lewis’s Met Council Reform Bill is Wrongheaded; We need Elimination Not Reform

By Andrew Richter

Ah…..Minnesota; the cold weather California! Taxes and big government are simply here all the time with no end in sight. Political “leaders” simply don’t have the stomach to change that. And when they do propose something they almost make it worse. Nothing symbolizes that more that efforts to “reform” the Met Council.

Our opposition to the Met Council has been well documented on this blog and on our podcast. Republican politicians have long promised to rein this government monster in, yet they never deliver. They won’t this year and I don’t believe any of the governor candidates that say they will. And when they do have ideas, they almost make the situation worse.

This is the case with the “reform” proposal by  Minnesota Congressman Jason Lewis. First of, let me say that I’m a long time fan of Mr. Lewis going  back to his days on local radio here. I’d vote for him if I lived in District 2. But his proposal to reform the Met Council is wrong on so many levels it’s hard to see anything positive about it.

From Alpha News:

U.S. Rep. Jason Lewis (R-MN) is taking on the Metropolitan Council, proposing a provision that would require a majority of the governing members to be elected officials.

Lewis’ proposal, an amendment to the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 2018, would end the noncompliance and require the Met Council to have locally elected officials on the governing board. Lewis highlights the Met Council’s independent authority to raise taxes, saying having local elections is a necessary step to increase the accountability of the governing board.

Now that all sounds great but there are several problems with this. First off, having locally elected officials “appointed” to be Met Council would be a disaster. These folks have been trained by the League of Minnesota Cities that “smart growth” is the way forward so look for the same polices to be pushed ; high density housing, transit, roundabouts, complete streets etc. there is little diversity of opinion.

Also this is not possible due to conflicts of interest. How does one represent their city or county and at the same time represent a regional board? How can you work for the Yankees and the Red Sox? You can’t serve two masters; either you are on a regional board and represent the “region” or you are on a city council and represent a city.

Lewis goes on to assure big government proponents that he has no interest in reining in the Met Council’s power.

Our amendment does not seek to change the operations or scope of the Met Council,” Carter Moelk, Deputy Press Secretary for Rep. Lewis, said in a press release. “It does not attempt to change the activities of the board. It simply requires that for a board to be in compliance they need to have locally elected official representation consistent with every other MPO in the country.”

In other words, the Met Council can continue to tax, have authority over local planning, and push their agenda to destroy suburbs and make every place the same with their new urbanism. If Mr. Lewis wants something to do how about you repeal the 1960’s laws that require regional planning boards? How about you refuse to give federal money to these boards? How about you get rid of the Department of Housing and Urban Development? No such luck there…..

This is not the right solution. Furthermore, I’m worried that this may take some steam out of the movement to eliminate this unconstitutional body. The Met Council needs to be eliminated. Hold the Republicans accountable if they fail to do this yet AGAIN!



May 3, 2018 at 7:00 pm 1 comment

St. Louis Park Nightmare Part 1; Mayor Jake Spano

By Andrew Richter

Well, St. Louis Park is quickly overtaking New Hope as the worst city government outside of Minneapolis and St. Paul. This is the first in a series of articles on the matter starting with the politics and ambitions of their mayor.

Feom the city website:

Jake Spano was elected as Mayor in 2016 after a four-year term as Councilmember At Large B (2012-2016). His day job is as Deputy Secretary of State to Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon.

What? He serves as the deputy Secretary of State as well as mayor? How is this not a conflict of interest? Can the Education or MNDOT commissioner serve as mayor somewhere? You can’t serve two masters.

Prior to that, he was the marketing director for the City of St. Paul in Mayor Coleman’s administration and before that he served with U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar overseeing statewide policy and leading her four state offices and staff.

In other words, he’s a DFL rising star. Look for this guy to run for higher office…..maybe soon.

To prove this we can see him speaking everywhere to promote his left-wing City. Here he is speaking at the CD5 DFL convention on St. Louis Park’s radical carbon cutting program.


Spano is also obsessed with liberal buzz words like “racial equity.” I’ll get into that in a future post but check out this statement from him:

As we conduct city business and make decisions that affect our community, we want to hear from the full range of people who represent our community.  To make that happen, it is important that we are deliberate and intentional about reaching out for input from people who were historically not part of the decision-making process. The result of St. Louis Park’s work on racial equity will result in more effective delivery of city services to all of our neighborhoods and make our community a more equitable, inclusive and welcoming place to call home.”

Huh? Is there a racial aspect to city services? Do whites have priority over 911 calls or do their roads get plowed first? This is just politically correct garbage that means nothing. Is this in your charter?

Mayor Spano is well-financed as shown HERE

So he has raised serious money and you can bet that he is seeking the support from the usual left-wing environmental groups, unions, and supporters of rannked choice voting.

This guy is a dangerous radical and needs to be stopped. Mr. Spano you will be watched here!



April 30, 2018 at 9:50 am Leave a comment

DFL Unions Target Crystal and New Hope for Power Grab

By Andrew Richter

Well as predicted here local races are about to become even more partisan as Minneapolis unions are sticking their noses in city elections in Crystal and New Hope. They are holding their second event in three months on Monday, February 26.

Now you may be asking yourself: why are Minneapolis Unions getting involved in these races? When it comes to Crystal we know why. That’s a city union friends used to run. Now they don’t own anyone expect Johnny B and the unions want their power back. They want “yes men” in office and are willing to spend money to get it. This isn’t about a better Crystal or a better New Hope. This is a bull session on how to get power. Expect the usual 30 or so people to show up: ReNae Bowman, Joe Selton, Mark Hoffman, Johnny B and a handful of union folks with their workers’ checkbooks. Expect the personal agendas of former council people to be talked about. Expect the Crystal city council to be trashed at every turn by this hate-filled group. My guess is that New Hope isn’t talked about at all.

Folks, I share this to show what we said was going to happen is happening. The DFL doesn’t control one city and they are upset about it. It also shows me that they’ve learned nothing from the past three elections cycles. These folks didn’t lose because they weren’t DFL enough or they didn’t support unions enough. Of course I know why they lost but if they aren’t smart enough they to figure that out by now they never will. Go ahead get your union endorsement like you guys did last time. It won’t work but we will have fun watching. Also you can count on us to let you know who is bought and paid for by a Minneapolis union in a Crystal election.

In the mean time, let’s all go and have pizza on the DFL Monday night! See you there!


February 20, 2018 at 7:08 pm Leave a comment

A Great 21rst Century Way to Destroy a Community

By Andrew Richter

And here is how our country is being ruined…….

The Golden Valley City Council met in a work session Jan. 9, to address the need for affordable housing in the city and how local governments can protect low income renters.

The lack of affordable housing has become a worrisome housing trend throughout the city, the metro area and the entire country as a whole, according to Emily Goellner, associate planner for Golden Valley. The state of Minnesota has addressed this downward trend by requiring cities to provide affordable housing opportunities — specifically to establish plans and programs that meet the existing and projected regional housing needs and to develop strategies to promote the development of low- and moderate-income housing.

Really? So people are coming to council meetings demanding lower rent or you got a talking points memo from the APA or the Met Council?

Beyond that, the Metropolitan Council — the regional policy-making body, planning agency and provider of essential services in the Twin Cities region — has studied how much affordable housing the region needs and has allocated a portion of that need to communities throughout the region so they can incorporate needed land into their overall comprehensive plans to make affordable housing possible in Minnesota suburbs. State law, however, does not give the Met Council the ability to force cities to build affordable housing.

Not yet anyway……

Golden Valley’s action plan

The city began addressing the need for more affordable housing in January 2017. The council met to discuss the housing shortage with staff again in April and August.

“Since August, we committed to completing six items immediately,” Goellner said. “We did accomplish all six of those items.”

The city’s six goals included monitoring the housing conditions in the city and taking inventory of housing stock; including strong language in the city’s comprehensive plan to address affordable housing policies; adopting a mixed-income housing policy; attending and establishing good relationships with the Safer Tenants and Renters program; promoting the Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing program with the Greater MN Housing Fund; and expanding the legislative priority of affordable housing.

Huh? What the hell?

While affordable housing is difficult to define, conversations in Golden Valley referred to such housing as households earning less than 60 percent of the area median income. The average rent in Golden Valley is more than $1,200 monthly, according to city staff members. To address this housing shortage, the city has formed a community housing team, comprised of residents, renters, congregations, social service agencies, landlords and housing advocates, to push for the preservation of affordable housing, prevent displacement of neighbors and create access to new affordable housing.

Housing shortage? I thought the rent was too high?

Furthermore, the city has been actively participating in the Affordable Housing Preservation TOOLS work group. The city work group includes representatives from member cities like Minneapolis, St. Paul, Golden Valley, St. Louis Park, Hopkins, Edina, Richfield, Eden Prairie and Brooklyn Park; along with Hennepin County and the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency. The city work group seeks to implement initiatives to help protect low-income families by preserving affordable housing.

Let me translate that; you are going to manipulate the housing market by playing favorites and handing out subsidies and changing zoning laws.

“We’re researching four policies right now,” Goellner said. “The first is the advanced tenant notification. This policy would protect tenants once the sale of a NOAH property has occurred.” The policy, Goellner said, would give tenants and local government entities a 90-day advanced notice prior to the sale of the property.

“For 90 days, under this policy, there can be no substantial raise in the rents, no additional screening criteria and no non-renewals of those existing leases,” she said. She explained that, at the end of the 90-day period, some of those actions could be taken, but it would at least allow the tenant 90 days to make alternative housing arrangements, as opposed to only 30 days to make arrangements.

So even if a lease is up and ownership changes hands, the tenants will now get an extra 90 days? This is a breach of contract!

In conjunction with this policy, is a policy in which NOAH property owners would be required to notify the city of the sale. The intent of this policy is that it would allow the city to keep a database of NOAH properties that are for sale and potentially reach out to preservation buyers with the goal of keeping the property affordable. Goellner explained that this would prevent one of the potential causes for the shortage of affordable housing — developers buying old buildings in mixed-income areas and increasing the rent.

The other problem, she explained, is that many developers approach cities with the intent to build new, luxury apartments in mixed-income areas, contributing to the displacement of the community’s low-income households.

“Another policy that we’re still pursuing is the prohibition of the discrimination of Section 8 voucher holders in the city,” she said. The Section 8 Protection Ordinance prohibits the denial of prospective tenants simply for using Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers or other subsidies to help pay rent. The ordinance would prohibit the denial of prospective tenants simply for being a Section 8 recipient.

So that means that they are going to make everyone take Section 8? No freedom of choice!

Currently, housing providers can refuse to rent to individuals solely because they have a housing choice voucher. Goellner explained, this voluntary approach makes it difficult for families to access housing, particularly housing in opportunity-rich communities and neighborhoods.

“This ordinance ensures that voucher recipients are assessed as any other applicant would be,” she said. “This allows families that rely on housing vouchers to have an equal opportunity to acquire housing. The last policy that we’re working on right now is that non-renewal of leases must be for cause.”

The Just Cause ordinance prohibits a NOAH property owner from terminating a tenancy without good or just cause. Just cause reasons for terminating a tenancy would include nonpayment of rent, violating the lease, damaging the apartment, disorderly behavior or disturbing the peace, hosting an unapproved holdover subtenant or having chronically late rent payments.

Currently a lease can only be terminated for a just cause, however, state law allows for no-fault, non-renewal of leases with only 30 days of written notice. Therefore, residents with positive rental histories can receive notices to vacate or non-renewal of leases for no reason, known as involuntary displacement. Extending the just cause requirement would require the same reasoning for lease non-renewal, Goellner said.

So what you are entitled to a live at a certain place? Owners can’t decide who they want as tenants?

Council’s thoughts, next steps

One of the suggestions made by Golden Valley city staff members during the meeting was to set aside a portion of the general fund budget to cover the cost to conduct housing inventory within the city every five years.

“We have the smallest staff and HRA budget of the nine cities involved in the city work group which will affect our ability to enforce and administer these policies,” Goellner said. “When you first look at these, they seem quite simple, but as you start to think about different scenarios in how we would begin to enforce and administer these programs and how they would be defended in the case of a lawsuit, there’s a lot more work that we need to conduct. While cities have a very important role to play, there are some state laws that act as barriers to some of the policy ideas that we have. There’s a lot we can do to enable and encourage affordable housing.”

Why don’t you just stay out of the free market!

The majority of the council members were in favor of having a discussion about potentially setting aside levy funds to boost HRA assistance and provide some kind of financial incentive for property owners to update or remodel affordable housing units, but the members were not prepared to have that discussion that evening.

“We simply don’t have the bandwidth as a city in terms of leading the charge on some of these issues,” Councilmember Larry Fonnest said. “We don’t have the staffing or budget to be at the forefront of this charge, but we are definitely at the table. I think it’s a discussion worth having.”

Councilmember Joanie Clausen said she would not be prepared to discuss the potential of designating tax payer money to such a cause until she’s heard from all stakeholder groups and residents.

“We have a lot of priorities in the city and we need to sit down and address those priorities,” Clausen said. “We have debt we’re really trying to tackle. We have a responsibility to hear both sides and all of the information so we can make an informed decision.”

Clausen said she wanted to hear from affected property owners and urged the council to approach the Section 8 ordinance with caution as the City of Minneapolis is currently facing a lawsuit on the issue. She reminded the council that each member has been entrusted by the residents to be fiscally responsible with taxpayer dollars and that these types of discussions can not be rushed.

“I do not want our city to be facing a lawsuit,” she said.

Mayor Shep Harris asked the council to give staff members one of two directions — to continue meeting with the work group and see what comes from it or to move forward and try to present a draft ordinance on the just cause and advanced notification pieces separate from the work group.

Councilmember Gillian Rosenquist said she would be in favor of the just cause and 90-day notification ordinances. The Section 8 piece, she said, needed more attention because of the litigation and unknowns.

Oh God…..

“In looking at Ms. Goellner’s list of possibilities of things that we could be doing, a lot of them are only possible with an HRA or some kind of financial foundation,” Rosenquist said. “If we’re not doing what comparable communities are doing in terms of an HRA, we need to be having that discussion. We’re at a turning point in this city. I’m not prepared to move forward, but I know that this is something very important to our community.”

Rosenquist concluded her comments by requesting staff members “stay the course.”

“Staying the course doesn’t mean let’s see what happens in five years; the pace has actually been impressively fast,” she said. “We are making a sea change.”

Clausen echoed Rosenquist’s comments and said she was not prepared to direct staff members to start drafting potential ordinances before gathering more information. Councilmember Steve Schmidgall and Fonnest agreed.

“What’s been critical to me all along is that I consider this more of a regional thing,” Schmidgall said. “I think it’s absolutely critical that our community move forward in step with the other eight or 10 communities involved.”

Oh Schmidgall must have been awake for this meeting…..

“This is an issue which has long-term implications, not only for our city, but also for the entire region and the state and it will affect the quality of people’s lives,” Fonnest said. “With the exception of one meeting with property managers and landlords, folks that are in those positions within our community are not at the table. We can build a castle in the sky, but if the property owners are not on board, there’s going to be a lot of push-back and a lot of effort that may not bear fruit.”

So you are going to improve Golden Valley by adding more low income housing and by forcing in more section 8 vouchers! That’s a future I can believe in!

Fonnest requested that city staff members make a concentrated effort to inform managers and property owners in the city of these discussions, explain the city’s long-term goals and present a plan illustrating how the two parties can work together.

“I’m supportive of the advance notice and the just cause ordinance, but I think we have to be practical in our pursuit and realize that there are legal hurdles out there that others are going to have to jump on our behalf,” he said.

Harris said he was in favor of beginning to draft ordinances to address the three points — Section 8, just cause, and advanced notification.

“My biggest fear is that we have another NOAH property that turns,” Harris said. “To me, one of the number one priorities as a city is to ensure people’s safety. To use a scenario, let’s say I am a victim of domestic abuse and I need to make numerous calls to the police. Fortunately, I feel comfortable calling the police because I know under state law, I’m not going to get kicked out immediately. However, I am not going to call the police because when my lease is up for renewal there’s nothing to potentially protect me from having my lease not renewed. Even though our city has ordinances when it comes to nuisance and state law does not count domestic abuse as a nuisance, there’s still little protection for individuals. Though domestic abuse does not count as a nuisance under state law, there’s nothing preventing a landlord from not renewing that lease because of the repeated police calls to their property and that puts me in a position,” he continued. “I’m being abused, my children are being abused; this is the only place I can stay right now. And now, I have to choose between picking up the phone and calling the police and possibly being kicked out of this apartment in six months when my lease is up and having to find another place for me and my kids to live or just continuing to take the abuse. Unfortunately in some cases, the decision is not to pick up the phone. Do I have any facts that this is happening in our community? No, I do not. But, is it a potential? Yes. And that concerns me.”

OK can anyone tell me what he just said?

Before moving on to the next agenda item, the council heard from Christine Hart, community developer and community action partnership.

“We are a service agency working with low income residents,” she said. “We have homeless prevention services and we do provide services around housing stability and getting people out of the shelter system and into housing. That being said, we are able to help seven families a month across the entire county and we get over 100 calls per month. This isn’t going to change without some systemic solutions.”

To learn more about Golden Valley’s housing market visit City staff members have developed a 43-page document outlining the supply, cost and demand of housing in Golden Valley. To listen to the full audio of the council/manager work session visit:

Residents are also invited to attend The Community Housing Team monthly meetings. Contact Ruth Paradise for more information at

Good Lord… poor people in Golden Valley are just going to continue to watch your city decline…..this is the way it’s done; slowly change ordinances, zoning, density requirements, and use taxes as a way to manipulate what happens. There’s no freedom of choice, no free market principles, and no personal liberty or responsibility. If you are in Golden Valley get out now!


January 20, 2018 at 10:38 pm Leave a comment

MNGOP Punts Local Elections Again

By Andrew Richter

Well another election season has passed and it’s yet another season where the Minnesota Republican Party sat out local elections. The consequences of doing this are once again killing any attempt to “paint Minnesota Red.”

Folks I’ve been politically active for fifteen years. I’ve worked hard for conservative/republican/liberty minded candidates. I’ve served as an election judge, a caucus convener, a vice chair, a campaign manager, a delegate, a state central delegate, a consultant, and a candidate myself. I’m been a part of winning campaigns and I’ve been a part of losing campaigns. The one thing I can count on year after year is the MNGOP will ignore local elections. The year 2017 unfortunately has been no different.

Personally I was naive enough to think that’s things would change after our Community Solutions victories in the city of Crystal the past 8 years where we’ve defeated the DFL and their union allies over and over. We’ve helped elect more republicans in congressional district five them the Republicans party has in the past 30 years. You’d think the party would take notice. You’d think they’d have my phone number on speed dial and want us to replicate this success everywhere. Yet that’s not the case.

The funny thing is that I’ve had so much hope every time we’ve had new leadership. Back in September, though, any hope of a change was dashed. I got a Republican fundraising letter from GOP chair Jennifer Carnahan. It contained the usual pep talk about electing a Republican governor, re-electing a Republican House, and electing Republicans to Congress. Of course, it was missing several crucial points. First of all, there was no mention of the United States Senate race; a clear signal that the GOP has already conceded that race. They’d never say that but my guess is they do nothing for that race outside of lip service. And, as usual, there was no mention whatsoever of local elections despite the fact that 29 cities were holding elections in November. In addition to that, there were dozens of school board elections and 145 school operations and capital levies on the ballot.

How does this not even get mentioned by MNGOP? There was no list of cities that had elections, no mention of school board races or referendums where millions of tax payer dollars were on the line, and no effort whatsoever to get out the vote. It’s almost as if local elections don’t exist. On Election Day there wasn’t a peep from MNGOP or Carnahan about it on social media. The DFL isn’t sitting out these races. Their union groups and activists were working the phones, handing out literature, and getting people to the polls while the Republicans were doing nothing.

Of course the results were awful for conservatives especially in school referendums where 50 of the 61 operating referendums passed. In addition, 47 often 84 capital referendums passed. That’s means 67% of the levies passed for a whopping $1.5 billion!!  What’s the point of winning elections at the State level if we are just going to let school districts get their money uncontested at the local level? Why bother?

Putting money and time in nothing but the sexy races has never worked nor is it any kind of new idea. We’ve had Republican Governors before. We’ve had Republican Senators before. We’ve had a Republican House before. Yet Minnesota isn’t a red state. What’s missing? The answer is winning local races. Republican indifference has always struck me as odd. Aren’t the Republicans the party of the bringing things back to the local level? So why don’t they practice what they preach?

Here’s the message: if you are candidate at the local level, MNGOP won’t do anything for you. If you are a BPOU leader and you want to change city hall, you’re on your own. Only the sexy races matter and the Republicans have been continuously losing those races anyhow.

Now let me fair: there are people at MNGOP that probably see things my way and want to help. We have good and dedicated people. However, until there is a majority on the executive committee willing to make changes, we will be stuck where we are. And we need a chair with a vision to do something different. It’s not going to happen in the short run but here at Community Solutions we aren’t just staring at 2018 and nothing else. We have a long-term view of winning elections and it will remain that way. It’s time for MNGOP to get on board!


November 21, 2017 at 9:29 pm 5 comments

Help Wanted: An Opportunity for Third Parties to Govern

Help Wanted

by Jason Bradley

Here is an article I wrote for the monthly newsletter of a Minnesotan third party organization. I thought it was worth repeating:

It’s no secret, America has a two party system. Republicans and Democrats have ruled the landscape since the demise of the Whig Party in 1854. George Washington warned us about political parties, “by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”  The third party is an important part of the American political landscape.

Third parties give Americans a chance to vote their conscience. It’s been difficult, however, for them to break through at the federal and state levels of politics. So, how do third parties break through? One school of thought is to keep pressing to get that magical 5% that will gain them major party status, and then to repeat the feat in state after state. That is the hard way.

I propose that there is an easier way to gain your candidates name recognition and real world governing experience. That is through getting involved in nonpartisan elections like for city council, school board, and county commissions. No one knows what party you belong to, and it gives you an amazing advantage. I know these races can seem like small potatoes, but it really is the entry level position to play in the governing game. We tend to set our sights on higher office, without respecting the process that it takes to get there. It takes patience. Minnesota has 1,790 townships, 853 cities, 87 counties, and 328 school districts. Add in park boards, soil and water conservation seats, and all of these bodies’ appointed commissions, and we figure there are over 30,000 nonpartisan seats available in Minnesota alone. There’s no reason third parties can’t hold a number of those seats.

How do I know this? I live in the Fifth Congressional District, which is held by Keith Ellison. It is about 60/40 Democrat. Yet, in the city of Crystal, we figured out a way to rally the community to vote out the entire city council (of endorsed Democrats) from office. The previous city council was not acting in the best interest of the residents, and we formed a group called Community Solutions MN in response to change Crystal’s government. As we have educated ourselves, we feel like we needed to take our message across the state of MN, as most cities face the same issues.

We have helped to coach, mentor, train, and educate BPOUs, activist groups, candidates, and newly elected officials on how local government is organized, how it operates, how to run a competitive election race, and how to tell the story of and for your community that helps them become educated on local issues. We have helped others to win local elections in places outside of Crystal, as well. I am confident that these results can be repeated statewide.

What can you do? First and foremost, get on a city, county, or school board advisory commission. Just go to their offices and fill out an application. They will interview you, and once they vote you in, you are instantly put in a place to give feedback and advice to the governing body. It’s usually only one evening per month. Some are fewer. That’s not a lot to ask. Secondly, run or help someone run for local office. Once you get on a commission, you start to build experience that you can use on a resume to run for office. Start local.

Community Solutions MN is a resource for like-minded people that want to get involved locally. We run a blog and a podcast filled with nine years of local knowledge. We want to share it all with you. We answer your questions, because we don’t want you to feel alone. We also can create customized training for groups or individuals, along with providing strategy for specific localities. Together, we can win.

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.

Jason on Google+

November 20, 2017 at 7:15 pm 2 comments

Robbinsdale Plays Follow the Leader

By Andrew Richter

For years here we’ve been telling you how cities are the world’s biggest copy cats. The city of Robbinsdale is proving us right! From the Sun Post;

The Robbinsdale City Council is reviewing the city’s tobacco regulations, specifically as it relates to the substance’s accessibility to minors. The council last reviewed the regulations in 2014, following 2013 updates to policies after the introduction of e-cigarettes to the market.

City Manager Marcia Glick said the county’s health department periodically contacts the city to discuss possible gaps in regulation specific to new products that arrive on the market, and to address youth access to those products. In May, the county contacted city staff after Edina increased its age limit for purchasing tobacco products

So in other words, Robbinsdale is taking marching orders from the county. What happened to representing Robbinsdale? Who cares if Edina did something? Why is that a reason for Robbinsdale to do this?

The council entered discussions about potential ordinance updates in June. In mid-July, the council authorized enlisting the aid of the Public Law Center to review the city’s current tobacco ordinances and to help prepare the suggested changes. The council has since met with tobacco vendors to discuss the proposed updates, and will soon host a public hearing about the issue.

The suggested amendments to the city’s tobacco regulations, intended to reduce youth access to products, include:

– Updating the license application to include a section that collects information to investigate whether the applicant has had previous sales violations related to licensed products, which would add a basis for denying a license for offenders;
– Updating the city’s code to conform to state statutes;
– Considering raising the city’s legal age to purchase tobacco from 18 to 21;
– Restricting the sale of flavored products (excluding menthol, mint and wintergreen) to vendors who only sell products to ages 21 and older, and those who derive at least 90 percent of their sales from licensed products;
– Requiring a minimum price and package size for cigars, with proposals for a five-pack minimum at $13, or a single cigar at $4;
– Requiring child-resistant packaging for liquids that contain nicotine;
– Deferring to state law for underage use, possession, or purchase and eliminating local penalties;
– Adding a penalty for anyone underage using false identification.

So the city wants to price fix, raise the smoking age, and increase penalties. Why? What is the problem? What Robbinsdale resident has brought these concerns to you? Or are you just doing something because someone else is? This is not representing We the People!

A public hearing is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 26, in the council chambers at City Hall, 4100 Lakeview Ave. N. The public is welcome to attend and voice opinions and concerns.

Yeah like a decision to do this hasn’t already been made.


September 19, 2017 at 4:38 pm Leave a comment

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