Letters to the editor

Standing up for Lisa

(Regarding “Appeals court holds off on Goodman bias case” in the Oct. 19–Nov. 1 edition)

Another example of developers not getting their way and picking up their marbles and filing a lawsuit!

Lisa Goodman was elected to represent the Minneapolis residents in her district. If the majority of her constituents do not want a certain development in their neighborhood and the people go to Lisa to help them stop or minimize impact of a development in their neighborhood she has an obligation to do so. Judge Aldrich may have found in his ruling that Lisa “denied Hoyt’s constitutional rights to due process” but people who live in Minneapolis neighborhoods have rights, too. Residents who have lived in neighborhoods for many years should be respected for their thoughts and ideas about how new developments will impact their neighborhoods. It is about time that someone stands up to the inappropriate, oversized development projects that plague our city and in some cases, threaten our green spaces. I would like to thank Lisa for doing the right thing and standing up for her district’s citizenry.

Kim Ramey
Bryn Mawr

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Re-elect Betsy Hodges

 I first worked with Betsy Hodges nearly 10 years ago when she was a neighborhood leader. She spoke clearly, was easy to work with, and was easy to find. The only thing that has changed since she was elected to the Minneapolis City Council is her phone number. When elected she tackled the Monster House problem with a zoning ordinance change that solved the problem. She is a strong voice for the city at the state level and has demonstrated fiscal leadership in these lean times. I strongly support Betsy’s re-election!  What is my political perspective? I am an independent with a small i. Go Betsy!

John Finlayson
Fulton

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Support for Hodges

Here’s why I’ll be voting for Betsy Hodges (13 Ward) on Nov. 3.

— She’s smart. She listens. She gets it. And good luck trying to outwork her.

— She tells the truth. She doesn’t do slogans. Instead, she jumps into the messy, unglamorous work of actually governing. Which involves endless details, endless meetings and being able to astutely negotiate the interests of Minneapolis and the 13th Ward with an endless cast of characters at the city, county, state and federal levels … all the while trying to keep the city financially solvent and moving forward in the face of massive state budget cuts.

This is not a job for the faint of heart. But the cool thing is — Betsy loves it and she’s good at it. She takes on complicated tasks others don’t want to touch — including fighting for the reform of our insane and unaccountable retired police and firefighter pensions, paying off the Target Center debt and insisting that the city, parks and schools do a better job coordinating their services. 

She’s also never lost her progressive vision. On her various City Council committees, she’s worked hard to provide more services for the homeless, pushed for the organic waste hauling pilot project in Linden Hills, supported city efforts to reduce its carbon footprint, worked on the city’s coordinated plan to reduce youth violence in the city and more.

She’s been a sane, strong, practical, progressive voice. Which is why I’ll proudly vote for Betsy Hodges again on Nov. 3.

Lynnell Mickelsen
Linden Hills

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Vote yes on BET question

Nov. 3 voters will be asked to shift the powers of the outdated “Board of Estimate & Taxation” (or BET) to the City Council.  Many current and former Council Members — Democrats, Republicans and independents — ask you to Vote Yes.

From Southwest wards alone that includes Scott Benson, Barret Lane, Joan Niemiec, Carol Johnson, Walter Rockenstein, Steve Minn, Dan Niziolek, Sally Howard, Ralph Remington, Lisa Goodman, Parker Trostel, John Cairns and Barbara Carlson.

One reason these leaders urge a yes vote is because the BET sets property taxes. In any other city, that power rests with the full council.

But here only two of 13 wards are represented on the BET. No Southwest Council Member has had a vote in decades.

Vote YES to give all wards a vote on taxes.

Vote YES for openness and transparency. No more back room deal-making by an obscure BET that is rarely covered by the media.

Vote YES for accountability. You’ll know who to hold accountable for property taxes.

In any other year, this amendment would pass easily. Unfortunately, trying to preserve their own positions, some are resorting to fear tactics, including “you have to save the BET to save our parks.”

Here’s reality: when the Charter Commission voted overwhelmingly to approve this amendment, they overwhelmingly rejected another that would have eliminated the Park Board.  That effort is dead.

As a supporter of Independent Parks, I’m glad the Commission separated good amendments from bad.

The real threat to our Parks comes not from City Hall, but from state cuts and pension costs.

The best protection for our Parks, as well as taxpayers, is clear accountability for taxing and funding decisions. The BET is a barrier to accountability. It allows some Council Members to claim those decisions are out of their hands.

For more information, visit VoteYesForMpls.org.

Betsy Hodges
City Council Member (13th Ward)