Second challenger emerges for Ward 13 seat

Linden Hills resident Linea Palmisano announced she is running in Ward 13, joining Matt Perry in the race.

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Now that Betsy Hodges has decided to run for mayor in 2013, the race to replace her on the Minneapolis City Council is heating up.

On Dec. 27, Linden Hills resident Linea Palmisano announced she is running in Ward 13, joining Matt Perry who announced his intent to run on Dec. 7. 

Palmisano, 36, originally decided not to run because she and her partner Matthew Hitchin have a young son, but was lobbied by people, including those involved with Women Winning, to run.

“A lot of people convinced me to run for City Council,” she said. “I had originally counted myself out for all the typical reasons that women often count themselves out of politics and political races.”

Palmisano is a product development manager for United Health Group who has also been involved in the community.

A 14-year resident of the neighborhood, she is a Linden Hills Farmers Market board member, has chaired the Linden Hills Neighborhood Council, and coached track at Southwest High School. 

This fall, Palmisano led a group called Southwest Pedal Power in lobbying the city to add bike lanes to Upton Avenue and 44th Street. Those lanes will be installed in 2013.

“I intend to have a larger discussion about transit over the next couple years,” she said. “It’s not just about bike routes, it’s about transit.”

Palmisano also counts property taxes, airport noise, density and the environment as major issues in the Ward 13 race.

Perry and Palmisano served as neighborhood presidents at the same time — he at East Harriet and she at Linden Hills. 

“I have a lot of respect for Matt Perry,” Palmisano said. “We worked together quite closely in the past when we were both board chairs at neighborhoods across the lake and I look forward to being in that conversation with him. He knows a lot about city issues, too. There’s no one I would rather go toe-to-toe with.”

New police chief shuffles leadership

Newly appointed Police Chief Janeé Harteau is shuffling the department’s leadership team, including a shakeup at the 5th Precinct in Southwest. 

Harteau appointed Matt Clark to be her assistant chief. Clark had been the 5th Precinct Inspector and has been with MPD for 19 years. He was recently named in a lawsuit against the city by Champions Sports Bar and Grill.

Anthony Diaz will take Clark’s position in the 5th. Diaz was most recently a shift commander in the 5th Precinct. Before that he as a commander in the Criminal Investigations Division and also worked on the North Side. 

Kristine Arneson, another former 5th Precinct inspector, will serve as Harteau’s deputy chief of investigations.

Harteau tapped 1st Precinct Inspector Eddie Frizell as deputy chief of the patrol bureau, a position in Harteau’s executive management team. Bryan Schafer will take over for Frizell as inspector of the Downtown precinct.

Schafer is a 21-year city cop who has specialized in juvenile crime. He most recently served as commander in the 2nd precinct.

In Northeast, the 2nd Precinct will get a new inspector in Bruce Jensen. Jensen, a 19-year veteran of the MPD, has a background in the traffic unit and in financial crimes.

Rounding out the precinct inspector lineup are Michael Sullivan in the 3rd Precinct of South Minneapolis and Michael Kjos in 4th Precinct of North Minneapolis.

Report shows healthy city sales tax for Vikings stadium

In early December, the state of Minnesota released numbers showing that the state’s funding source for a new Vikings stadium — electronic pulltabs — weren’t meeting projections.

The city of Minneapolis released its third quarter financial report this week showing that the city’s funding sources — sales, lodging, food and liquor taxes — are performing quite nicely.

Through September, sales tax revenue was up 4.5 percent over the same period in 2011. The number crunchers who drafted the Vikings stadium bill had estimated for annual growth of 2 percent.

Those tax revenues — a citywide half-cent sales tax, a 3 percent downtown food and liquor tax and a 2.6 percent lodging tax — generated $40.62 million through September, up $1.75 million from last year.

“All the local tax categories are ahead of 2011, as people increase spending and take advantage of downtown lodging, dining, and drinking opportunities,” the report says.

Mayor R.T. Rybak, during the stadium debate, had said that the 2 percent increase estimates were conservative.

Over the past 10 years, the four taxes grew by an average of 2.6 percent. So it appears the city is on track this year to out-pace both its projections and its historic trends.

Reach Nick Halter at [email protected]