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Day in the Life: May 4

Today the Hennepin County Board voted in favor of the financing plan for a ballpark.  I spoke in favor, saying it is a tremendous opportunity and a sound financing plan.  I also said that in this location we can save tens of millions of dollars because all the infrastructure is in place...roads, bridges, parking ramps.  Finally, as someone who got to take a bus from south Minneapolis to games at the old Met Stadium, I'm exicted about the fact tha a kid can get to a game at this site by rail on the Northstar Line from Big Lake, by LRT from Bloomington and even on a dedicated bike trail from any of the western suburbs right to the front door.

I've wanted the broadest possible tax so the cost is spread out.   The county tax is broader than the previous ideas of a city tax.  It's not as broad at the 7 county tax I'd prefer but the best option yet.   I would also strongly prefer that we increased this sales tax...certainly to more counties...so it could fund higher priorities, ie. transit, health care, affordable housing, etc....We don't have that yet but I'm going to promise to keep fighting for those higher priorities.

Most people who read the news paper or watch the news will assume I spent most of my time on this today.  Acutally I spend about 30 minutes, but this is one of the most frustrating parts of this issue....It so dominates coverage and attention that we can't get attention for other issues.....Friday, for instance, I got a slew of media calls about the ballpark but when I did a joint press conference with the Minneapolis and St. Paul Council Presidents about massive cuts to schools in both cities....no reporters showed up.

I spent much of the morning at the State Capital fighting cuts against transit, education and a really bad proposed set of cuts against local government.  This last piece is a proposal from the House that would have espeically hard hits on cities like Minneapolis, St. Paul and Duluth.  Mayor Herb Bergson of Duluth, a great partner, was having a press conference on this up there and we were in contact several times today.  Great to have his help.   Mayor Randy Kelly of St. Paul testified against it, beginning by saying all the great things St. Paul is doing and then adding something to the effect: "Dont' penalize the smart spenders; Penalize the big spenders" as he launched into a negative, and not all that accurate critique of Minneapolis.  I guess the idea was to say not to cut St. Paul and instead cut Minneapolis more.   I've very glad that virtually all the Minneapolis and St. Paul legislative delegations, virtually all the city council members of both cities and the Minneapolis Mayor all believe cities should work together in these difficult times.


A great event in early evening...a pre Twins game picnic for  Project Success, which works with Minneapolis students by exposing them to live theater and then producing their own works.  Project Success works with these students over six years and does a wonderful job of developing a sense of self and purpose in the students.   After the picnic, we went out on the field for a pregame presentation that included a group of Project Success students singing from their musical "Sussical" that will be performed June 3 and 4. (Save this same weekend for the kickoff of Mosaic.   www.minneapolismosaic.org)

May 3, 2005 in Day In The Life | Permalink


It's funny how in the same post you can support a tax for helping a rich man build a baseball stadium to play sports in and later on fret about the spending cuts for education, transit and local government.

And by funny, I mean sad. You made the ironic comment here easy.

I understand the desire for economic development that can be brought about by a baseball stadium, but that is not guaranteed.

I don't think it's a very democratic position to take to deny voters representation that they we supposed to be guaranteed by law when levying a new tax in the state of Minneosta. See: MSA 297A.99

Posted by: justin | May 4, 2005 12:29:56 AM

Someone know if he's in favor of the smoking ban in effect?

Posted by: David | May 4, 2005 8:14:03 AM

RT is not in favor of the smoking ban. He has only said now that it is in place we have to make it work. He came out against it before it was passed and grudgenly signed it.

Posted by: Mike | May 12, 2005 10:28:33 PM

I am not in favor of lots of public money for a stadium. People talk about economic benefit, but that is murky. Clearly, many people want a stadium; as has been shown repeatedly, most don't.

This "3 cents on $20" figure seems misleading. How much money is that total? The City Pages claims $315/person living in Hennepin county! That's terrible. I don't want to spend 315 for a dumb stadium that the billionares won't buy themselves.

Take a stand, R.T.


Posted by: Dan | May 14, 2005 9:30:42 AM

I seem to remember a DFL candidate a few years ago that had us holding up little Target signs at the convention to protest another candidate's plan to use public dollars to subsidize the development of a private business.

Who was that now...?

I like you, RT, but your support of this deal is really disappointing--so much so that I don't see how I could vote for you OR Peter in November.

Posted by: Jeremy | Jun 15, 2005 3:13:12 PM

R.T. Rybak and Peter are the same book ends.
I sure RT will pull this off his site. But all of you have a candidate for Mayor that is noway like RT or Peter. It's me Mark Koscielski if you go to my web site www.notaxs.org you can see what I'm about, and with your help we can taking back Minneapolis for the Taxpayer's Thanks Mark

Posted by: Mark Koscielski | Jul 19, 2005 9:09:32 AM

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