Applications Open for Bloomington City Council, Commissions
The Bloomington City Council filed notice that they will fill an at-large seat in January after Councilmember Nathan Coulter resigns Jan. 2 to serve as the House District 51B representative at the Minnesota House of Representatives.
The council will appoint Coulter’s replacement until the November 2023 election. The winner of a special election next fall will complete the remainder of the four-year term, which expires Jan. 5, 2026.
Bloomington residents interested in appointment to the council may submit a cover letter, resume and application form, available online. The submission deadline is 4 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 22. The council will conduct interviews after reviewing applications, with an expected appointment in late January.
Information is available online at blm.mn/councilmembers.Read more
Republican Party of MN Officers Elected
The State Central Committee of the Republican Party of Minnesota (RPM - also often shortened to MN GOP) met in St. Cloud on Saturday, December 3. This Committee is empowered by the RPM Constitution with the general management of the Party. The RPM Bylaws call for the election of the State Party Chair, Deputy Chair, and Secretary every two years, at the December meeting held the month after a presidential or state governor election.
The delegates and seated alternates at the State Central Committee meeting voted to re-elect David Hann as Chair and Donna Bergstrom as Deputy Chair. They elected Jenna Dicks to replace David Pascoe, who chose not to run for re-election.
Also approved at the SCC meeting were the windows for the BPOU and Congressional District conventions in 2023. BPOU conventions may be held between February 2 and March 31. Congressional District conventions may be held between April 1 and April 30.
This State Central Committee meeting included some contention regarding the RPM Chair election. A majority of the delegates and seated alternates ultimately voted to override a ruling of the chair of the meeting before that vote could take place.Read more
Chair Hann's Vision for MN Republicans
In a Nov 30 letter to State Central Delegates and Alternates, Chair David Hann shared his vision for MN Republicans
Dear State Central Committee Delegates and Alternates:
Since the November election, the most frequently asked question by voters, donors, activists, and delegates is, “where do we go from here?” While the Party has made significant progress in the last year — we must now focus on building upon that progress, learn from the failures, and work toward winning the next election.
For those wondering/asking, there are many things in the works, but a few things in particular that we will focus on over the next two years:
Reforming the Republican Party of Minnesota
Our principles are sound as they are based on the Declaration principles upon which our nation was founded. Unfortunately, it takes more than just a great product. We also need a structure that is capable, focused, and can be designed to work effectively together to elect our candidates. My thirteen months as Chairman have taught me that past leadership had either not maintained or developed the organizational capacity necessary to succeed statewide in Minnesota.
Over the past year, I have been surprised at just how much of our time at the State Party has been spent dealing with inner-party disagreements, disputes, and procedural ambiguities. Just as any organization must do that has not seen success for a number of decades, we must ask ourselves the hard questions to determine why that is and how we can come together to work toward the true goal — winning elections.
When re-elected, I will propose that we form a committee that represents all eight Congressional Districts to be a voice for their respective party units. This committee will serve to strengthen our coordinated efforts across the state. The committee will be asked to examine things such as Republican Party structures in states similar to Minnesota as well as states that have moved from Democrat to Republican majorities in the past several years. They will spend some time reviewing our internal operations to then submit formal reports and recommendations to the state party.
These recommendations will be distributed amongst delegates for review and discussion. A Special Constitutional Convention will be called later in the next year to vote on whether to adopt the reforms presented.
Building a Stronger Coalition
As a part of this overall discussion about our Party structure, it is imperative that we build a stronger coalition with our donor base, legislative caucus organizations, congressional delegations, and other Republican allied organizations. We began this work last year, however, with so many components of the entire Republican “enterprise,” improving coordination within the letter of the law will be one of our top priorities ahead of the next election — working toward the same goal of winning majorities and statewide elections.
We should all be on the same message, we should not be duplicating efforts, and we should be helping each other to be successful. I am proposing to all of our allied stakeholders that we begin a series of discussions to develop and then maintain a stronger coordinated effort. I expect this work to continue early next year. Minnesota Democrats discovered how to do this 20 years ago, and it’s about time we catch up. Minnesota Democrats have succeeded in winning elections not based on their policies, but on their efficiently coordinated operational structure.Read more
Axios: Bloomington City Council to Consider Sports and Entertainment Complex Dec 7
Axios Twin Cities reported [Bloomington hints at sports-entertainment complex - Axios Twin Cities] Monday, December 5, that the Bloomington City Council will hold a public hearing on Wednesday, December 7 to approve “up to $95.2 million in a spending on economic development projects.”
One wouldn’t know this from the City’s website. Bloomington lists a “City Council/Port Authority Concurrent Meeting” on Wednesday starting at 6 pm. Under “New Business”, the agenda lists “PUBLIC HEARING: Amended and Restated Spending Plan for tax increments from MOA Tax Increment Financing Districts.”
No more details. The Public Hearing notice on the city website, initially posted Thanksgiving Day (11/24) and updated Nov 29, provides information on how to participate.
The Axios Twin Cities article points out that $55 million of the $95.2 million is already earmarked to subsidize a $430 million water park first proposed in 2019 to be built and managed by the Mall of America. This is the water park that was to begin construction this fall, but the Mall of America says it is being delayed by high interest rates and construction costs.
Now, in addition to subsidizing the Mall of America water park, Bloomington city staff are asking to spend $40 million for a “sports complex, and/or event or entertainment facility near the megamall.”
The Bloomington City Council has also proposed a city sales tax[Bloomington sales tax information | City of Bloomington MN] to raise money to for upgrades to the Dwan Golf Course, the Bloomington Center for the Arts, and the Bloomington Ice Garden, as well as a new “community health and wellness center.”
All of this proposed spending is on top of a significant increase in Bloomington’s property taxes. It would appear that the $95.2 million in “tax increments from MOA Tax Increment Financing Districts” cannot be used to offset the need to raise these taxes. One would think that the City should just let the Tax Increment Financing Districts expire and let the MOA tax revenue go into the general city coffers.
MN Supreme Court Hears Bloomington RCV Case
On Monday, November 28, the Minnesota Supreme Court heard the oral arguments for a case arising from the Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) Petition brought by members of Residents for a Better Bloomington (RFABB) against the City of Bloomington.
This was an expedited review after the Hennepin County District Court upheld the City’s rejection of the citizen’s petition to amend the City Charter permitting RCV.
Attorneys Greg Joseph (Of Council) and James Dickey, with the Upper Midwest Law Center, argued the case brought by plaintiffs Craig Black and Cole Kranz. The Upper Midwest Law Center is a center-right, non-profit, public interest law firm founded in 2019 by Attorney Douglas P. Seaton.
The outcome of the case will determine whether the petition can be placed on the ballot and be voted on again in Bloomington. It will also affect all 107 Charter Cities in Minnesota that receive signed voter petitions from residents.
Fall Conversation Explored Grassroots Activism and Limits on Abortion
Over 40 people attended the annual Senate District 50 fundraiser called the Fall Conversation. The Edina Country Club provided a perfect venue for casual conversation and a stimulating discussion on grassroots activism.
Pam Tucholke, Chair of Senate District 50 (pictured above left), kicked off the more formal part of the evening by introducing Beth Beebe and Doug Fulton, Republican-endorsed candidates who ran outstanding campaigns in the recent elections. She then introduced Kendall Qualls (pictured above right), who moderated the discussion.
Qualls made a few personal remarks about the November results before directing his attention to the panel members: Atty Greg Joseph, MN Sen. Mark Koran, and former MN Rep. Tim Miller.
The audience quickly engaged on the subject of grassroots activism. They also sought to delve into the topic of abortion and how it could effectively be limited in Minnesota.Read more