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In mid-May, two prominent elected officials in Bloomington announced that they would be leaving their posts. County Commissioner Randy Johnson announced that he will not seek re-election this year in Hennepin County District 5. Councilmember At Large Cynthia Bemis Abrams resigned from her Bloomington City Council position effective June 4.
Read more about Johnson, Abrams, and the openings for Hennepin County Commissioner and Bloomington City Council below
Applications for Edina’s new EEC Working Groups due by June 2
Edina is creating two new working groups under its Energy & Environment Commission (EEC). An Edina news release stated that the Business Energy Efficiency and Residential Energy Efficiency working groups will “strive to reduce the community’s greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2025 through strategies and actions that are sustainable, practical and measurable.”
These working groups would likely benefit from a diverse perspective, so please consider CLICKING HERE to apply online at the City of Edina website by the June 2 deadline. Current EEC commissioners like Keith Kostuch ([email protected]) and Bill Glahn can be contacted to provide background.
Edina Community Center revised layout has no room for SD 49 GOP
In May 2015, Edina conducted a special election bond referendum. The Edina voters approved $125 million in bond funding to update learning spaces, enhance building security at the district’s 10 schools, and improve district infrastructure. A year later, the facility planning associated with the new floor plans and security enhancements at the Edina Community Center (ECC) is becoming clear.
There will be no room for several of the remaining ECC tenants, including the Congressional District 3 (CD 3) and Senate District 49 (SD 49) Republicans. By December 1, 2016, new office and meeting space will be needed. We are asking for your help in identifying inexpensive office and storage options to efficiently maintain our operations.
The City of Edina Energy and Environment Commission voted overwhelmingly to condemn the use of crumb rubber in the city of Edina.
On May 12, the Edina Energy and Environment Commission (EEC) voted 10-2 in favor of a resolution condemning the use of crumb rubber in Edina. Currently there are two city-owned fields, Pamela Park and Braemar, that utilize this controversial in-fill material. The Edina School District is now moving forward with plans to install crumb rubber in-fill on four new fields and to replace the turf on Kuhlman Field with crumb rubber. It is not yet clear what impact the EEC condemnation vote will have on the existing Edina-owned fields or on the new construction of the school district fields. Cities and school districts throughout the country have banned crumb rubber because of health and environmental concerns caused by the material, which consists of ground up waste tires. The federal Environmental Protection Agency is currently conducting a major study of the health and environmental risks posed by crumb rubber and expects to issue a preliminary report by the end of 2016.
The EEC is an advisory commission consisting of 13 community members that helps the City of Edina stay on the forefront of environmental issues
The 2016 Republican State Central meeting and Convention convened in Duluth on Friday afternoon. The delegates and seated alternates contributed to several important actions. The National Committeewoman and National Committeeman were elected. Fourteen delegates and eleven alternates were selected to go to the Republican National Convention. An amendment was approved to the MN Party constitution to adjust the process for vetting and endorsing judicial candidates.
Perhaps most important, the consensus of the convention was that the Minnesota GOP would align itself with the presumptive GOP presidential candidate, Donald Trump.
Two members of SD 49 were picked to attend the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. Doug Seaton was elected as a Rubio delegate and Barb Sutter was elected as a Trump alternate. The full list of elected delegates and alternates is at the end of this article.
MN GOP Chairman Keith Downey announced on May 9 that he has appointed Barb Sutter, with the unanimous approval of the State Executive Committee, to serve as Secretary of the Republican Party of Minnesota. The appointment is “on an interim basis until an election can be held at the next State Central Meeting after our upcoming May 20th meeting.”
Ryan Love, elected MN GOP Secretary in 2014, resigned when the acceptance of a new job required that he leave Minnesota and move to Florida
Chairman Downey congratulated Barb and thanked her for her service to the Party.
Campaign Organizing Meeting and Social a Big Hit
More than 80 Senate District 49 leaders and volunteers met at the Richfield American Legion on Friday evening, May 13. The senate district leadership convened first to discuss preparations for the Minnesota legislative races as well as for the US House campaign in Congressional District 5.
Frank Drake, Mike Lehmann, Dario Anselmo, and Max Rymer each spent a few minutes describing their plans and expectations. Significant work has been done to get ready for the campaigns that will go on over the summer and fall.
A number of additional volunteers joined the senate district leaders to informally get acquainted and talk about opportunities as summer approaches.
SEN. FRANZEN’S DEMAND WILL LIKELY LEAD TO SALES TAX INCREASE
With two weeks left in this legislative session, our local representatives are taking positions on bonding and state spending. The bonding bill offers a unique opportunity to demand action on special interests. DFL State Senator Melissa Franzen has taken advantage of this opportunity.
Since bonding bills can directly impact Minnesota’s borrowing capacity, they require a three-fifths vote to approve. Passing a bonding bill will therefore require votes from both parties. In late April, the Star Tribune reported that Sen Melissa Franzen set her price for her vote to approve a final bonding bill. She joined six other DFL senators, primarily from the metropolitan area, in demanding approval of $135 million in state funding for the Southwest Light-Rail Transit project.
In Parts 1 and 2 our coverage highlighted Bloomington’s newly-imposed gas and electric franchise fees. Now we turn our focus to the utility fee on water bills, tagged as Curbside Cleanup.
The annual Bloomington Curbside Cleanup program is very popular with city residents. They made that clear a few years ago when the Council voted to skip a year as a cost-saving measure. The Bloomington water bill add-on of about $6 every 2 months ($36/year) for what used to be called “Solid Waste Fee” but is now tagged as “Citywide Curbside Cleanup” just adds to the taxes/fees tangle. In any given year, about 45% of homeowners use this service, although almost all pay-in (“participate”) via the Fee. In response to an inquiry, Councilman Jack Baloga stated:
Being a GOP volunteer is quite an experience! I think the motivation for getting involved as a volunteer can vary widely from curiosity to social involvement to fundamental principles. What I think is amazing is the experience of finding yourself in the middle of grass-roots democracy. One minute you are saying that you would like to help and the next, you are getting up at 5:30 am on a beautiful Saturday. You join 50 other unpaid people to help make a convention happen! Your diet becomes coffee and donuts. Computers that were tested and retested decide to “crash” at the main event. The other 50 unpaid volunteers around you seem to just keep adjusting and giving it their all in what now seems like one of the most important things you can be working on. It’s a little like sausage making and, even more, it is the excitement of democracy in action.
If you want to experience the challenge and enjoyment of volunteering, we have openings for people to work in the following areas:
- Communications (e.g., writing, graphics, etc.)
- Campaigning (e.g., dropping literature, calling, etc.)
- Events (e.g., picnics, dinners, etc.)
- Technology (e.g., data management, social media, etc.)
To help, please click the following address: http://www.sd49gop.com/volunteer_survey_2