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Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Planetarium, Stadium Boondoggles, Transit and Library Funding

I'm glad the Mayor posted about the Planetarium. The talking points on the subject are valuable. I still wonder about his priorities though since he gets quoted in the Strib supporting Pawlenty's stadium boondoggle.

At 09:32 AM 3/17/2004, Rybak, R.T. wrote:

Eva Young posted about the importance of the Plaetarium.
I agree, which is why I've testified twice in the past few weeks about it at the Legislature. I told them, and the Governor, that is Minneapolis' number one bonding proposal, and I was happy to deliver the Governor a letter saying that all Minneapolis Senators and Representatives are now in full support....We also have a wide collection of cosponsors, including many Republicans from around the suburbs and Greater Minnesota. I also also trying to recruit private contributors to raise the private dollars necessary to make this work.

Ok - but why not also say this is higher priority than a state and locally subsidized Stadium - and criticize the Governor for misplaced priorities? Mayor Rybak, when you ran for office you criticized your opponents for supporting stadium subsidies. Many of your supporters supported you over Incumbent Sharon Sayles Belton for that reason. Why are you now getting quoted in the press supporting a stadium plan that uses a TIF financing mechanism? That's not what TIF financing is designed for. Saying this is no new taxes is disingenuous at best - since other property taxpayers will pay more to subsidize some billionaires not paying their fair share. Wouldn't it be nice for all of us to be able to earmark any sales taxes we pay to go towards our mortgages.

As far as Pawlenty's claim that if the stadiums aren't here (paid for by the taxpayers) people wouldn't have anything to do. That's ludicrous and suggests the Governor has very little imagination. There are many parks to visit, theaters and concerts to attend, sports leagues to participate in.

And heck - I can't go to my local library Pierre Bottineau on a Saturday any more - but Mayor Rybak wants to give a government subsidy to a Twins stadium?

Meanwhile there is one easy cut to the Governor's bonding proposal. Cut the proposed funding for Urban Ventures Leadership Foundations Colin Powell Youth Center.