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Friday, April 14, 2006

Stadium Boondoggle Update

From the comments:

Dave St. Peter to twins employees

...I must caution you that the hearing could take a couple hours and there could be a lot of negative comments about the Twins, Pohald family and our new stadium proposal. Unfortunately, this is how the legislative process works...

Dave St Peter and Sid Hartman sure don't know how this game is played. If you want to cram something down the tax payers throats, make damn sure you never tell people thats your intent.
Can't post my name on this one


Lloydletta's Nooz obtained this email sent from Mary Capra, Mayor of Centerville, and went to several local mayors who oppose exempting Hennepin and Anoka Counties from the state statute requiring a referendum for local option sales tax increases:

I just wanted to update you all on the meeting with David Gaither - Governor Pawlenty's Chief of Staff.

On Wednesday, April 5th at 3:00 p.m. three mayors from Anoka County Mayor Wells - City of Spring Lake Park, Mayor Kireide - City of Ham Lake and Mayor Capra - City of Centerville met with David Gaither the governors chief of staff to discuss our concerns regarding the proposed local sales tax for funding of stadiums.

I had sent a letter requesting to meet with the governor representing Mayor's of six cities from Anoka and Hennepin County regarding the proposed local sales taxes to fund stadiums within the perspective counties. The governor declined to meet with the Mayors from Anoka and Hennepin Counties that passed Resolutions/letters requesting a referendum. According to the governor's staff, the governor stated he would allow us to meet with his chief of staff David Gaither who is the person handling issues regarding the stadium proposals. We had a 30 minute meeting with Mr. Gaither and two of his staff members.

The meeting was productive and I am glad we went. We affirmed the point that all six cities are not anti-stadium at all, but we are pro-referendum. The attached letter was drafted and signed by those Mayors attending the meeting and the additional information outside of the letters and resolutions were presented as coming from the three Mayors present at the meeting.

I baked homemade bread to take with us symbolic of the basic answer regarding the right to vote. Below is the basics of what Mayor's Wells, Kireide and Capra stated to David Gaither and we asked him to forward our bread and packet on to the governor.

"We wanted to give to you something symbolic to remind you of the basics of government. We wanted it to be simple, because no matter how complicated an issue might seem; generally everyone can recognize what the simple answer is."

For those Mayor's in Hennepin County the below information is regarding the Twins Tax Committee Hearing for the proponents and the opponents. If you or any of your residents would like to testify they should contact Craig Stone the committee administrator.

Respectfully,

Mary Capra
Mayor - Centerville

Taxes
Committee Meeting Schedule

WEDNESDAY, April 19, 2006
10:15 AM
Room: 200 State Office Building
Chair: Representative Philip Krinkie
Agenda: Omnibus finance bill(s) to be announced

WEDNESDAY, April 19, 2006
3:00 PM
Room: 5 State Office Building
Chair: Representative Philip Krinkie
Agenda: HF2480 (Finstad) Baseball stadium financing, construction, and
operation provided; Minnesota Ballpark Authority established; and Hennepin
County sales tax authorized.
Testimony from proponents

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

THURSDAY, April 20, 2006
6:00 PM
Room: Oak Grove Middle School, 1300 W. 106th St. * Bloomington
Chair: Representative Philip Krinkie
Agenda: HF2480 (Finstad) Baseball stadium financing, construction, and
operation provided; Minnesota Ballpark Authority established; and Hennepin
County sales tax authorized.
Testimony from opponents

====================
Craig A. Stone, JD, MPA
Committee Administrator
Tax Committee
Minnesota House of Representatives
363 State Office Building
St. Paul, MN 55155
Office: (651) 296-5367
Fax: (651) 296-3869
Cell: (651) 336-6383
=====================


Here's the letter the Mayors gave to Gaither:

April 5 2006
Office of the Governor Tim Pawlenty
130 State Capitol
75 Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
S1 Paul MN 55155
Dear Governor Tim Pawlenty
We give you this bread to remind you that around the world since biblical times bread has been a basic essence and symbol of life Since the birth of this nation the basic essence and symbol of democracy has been the people s right to vote. Our citizens cannot understand how any government official in the State of Minnesota would feel it is their right to take away the citizen's right to vote on a local sales tax increase.

The majority of the Anoka and Hennepin County Commissioners believe they are functioning as Representative Government by imposing a sales tax to pay for stadiums However state law gives that right only to the voters. County Commissioners were not elected with the authority to increase sales taxes.

We understand the desire to want to do something for these two teams but if they are seeking funding through local sales taxes the teams need to ask the voters. It's that simple.

Whether one is elected to the local county state or federal levels of government we all need to review our decisions as to how they affect taxpayers and the public today in addition to how our decisions today affect future elected officials We are elected to be good stewards to the people's laws and tax dollars.

Anoka and Hennepin Counties are asking for a waiver on the referendum requirement to impose a local sales tax for the purpose of funding stadiums As elected officials you need to look beyond the purpose for this request and ask yourselves if there would ever be an instance when the requirement for a referendum should be waived What would be the priorities of granting those exemption requests.

By not upholding the current State law you leave the door open for other requests from counties and cities. More times than not as elected officials laws are put into place to protect us from ourselves they assist us in making sound decision by limiting our powers.

The only thing that remains to be seen is if the Governor and the Legislature will uphold the law and the people s basic right to vote on the proposed local sales tax for the funding of stadiums.

Thank you for your time and consideration

Respectfully
Mary Capra
Mayor
City of Centerville
Gary Kirkeide
Mayor
City of Ham Lake
Harley Wells
Mayor
Spring Lake Park


I'd encourage people to go to this hearing and testify in opposition to Finstad's bill.

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