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Sunday, June 25, 2006

Gail Dorfman Requests Retraction from Strib on Stadium Story

Some of you may have been shocked to read in the Star Tribune today that I voted in favor of $5 million in funding for the new Twins Stadium. I was too, especially since I made the motion to separate out the funding piece as its own resolution so that I could vote against it. I've called the Star Tribune to demand a retraction and also sent out the press release that follows. I want to assure list members and my constituents that I remain opposed to public funding for the stadium package and that I intend to vote against the imposition of a county-wide tax.

Gail Dorfman
Hennepin County Commissioner

COMMISSIONER DORFMAN VOTES
TO OPPOSE $5 MILLION
IN PUBLIC
FUNDING FOR STADIUM

Contact:
Gail Dorfman 612-348-7883 (office)
612-998-5214 (cell)

Commissioner Gail Dorfman continued her consistent opposition to public funding for a new Twins stadium by voting against a resolution authorizing $5 million in Hennepin County funds for stadium-related activities.

The Hennepin County Board voted 4 -3 to authorize this funding after Commissioner Dorfman moved to separate public funding language from the remainder of the resolution on stadium activities. Voting in favor of the $5 million expenditure were Commissioners Opat, Stenglein, McLaughlin and Johnson. Dorfman was joined in her opposition by Commissioners Koblick and Steele.

Commissioner Dorfman also voted to delete language from the resolution giving County staff broad authority to take whatever actions necessary to construct a ballpark on the Rapid Park site. Dorfman opposed this language because it would include imposing a Hennepin County sales tax to fund the new stadium.

"I believe that the public has been clear and consistent in their opposition to public funding for a new Twins stadium. As a Twins season ticket holder, I'm a huge fan but I cannot support a stadium funding package that asks taxpayers to pick up the tab. I am saddened that opposition to public funding is the minority view on the County Board and at the State Legislature because it's very clear to me that it's the majority view of Hennepin County residents", said Dorfman.

Dorfman also supported an amendment sponsored by Commissioner Koblick reducing the contract authority of the County Administrator for stadium-related contracts from $150,000 to the standard $50,000. This amendment failed on a 4-3 vote.

After a majority of the County Board voted to authorize the $5 million expenditure, the Board considered resolution language that included funding for youth sports and expanded library hours, should a county-wide tax go forward.

This resolution also appointed members to the Ballpark Authority as required by the Legislature, mandated a public sector project labor agreement, minority contractor participation and the use of environmentally friendly materials and practices in stadium construction and included a connection to the Cedar Lake Trail in stadium development plans. Commissioner Dorfman voted in favor of this resolution saying, "I will continue to oppose this public financing package, but if a majority of this Board continues to move the stadium forward, we owe it to the public to make sure that it's done right."

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Hopefully the strib will honor Dorfman's request for the retraction.

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