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Bulletin letters to the editor: City Hall financing, school district issues

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opinion Cottage Grove, 55016

Cottage Grove Minnesota 7584 80th Street South 55016

Recent letters to the editor of the Bulletin:

Dishonesty and deception flourishes at City Hall

In response to the Bulletin story on City Hall funding ("Bonding might be used to cover City Hall costs," July 10), we felt it was worthwhile to once again share some information that rarely makes it to the local media.

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In August 2010, the City Council decided it was time to build a new City Hall and public safety building. Costs were to be in the vicinity of $16 million. The funding chosen for this project was G.O.B. (general obligation bonding). By state law this funding option allows 30 days for the citizens to petition for a referendum vote. Within 14 days, the citizens had submitted a petition with over 1400 signatures -- far more than the minimum number required.

At the first council meeting in September 2010, having had received the 1,400 signatures, the council rescinded the previous vote for G.O. bonding. One can spin this any way but loose, but no doubt this was rescinded to flat out deny the citizens of Cottage Grove a vote on this project, the largest building project in city history. In fact, at an October 2010 council meeting, Mayor Myron Bailey stated, "I do not care how many signatures you got, there will be no vote." Kind of fits the definition of "tyrant."

The council then pursued the option of private placement financing. Finance proposals were submitted to eight lending institutions; six turned the city down as too risky. Two of the offers had too high an interest rate.

Depending on whom one talks to, the city had ample cash funding to pay for the project or they could rob from various other city funds, water and sewer and others, to pay for the project.

To deny the citizens a vote on this project, the G.O.B. option was rescinded in 2010. Now that the new City Hall is built, the council now feels that G.O.B. funding may be the way to fund the project. Bottom line: prepare for your city taxes to increase.

If the citizens of Cottage Grove actually knew all the details of this project, there would likely be some changes in those elected to the City Council.

Leon Moe

Cottage Grove

Truth of school district should include positive and negative

Who will speak up for the students of District 833? Why does the school district need parents to speak on its behalf? Why is it when something negative is reported it is counted as "misinformation"?

When I told my story to a reporter who reported my story accurately, I was criticized for telling the truth. As a student, when my civil rights are violated, do I not get a voice? Should I just let it go because it's not positive? What message does this send to students? Does this not give the school district license to do whatever it wants? Where are the checks and balances?

I don't think it is a bad thing to talk about the good things the school district has done, but if you are going to tell the truth about a school district, you have to give the whole truth -- not just the positive, but the negative as well.

Gary D. Riege

Cottage Grove

Riege is an East Ridge High School student

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