Viewpoint: 'Nazi' link diminishes charter city proponents' validityI’m usually pretty tolerant of politicking and people trying to sensationalize or grandstand, but when they associate a city process to something as serious and terrible as fascism that is too much.
By: Dave Thiede, South Washington County Bulletin
In the Sept. 14 issue of the Bulletin, the group opposing the new public safety/city hall building compared rules of order employed at Cottage Grove City Council meetings to tactics employed to silence opposition in Nazi Germany.
I’m usually pretty tolerant of politicking and people trying to sensationalize or grandstand, but when they associate a city process to something as serious and terrible as fascism that is too much. It also seriously diminishes this group’s validity as a serious voice on issues. The two-minute limitation is clearly a process meant to give an equal chance for people to address the council on issues given the limited time at the meeting.
I’m OK with opposing viewpoints as long as they are done politely and honestly. I was told that one individual who was asked to sign a petition at the Cottage Grove park-and-ride to change Cottage Grove’s form of government was told that the city was trying to close down the park-and-ride and that is absolutely false. Eventually, if the Red Rock Corridor commuter train goes through, the park-and-ride would probably move to the Langdon area, but that is not likely to happen too quickly unless other development drives it.
Relative to changing to a charter city, I would ask everyone to do your homework. Get the facts. Don’t accept non-verified facts from anyone.
Political science was never one of my better subjects, but the League of Minnesota Cities has a good, non-biased description at www.lmc.org/handbook/chapter04.pdf.
Personally, as I do my research, it sounds like it will cost money to get a consultant, and go through the legal process and consume a lot of employee time and expense – a lot of your (the taxpayer) dollars. If you do your homework I think you will find that our city management has done an excellent job of managing our city. But don’t take my word for it; if you really think we should change, take a look at the facts. How do we compare with other cities relative to levy, how well did we manage finances after the state took away our aid, how many city employees have been laid off due to unavailable funds?
I’m kind of new at municipal finance but it looks pretty good to me.
But my message is, do your homework.
I think things are going well in more challenging times and so my vote would be not to spend money when we don’t need to and the return on investment is low.
Dave Thiede is a Cottage Grove City Council member