Edina EEC Votes to Condemn Crumb Rubber Use

The City of Edina Energy and Environment Commission voted overwhelmingly to condemn the use of crumb rubber in the city of Edina.  

artificial_turf_from_www_dot_ct_dot_gov.jpgOn May 12, the Edina Energy and Environment Commission (EEC) voted 10-2 in favor of a resolution condemning the use of crumb rubber in Edina. Currently there are two city-owned fields, Pamela Park and Braemar, that utilize this controversial in-fill material. The Edina School District is now moving forward with plans to install crumb rubber in-fill on four new fields and to replace the turf on Kuhlman Field with crumb rubber.  It is not yet clear what impact the EEC condemnation vote will have on the existing Edina-owned fields or on the new construction of the school district fields.  Cities and school districts throughout the country have banned crumb rubber because of health and environmental concerns caused by the material, which consists of ground up waste tires.  The federal Environmental Protection Agency is currently conducting a major study of the health and environmental risks posed by crumb rubber and expects to issue a preliminary report by the end of 2016.  

The EEC is an advisory commission consisting of 13 community members that helps the City of Edina stay on the forefront of environmental issues


Convention sends two from Edina and Bloomington to Cleveland

The 2016 Republican State Central meeting and Convention convened in Duluth on Friday afternoon.  The delegates and seated alternates contributed to several important actions.  The National Committeewoman and National Committeeman were elected.  Fourteen delegates and eleven alternates were selected to go to the Republican National Convention.  An amendment was approved to the MN Party constitution to adjust the process for vetting and endorsing judicial candidates.  

Perhaps most important, the consensus of the convention was that the Minnesota GOP would align itself with the presumptive GOP presidential candidate, Donald Trump. 

Doug_Seaton.JPGBarb_MNGOP.JPGTwo members of SD 49 were picked to attend the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.  Doug Seaton was elected as a Rubio delegate and Barb Sutter was elected as a Trump alternate.  The full list of elected delegates and alternates is at the end of this article.

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Barb Sutter Appointed MN GOP Secretary

BarbMNGOP.jpgMN GOP Chairman Keith Downey announced on May 9 that he has appointed Barb Sutter, with the unanimous approval of the State Executive Committee, to serve as Secretary of the Republican Party of Minnesota.  The appointment is “on an interim basis until an election can be held at the next State Central Meeting after our upcoming May 20th meeting.”

Ryan Love, elected MN GOP Secretary in 2014, resigned when the acceptance of a new job required that he leave Minnesota and move to Florida

Chairman Downey congratulated Barb and thanked her for her service to the Party.

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Edina, Bloomington Candidates Meet SD49 Supporters

Campaign Organizing Meeting and Social a Big Hit

More than 80 Senate District 49 leaders and volunteers met at the Richfield American Legion on Friday evening, May 13.  The senate district leadership convened first to discuss preparations for the Minnesota legislative races as well as for the US House campaign in Congressional District 5.  

FrankDrake.jpgMikeLehmann.jpgFrank Drake, Mike Lehmann, Dario Anselmo, and Max Rymer each spent a few minutes describing their plans and expectations.  Significant work has been done to get ready for the campaigns that will go on over the summer and fall.

A number of additional volunteers joined the senate district leaders to informally get acquainted and talk about opportunities as summer approaches. 

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Legislative Update: Two Weeks & Counting

SEN. FRANZEN’S DEMAND WILL LIKELY LEAD TO SALES TAX INCREASE

With two weeks left in this legislative session, our local representatives are taking positions on bonding and state spending.  The bonding bill offers a unique opportunity to demand action on special interests.  DFL State Senator Melissa Franzen has taken advantage of this opportunity.

road-sign-808733__180.jpgSince bonding bills can directly impact Minnesota’s borrowing capacity, they require a three-fifths vote to approve. Passing a bonding bill will therefore require votes from both parties.  In late April, the Star Tribune reported that  Sen Melissa Franzen set her price for her vote to approve a final bonding bill.  She joined six other DFL senators, primarily from the metropolitan area, in demanding approval of $135 million in state funding for the Southwest Light-Rail Transit project. 

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Bloomington's Excessive Utility Fee Add-Ons

In Parts 1 and 2 our coverage highlighted Bloomington’s newly-imposed gas and electric franchise fees. Now we turn our focus to the utility fee on water bills, tagged as Curbside Cleanup.

The annual Bloomington Curbside Cleanup program is very popular with city residents.   They made that clear a few years ago when the Council voted to skip a year as a cost-saving measure.  The Bloomington water bill add-on of about $6 every 2 months ($36/year) for what used to be called “Solid Waste Fee” but is now tagged as “Citywide Curbside Cleanup” just adds to the taxes/fees tangle.     In any given year, about 45% of homeowners use this service, although almost all pay-in (“participate”) via the Fee.  In response to an inquiry, Councilman Jack Baloga stated: 

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Confessions of a Volunteer

Being a GOP volunteer is quite an experience!  I think the motivation for getting involved as a volunteer can vary widely from curiosity to social involvement to fundamental principles.  What I think is amazing is the experience of finding yourself in the middle of grass-roots democracy.  One minute you are saying that you would like to help and the next, you are getting up at 5:30 am on a beautiful Saturday.  You join 50 other unpaid people to help make a convention happen!  Your diet becomes coffee and donuts.  Computers that were tested and retested decide to “crash” at the main event.  The other 50 unpaid volunteers around you seem to just keep adjusting and giving it their all in what now seems like one of the most important things you can be working on.   It’s a little like sausage making and, even more, it is the excitement of democracy in action.  volunteer-clip-art-friends-of-the-library-ideas-pinterest.jpg

 If you want to experience the challenge and enjoyment of volunteering, we have openings for people to work in the following areas: 

  • Communications (e.g., writing, graphics, etc.)
  • Campaigning (e.g., dropping literature, calling, etc.)
  • Events (e.g., picnics, dinners, etc.)
  • Technology (e.g., data management, social media, etc.)

To help, please click the following address: http://www.sd49gop.com/volunteer_survey_2


MVA Challenges Same Day Voter Registration

The Minnesota Voters Alliance Challenges Same-Day Registration at Minnesota Supreme Court

The Minnesota Voters Alliance (MVA), as promised by Andy Cilek at a recent SD GOP 49 event, has announced the filing of a petition to the Minnesota Supreme Court that challenges the constitutionality of Minnesota same-day election policies.  The MVA has recently been conducting extensive research on ineligible voting that will support the petition.  The State of Minnesota will be forced to explain its violation of the Minnesota State Constitution by allowing more than 500,000 persons to vote without verified eligibility in presidential election years. 

 

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MN SENATE vs. HOUSE POSITIONS ON $900 MILLION SURPLUS

The positions of the DFL majority in the MN Senate and the Republican majority in the MN House are becoming clearer regarding current and future state spending. 

The Republicans want to hold the line on the state budget and split the surplus between infrastructure needs and tax reductions. 

The DFL wants to spend half of the surplus on several state government initiatives, offer some tax relief while primarily relying on a gas tax increase to fund infrastructure needs.

MID-APRIL POSITION ON THE 2016 SURPLUS

  • Senate DFL:  allot 37% to transportation spending and tax reductions; 50% to other government spending; 13% TBD
  • House Republicans:  allot 99.8% to transportation  spending and tax reduction; 0.2% to other government spending
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Mike Lehmann Speaks at SD49 Convention

MN Senate, Senate District 49 – Michael (Mike) Lehmann

Mike began by recognizing and thanking those attending.  He knows many of the participants from his previous run (in 2012) for the At-Large seat on Bloomington’s city council. He had to cover the entire city, so knows what door-knocking and listening to citizens’ concerns is all about. That experience is invaluable as he begins his campaign. Mike_Lehmann_at_Convention.JPG

Mike said that was born and raised in Minneapolis and has lived in Bloomington for 37 years.  He graduated from the University of Minnesota and has been married to his wife, Sue, for 46 years.  They have two grown sons and one grandson.  Mike has been involved with the start-up of 5 different businesses as well as working with the Board of the TwinWest chapter of Chamber of Commerce, having served as Chair and still an active Board member.  He is a strong business advocate.    He spent the last 23 years in facility development, and recently retired.

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