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:

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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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.


  • 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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Dario Anselmo Speaks at SD49 Convention

House 49A - Dario Anselmo


Dario said he appreciated the support of those nominating him and his many friends in the audience. Dario_Anselmo_at_Convention.JPGDario grew up in the Twin Cities.  He mentioned that his parents include one Democrat and one Republican and that meant growing up was full of varied opinions, which is a little like the Twin Cities.  He and his family have live in Edina for 17 years and he has spent over 30 years in state of MN starting and running businesses.

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Max Rymer Speaks at SD49 Convention

Max_and_Elsie_Rymer_at_SD49_Convention.jpgHouse 49B – Maxwell (Max) Rymer


Max started by saying, “This is a dream come true for my wife and me. “  He and his wife, Elsie, both went to the University of Northwestern – Saint Paul. He was recently elected to serve as a precinct chair for Edina 13.  When he interned as a Legislative Aide for Pam Myhra, District 40A, at the Capital he saw the waste and dysfunction of government.  He believes government’s role is to create a more prosperous District 49 B and that businesses need relief from the tax bite.

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SD49 Convention Elects State and CD Delegates

The SD 49 convention elected 121 Republicans as delegates and alternates to the Congressional District 3 (CD 3) convention, CD 5 convention, and the Minnesota State Republican convention.  A list of these delegates and alternates can be found by CLICKING HERE. 

-         Distinguished Convention Speakers


Over 210 participants also had the opportunity to hear from Congressman Erik Paulsen, Speaker of the MN House Kurt Daudt,

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SD49 Convention Recognizes Volunteers

Strong volunteer efforts are the hallmark of our Senate District, and the stand-out volunteers were recognized during the convention. 

The Executive Committee unanimously picked Barbara Sutter for its Crystal Eagle award, in appreciation for her dedication and service as a former treasurer of the district, former co-chair of the district, candidate for Minnesota house, and the force behind several successful fund-raising events.  

Awards for 2015 Outstanding Volunteers went to

  • Sara Amaden (Research and Writing)Sara_Amaden_volunteer_recognition.JPG
  • David Clynes (Tech Support)
  • John Ward, Dar Gray, and Patti Brestrup (Volunteer Commitment)
  • Carol Kerr (Phenomenal Fund-raising and Dinner Diva).


Sixty 60 volunteers worked together to make the convention a success.

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Dario Anselmo Talks Policy at Edina Ham & Eggs Club

On the 6th of April, our own Chris Rofidal, a member of Edina’s Ham & Eggs Club, introduced his guest — and featured speaker of the morning — the next Representative of House District 49 A, Dario Anselmo.Chris_Rofidal_and_Dario_Anselmo_Ham_and_Eggs_Mtg.jpg

The following is taken (and edited) from the Ham & Eggs Club Newsletter:

In his presentation, Dario described how his parents provided leadership by example, through helping people. He indicated that leadership while listening to people is critical.

He’s proud of his recent involvement with the film society in Minnesota, suggesting that we’re not just a Vikings culture here…

With his typical, fast-paced delivery, Dario described his enthusiasm for what he calls the 3 E’s: Economy, Education and Environment.  

His goal: making Minnesota a state businesses would want to move to. As a long-time business owner himself, if elected, he would love to serve on the Tax Committee. He believes we need to learn to spend wisely in order to get the best return for our dollars.

Dario believes our public schools are good, but unfortunately, not great. Upon leaving the breakfast, he said he would be phoning the principal of his 12-year-old daughter’s school regarding the ‘long-term substitute teacher’s class agenda’. Dario stated again, our schools are not working as well as they could…

So how do you change things such as the so-called achievement gap?  He believes it’s not just about spending money... If Edina can’t get it right, how do we expect other parts of state to be able to, he asked.

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