Jennifer Janovy - Candidate for Edina City Council

Jennifer Janovy, Candidate for Edina City Council, responded to our questions.

1. Briefly highlight why you feel you would be the best candidate for City Council.

This is an important time for Edina. The Edina community is incredibly strong, but our City government does not well enough reflect the intelligence, professionalism, and spirit of this great community. I believe that it can.

At this important juncture, we need a Council member with my experience and values — someone who will listen to you, work with you, and retain the independence and character to continue to be an advocate for residents and good city governance.

I am someone who believes that it is important to set goals and that it is always possible to improve.  In that spirit, here are a few goals, and improvements I will work to make happen if elected:

  • Leadership — Leading from the community up rather than from the City Council down. City government works best when citizens have a voice and authentic opportunities to participate.

  • Budgeting and capital spending — I will seek to establish an independent Citizens Finance Committee, putting more eyes on the City budget and spending, improving financial transparency, and utilizing the financial expertise of Edina residents to ensure that the City budget and capital spending reflect community priorities and provide for a well-run city.

  • Redevelopment that enhances Edina's brand — high-quality, timeless architecture amid a vibrant and sophisticated public realm; residential redevelopment that preserves our neighborhoods, trees and green space. 

  • City Council policies and processes — I will work to get a City Council ethics and conflict of interest policy adopted and to improve all City Council policies and processes with the aim of increasing accountability and transparency. 

  • Traffic, transportation infrastructure and funding — A neighborhood traffic concern is what first got me involved in city issues 14 years ago. From that grew a passion for both transportation and serving our community. I will work for continued improvement in our approaches to neighborhood traffic, providing for changing travel modes, and the design, implementation and funding of transportation infrastructure. 

  • Preservation of public assets — I will prioritize preservation of mature trees and restoration of natural areas, improvements to parks, park shelters, and trails, and attention to public infrastructure to ensure that Edina is not only a great place to live today, but also has a solid foundation for the future.

As your City Council member, I will advance a shared vision, stand for shared values, and give you a voice at City Hall. I respectfully ask for your consideration and vote. Thank you.

2. City of Edina policies have promoted greater population density in the community, especially in the Southdale area.  This appears to be supportive of the Met Council's plan for greater availability of low-income housing.  Increasing population density is already putting pressure on class sizes and school system resources in Edina.  Do you support promoting greater housing density and greater availability of low-income housing in Edina? Where should it go within the city?  How would you deal with the impacts on Edina schools?

According to census.gov, Edina’s population increased 4.6% between 2010 and 2015, going from 47,941 residents to 50,138 residents (+2,197 residents).

As of 2015, Edina had exceeded the population projection for 2030 as stated in the 2008 Comprehensive Plan (50,000).

According to the September 2016 issue of the City publication Edition: Edina, 466 multifamily residential units have been constructed in the past 12 months, 576 are in progress, and 1,164 have been approved or have filed for approval or sketch plan review—for a total of 2,206 new multifamily residential units, most in the greater Southdale area.

With the addition of these units, the number of households in Edina will exceed the Comp Plan’s 2030 projection.  

The Comp Plan sets a goal of adding 212 affordable units between 2011 and 2020. Excluding any naturally occurring affordable housing, the City has added few affordable units to date, and only two of the proposed developments in the September 2016 issue of Edina: Edina reference affordable units.

Last year, the City Council adopted an affordable housing policy.  I objected to this policy on the basis that it was not sustainable and that it would likely lead to developer incentives/concessions in exchange for a small number of temporarily affordable units (15 years). Further, it seems likely that TIF will be used to further affordable housing goals.

      Response to Q2 continues below.

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Questions For Edina City Council Candidates

Here’s the full text of the questions we sent to the Edina City Council Candidates.

1. Briefly highlight why you feel you would be the best candidate for City Council.

2. City of Edina policies have promoted greater population density in the community, especially in the Southdale area.  This appears to be supportive of the Met Council's plan for greater availability of low-income housing.  Increasing population density is already putting pressure on class sizes and school system resources in Edina.  Do you support promoting greater housing density and greater availability of low-income housing in Edina? Where should it go within the city?  How would you deal with the impacts on Edina schools?

3.  Should Edina’s city government continue to grow at a pace greater than the cost of living?  How would you constrain the growth of the Edina city government? 

4.  Do you or any member of your immediate family work with or for companies doing business with Edina?  If yes, how will you avoid a potential conflict of interest?

5.  Feel free to add any other comments that you feel would be of value in helping us to better understand how you would serve on the City Council.


Court Hears Bloomington Organized Trash Charter Change Case

Representatives of the people of Bloomington who want a vote on “organized trash” in the city were back in court on October 17.  A Hennepin County judge held a hearing on the lawsuit they filed when the city rejected their latest petition. 

While the city claimed that it would be “manifestly unconstitutional” to amend the city charter along the lines sought by the residents, the petition was actually in line with the earlier findings of a Hennepin County judge. It sought to amend the city’s charter to require a vote of Bloomington residents before restrictions could be imposed by the city on open competition in trash collection.

In the October 17 hearing, the judge made clear that he understood the issue being contested by the lawsuit and had fully read the briefing material submitted by both sides.  Both sides were asked to present what they thought were the most pertinent facts in their favor.  The judge has up to 90 days to issue his ruling on the lawsuit.

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Voting Case Heard by Ramsey County District Court

MVA_logo.jpgOn September 28, 2016, the Minnesota Supreme Court determined that it would NOT take original jurisdiction over a petition from the Minnesota Voters Alliance (MVA) to stop known ineligible persons from continuing to vote in Minnesota elections. 

This meant that the case needed to first be heard by a District Court, and that process began last week, on October 13.

The MVA complaint alleges that the Secretary of State wrongfully directs election judges to permit known ineligible persons to vote such as non-citizens, convicted felons and vulnerable persons found by a court to be mentally incompetent to vote, as long as they swear they are eligible.

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Bloomington Forums Give Insights Into Candidates

Republican candidates for Senate District 49, House District 49B, and the Republican incumbent in House District 50B responded to voters questions at the well-attended League of Women Voters forum on October 4.

49 Senate candidate Mike Lehmann emphasized the need for responsible government spending and to make the state more business friendly

49B House candidate Max Rymer stressed his intent to push efforts to improve problem solving in state government and to provide critical help to struggling people while empowering them to help themselves.

50B incumbent House member Chad Anderson pointed out that the promises for MNsure are not being met.  The problems are so significant that we need to start over in addressing health insurance needs in Minnesota.

To watch and  listen to our candidates as they addressed the forums, click on the following links for

 the Bloomington LWV Forum on October 4

and

the Bloomington PTSA on October 3 (introduction is about 2 minutes into recording, sound quality improves a lot a bit later).


Strong Turnout for District 49B Lit Drop

49B_October_Lit_Drop2.jpgAt least 40 volunteers came forward to support the campaign literature drop in House District 49B on October 15 and 16.  As a result, literature for President and Vice President candidates Donald Trump and Mike Pence, U.S. Congressman Erik Paulsen, MN Senate candidate Mike Lehmann, MN House candidate Max Robinson, and Hennepin County Commissioner candidate Maureen Scallen-Failor was delivered to over 2000 addresses.  In addition, a sample ballot with Republican-endorsed or recommended candidates was also distributed.  

Candidates Mike Lehmann and Max Rymer expressed their appreciation for the wonderful turnout.

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Trump Sign Vandalized in Bloomington

Sign_Vandalism1.JPGA Trump/Pence sign on Normandale Blvd in west Bloomington was vandalized last Saturday night, October 15.  Bras were hung from the sign before it was torched. Traffic on Normandale Blvd stopped and a police officer arrived to put out the fire.

Earlier, vandals had dumped salt on the hillside nearby, killing the grass in a crude attempt to spell out TRUMP.

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In the war of ideas, some people come to the battle capable only of throwing juvenile spitballs.  Their disrespect for personal property and freedom of speech goes beyond deplorable.  Unfortunately, the illegality of their actions does not seem to trouble them. 

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Volunteer Help Wanted

We have many ways for volunteers to get involved during October, November, and beyond.  Please consider spending a few hours helping us support the success of our local candidates.

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Literature Drop – Starting Saturday, October 15 - Walk your own neighborhood or other blocks within House District 49B, delivering local candidate literature to homes. Contact Randy Sutter CLICK HERE

Install Candidate Lawn Signs – Starting immediately – Put up candidate lawn signs in your yard and/or help erect them in local yards.  To secure sign(s) for your yard, contact the individual campaigns, as listed on the SD49 Home Page. CLICK HERE  To help install signs, contact Randy Sutter CLICK HERE

Welcome Republicans new to our area – Starting immediately – We have a listing of known Republicans who have recently moved into our area.  Knock on their door and tell them about us and the area.  Get their email address for our newsletter.  Contact Wayne Wenger

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Republicans Propose Reforms to MN Health Insurance Marketplace

Minnesota Republican House leaders and DFL state leaders held parallel press conferences on October 5 to discuss rising health care costs.  The Republican leaders identified solutions to address rising health care costs. Key among those was Matt Dean, Republican chair of the House Health and Human Services Committee and the speaker at the SD 49 Dinner Program on October 25

The DFL leaders claimed the ballooning costs of MNsure are the fault of House Republicans. On the contrary, Democrats are solely responsible for MNsure.  When MNsure was initially brought forward by the DFL, Republican proposals for improvement were blocked and not a single Republican in the legislature ultimately voted for it.   Republican proposals put forward and passed by the House Republican Majority for improvement over the past two years have been held up.

Pictured below: House Majority Leader Joyce Peppin and Speaker Kurt Daudt were joined by MNsure Legislative Oversight Committee Co-Chair Greg Davids (left) and Health and Human Services Committee Chair Matt Dean (right) in highlighting Republican proposals to reduce the impact of rising health care costs.

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Trump Support Displayed in Bloomington

About 20-30 Trump for President supporters showed up under cool and overcast skies Thursday, October 6, to hoist banners, placards, and American flags at the pedestrian overpass of I494 near Nicollet Ave.  They gathered to exercise their free speech and bring some excitement to the Trump for President campaign in the South Metro area.

OverpassWithSigns.jpgAs the group grew in size, more posters and signs were proudly displayed to the afternoon rush hour commuters. Trump supporters cheered in delight as numerous semi-haulers blared their air horns, and pickup truck drivers chimed in with truck horns. Some car drivers waved, others expressed their disagreement with less polite hand gestures.

 

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