For the first time this year, those voting for city council members in Bloomington and Minnetonka will use Ranked Choice Voting. Promoted as being a simple process, in fact it can be confusing, even overwhelming to some.
Unlike November municipal ballots in the past, Bloomington and Minnetonka voters will be presented with more candidates from which to choose and be asked to rank them in order of preference. Voters need to understand that they do not need to rank all of the candidates. You should only rank the ones that you actually might want to see in office. If you do not favor a candidate, always leave the oval by that candidate blank. In fact, you can vote for a single candidate for each office and leave all the other preferences blank, if that one is the only one you want. But, CAUTION – rank your chosen candidate(s) only once; do not fill in one candidate’s oval across all the columns.
Understand that if none of the candidates for an office get 50% plus one vote, the candidate with the least votes will be eliminated. If you voted for that candidate, the candidate that was your second-choice will get your vote. If none of the remaining candidates in this second round exceed 50%, the process of elimination and examination of lower-preference votes will continue. It is possible that if you indicated a third preference on the ballot, that candidate could be elected based on your vote.
To see an illustration of how a Bloomington voter could vote using Ranked Choice Voting, CLICK HERE and scroll down.
The top executive team under recently elected Republican Party of Minnesota Chair David Hann is taking shape.
Donna Bergstrom was named by Chair Hann to be the Deputy Chair of the party at the conclusion of the recent State Central Committee meeting on October 2. Residing near Duluth, Bergstrom has been active in conservative politics in Minnesota. She was tapped by Jeff Johnson to be the Lt Governor candidate in his gubernatorial campaign in 2018. She brings a wealth of experience as a retired Marine Corps officer, a government relations consultant, a guardian ad litem for the 6th Judicial Court in Minnesota, and an affiliate with the MN Federation of Republican Women and American Indians.
Lee Prinkkila is the new Treasurer of the Republican Party of Minnesota. Prinkkila is a Certified Public Account and has been a Chief Financial Officer for a number of companies in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and the surrounding area as well as in St Cloud and Virginia, MN. Lee is a strategic finance leader with experience in both private and public companies. His work with several data analysis tools will help the party in decision-making by leveraging pertinent data and metrics. An active CPA, Prinkkila has a broad knowledge of accounting rules and regulations. He has been a GOP Committee member with Senate District 5 in St. Louis County and then with Senate District 42 in Eden Prairie and Minnetonka.
Donna Bergstrom was officially ratified as Deputy Chair by the State Executive Committee on October 13. Among other duties, Bergstrom will take the lead on Election Integrity initiatives for the Republican Party of Minnesota. Lee Prinkkila’s appointment as Treasurer was confirmed during the same State Executive Committee meeting. Both assumed their duties immediately.
The money donated to the Republican Party of Minnesota by Anton Lazzaro, $47,000, has been dispersed to two in-state organizations that do important work on behalf of victims of juvenile and adult trafficking: A.C.T United (https://www.actunited.org), and Terebinth Refuge (https://terebinthrefuge.org).
The MN GOP Executive Committee, meeting on September 16, identified the two charities. After more fully vetting them, the Executive Committee voted to authorize sending $23,500 to each. Checks were sent out on September 30.Read more
This article is a continuation of our opinion piece published in September.
Rep. Elkins, House District 49B, is proposing a new state law pre-empting cities’ ability to zone single-family residences. The Elkins bill is over 23 pages long. You can see the a shorter legislative summary CLICK HERE
The bill has a lot of moving parts, and it is not easy to determine exactly what all the impacts on single-family neighborhoods would be. Elkins hid many of the consequences of his bill in different provisions whose impact can only be seen by considering their effect when taken together. Here are a few of the ways the Elkins bill will affect your neighborhood if it passes. Contact us if you’d like to know the specific articles/sections of the bill for any of these.
The Elkins bill’s most sweeping change requires all cities to allow ‘multi-family’ dwellings in neighborhoods currently zoned for single-family houses. That includes demolition and rebuilding on existing lots. Under Elkins’ bill a developer could buy a large suburban lot and put up a triplex (or buy two or three such lots and put up apartments) and make a lot more money than would be possible by building single-family homes on those lots. The Elkins bill enlists the profit motive to redevelop and drastically change existing single-family neighborhoods.
Typically, city zoning laws are intended to protect landowners from incompatible uses in the same area, especially residential areas. Elkins’ bill aims instead to implement social changes he wants. His bill not only has the state preempt city zoning for single-family neighborhoods, it inserts the Met Council into city zoning. Elkins’ bill indirectly calls for ‘inclusionary housing’ (what most of us call low-income housing) by referring to state law governing how Met Council money is used. In government-speak: City proposals get priority for Met Council ‘inclusionary’ money if “…at least 15 percent of the owner-occupied units are affordable to households at or below 60 percent of the area annual median income and at least ten percent of the rental units are affordable to households at or below 30 percent of area annual median income".
Elkins’ bill also charges the Met Council with developing a ‘model impact fee ordinance’ which presumably would be ‘offered’ to local cities to use. Undefined ‘Stakeholders’ would help develop the model ordinance. Anyone who could possibly benefit from “affordable housing” may be considered a ‘Stakeholder’. The new model ordinance would have to be finished by the end of next year (2022).
Elkin’s bill appears to allow new development to tear down trees on neighbors’ existing lots. The Elkins bill says that city regulations can mandate properties have access to solar energy. Government-Speak translation: Your neighbors can demand you cut your trees so their roof gets sun. The same part of the bill also says cities can mandate “protection of ecologic features” but does not define ‘ecologic features’.
The bill defines who pays for providing city services to new or redeveloped property. Cities would be allowed to pay for costs of new development mostly through impact fees (for brand-new developments) and through street improvement districts for redevelopment of existing parcels of land.
This report was given at the October 2 State Central Committee meeting by Barb Sutter, National Committeewoman.
As your National Committeewoman I’ve now attended three RNC meetings, and one mid-west regional workshop. What I’ve determined, is that this is truly all about learning, making connections, and then translating those into benefiting us here in Minnesota.
I’m a member of the RNC Rules Committee, and I was one of 28 people selected to serve on the Election Integrity Committee. (That report was released at the end of August, and I’ll be covering some highlights for you.) I work with our Faith Group, and I’m most interested in pursuing contacts with our Strategic Initiatives Program, which deals with the RNC Coalitions — a term I really like — and which we refer to as ‘Affiliates’ in Minnesota. The RNC learned from President Trump, that we need to broaden our base, and make those contacts ongoing and lasting ones, as well as make them meaningful. Just 2 weeks ago Chair Ronna McDaniel opened yet another Hispanic Community Center in Wisconsin.
These efforts cannot just be made at election time. Nationally, we now have Asian Pacific and Black American Groups, along with GOP Latinos, RNC Women, Veterans & Military Families, Young Leaders, and our Faith Group. And the list is growing! As I always like to point out, we may not win the Metro areas, but we have to be about being a presence, and we must move the needle a few more percentage points in every cycle. I continue to believe that these groups can make a significant difference. With that, in Minnesota I look forward to welcoming back the College Republicans, bringing back our Hispanic Assembly, and renewing our efforts with other groups, as well! Let’s let the leaders of these various groups become some of the spokespeople for our Party, as they are at the national level. Let’s prove, that when we talk about outreach, we mean it!
Election Integrity: The RNC spent $40 million on election integrity in the 2020 cycle. This investment funded lawsuits protecting ballot security, recounts, and poll watching. While these efforts were unprecedented, Chairwoman McDaniel recognized the need to evaluate and to recommend policies to avoid a repeat of the election administration failures in 2020. So she established the temporary Committee on Election Integrity, which as I indicated, adopted an exhaustive report covering these issues. Chief among these recommendations is that the Republican Party transform its integrity operations from a temporary ad hoc structure to a permanent and year-round operation covering all aspects of the elections process.Read more
Bloomington voters will be electing four school board members from a list of 10 candidates this year. Voters may select up to four of the candidates on their ballots. Here are some highlights of candidate Marquisha Fulford.
Marquisha Fulford is a graduate of Washburn High School in Minneapolis, She has raised three children with her husband Ronald, with one still in Middle School, and has one grandson. She has over 25 years of administrative experience, 20 of which are as a Medical Administration Secretary. Marquisha is a Certified Professional Life Coach. She is a community leader with Victory in Praise Ministries, and is the founder of Anointed Women of Empowerment Women’s Ministry. She is an Advocate-Coordinator for Zoe Childcare Center
- “Shifting Forward” with the Bloomington Police Department
- “Unity in the Community” event
- Inspirational Speaker with several church organizations
- “Policy Multicultural Advisor Committee” in Richfield
- “Community First Organization” in Richfield
Why is Marquisha Fulford running?
- To be an advocate for Bloomington children
- To ensure safe places for our children
- To focus on academic achievement
- To engage with the schools and the community, to seek inputs, and to support the work being done in the classrooms, sports, and beyond.
Marquisha Fulford’s priorities are:
- Build a strong foundation based on Equality, Educators, Academic Excellence, Family, and Community Support
- Advocate for All Students, provide them with every resource to ensure their future
- Encourage our young students of master Reading, Math, Writing, History, and Science
- Strive for Equality by ensuring that evey learner has the resources, supports, and opportunities to successful, academically and socially
- Champion the involvement of parents in the academic lives of their children
- Strongly support educators that uplift and encourage each child in all diversities
The candidates running this year for Bloomington City Council and for School Board need your help!
There are several outstanding candidates who want to make a difference in the governance of Bloomington and its school system. Respecting the nonpartisan nature of these races, they have not sought our endorsement. However, we have highlighted several of them on our website. We encourage your individual support with your time and/or your contributions.
If you would like to help one or more of these municipal candidates, they need people willing to stuff literature bags starting this week. Work can be done as a group or individually at home. Volunteers will also be needed to get out and distribute the bags in Bloomington neighborhoods. Please contact Michael Barg at (952) 210-3810 or [email protected] for more details.
Early voting is already underway. These candidates are working hard, but they cannot do it all by themselves. Show them that you appreciate what they’re doing and want to help.
Retiring Bloomington City Council member Jack Baloga informed the Newsletter this week that the City Council will only consider citizens for membership on the Strategic Planning Committees that are sent to the Council by City Manager Jamie Verbrugge .
The strategic planning process, as described on the city website, includes the Core Planning Team, which will develop a plan to present to the City Council; an Action Planning Team, which will break the strategic plans objectives into specific measurable action steps; and the Measurement Team, which will monitor progress on the plan.
“The difference between this and other strategic planning processes is that this is being done in partnership with the community,” Verbrugge said. “We want the community’s voice reflected in this strategic plan.”
The City Council uses different processes to select members of committees but has in the past most often winnowed applications itself. The work of the strategic planning committee will influence Bloomington policy for years into the future. Why the City Council chose to delegate selection to the City Manager is not clear. Inquiries to the City Manager’s office about the process have not been answered by publication time.
Councilman Baloga informed the Newsletter that the City Council gave this task to City Manager Verbrugge without taking a formal vote. The Newsletter will continue to attempt to determine why a paid employee of the citizens of Bloomington who has a personal stake in the outcome of the committee’s deliberations has been given veto control over which of his employer-citizens get to join that committee.
On October 2, the State Central Committee of the Minnesota Republican Party met to get briefed on the status of the MN Republican Party and to elect a new Chair.
Delegates, alternates, and observers crowded into the Hopkins Art Center for a special session of the governing body of the state party, called following the resignation of Chair Jennifer Carnahan in late August. The attendees learned that the state party was operating with minimal staff. Receipts from registrations for the State Central Committee meeting would provide some positive cashflow, but donations had essentially ceased awaiting initiatives by the new party chair.
Four candidates initially presented themselves to 338 delegates and seated alternates who were authorized to vote. After two rounds, the field had been narrowed to former Senator David Hann and businessman Jerry Dettinger. To Phil Parrish’s credit, he voluntarily withdrew from the race to allow a decisive third ballot before time ran out on the rented hall.
Jerry Dettinger and David Hann focused on what they offered the party and avoided either political or personal attacks. Both Hann and Dettinger promised to recruit experienced executive staffers and to promote election integrity and restore voter confidence. Dettinger emphasized his business experience and his intent to pledge $50,000 of his own money to encourage donations from others. Hann spoke of his experience in leading the Senate Republican caucus through a similar crisis and building the majority that Republicans currently enjoy in the MN Senate.Read more
"Persons running for Republican Party of Minnesota Chair must file a declaration of candidacy with the Nominating Committee on or before September 24th." (Per the official "Call" for the State Central Committee's October 2 meeting to elect a Chair.)
Phillip C Parrish, pictured at left, formally announced his candidacy September 14 in a memo to State Central Committee delegates and alternates. His announcement and a video can be found at his Facebook page.
Leilani Holmstadt, pictured at right, announced her candidacy September 16 in an email and (non-public) video to delegates and alternates.
One candidate who filed in August, Jim Newberger, announced publicly on social media September 12 that he will not be seeking the position of MN GOP Chair. Nominating Committee members were officially notified September 13 that he had withdrawn.
David Hann and Jerry Dettinger are continuing to actively campaign, outlining their recommendations and proposed plans in messages to delegates and alternates.
We're aware there may be at least 2 other candidates who have filed but not yet sent messages to delegates and alternates.