Candidates Announce for Local Councils, Mayor

Bloomington Mayor Leaving Office after Five Terms

Mayor_Gene_Winstead.jpgAs the opportunity to file as a candidate for Mayor and City Council in Bloomington closes, the name of Gene Winstead has not been posted.  Winstead  (pictured at left) served as chairperson of Bloomington’s Planning Commission through the development of the Mall of America and first served on the City Council in 1995.  He was elected as the city’s Mayor in 1999 and appears planning to close out his tenure after five terms in office in 2019.

Bloomington and Minnetonka will hold municipal elections this year.  The window to file as a candidate closed today, June 4.

Bloomington, Eden Prairie, Edina, and Minnetonka will all be holding elections for some of their school board seats this year.  The  filing period for local school board races is coming up in late July.

Here are the Bloomington and Minnetonka candidates who filed (in alphabetical order by office).  All candidates were listed as non-partisan.

Bloomington Mayor

  • Tim Busse
  • Sharon Christensen
  • Rainer Einsmann
  • Ryan Kulka
  • Dan Niziolek

Bloomington City Council At-Large

  • Jenna Carter
  • Brian “Clem” Clemens
  • Judy Gelina
  • Larry James Hotchkiss

Bloomington City Council District 1

  • Dwayne A. Lowman
  • Johnathon McClellan
  • Al Noard

Bloomington City Council District 2

  • Shawn Nelson
  • Susan “Hofmeister” Woodruff

Minnetonka Special Election for City Council At-Large B

  • Susan Carter

Minnetonka City Council Ward 1

  • Brian J. Kirk

Minnetonka City Council Ward 2

  • Rebecca Schack

Minnetonka City Council Ward 3

  • Mike Happe
  • Bradley Schaeppi

Minnetonka City Council Ward 4

  • Kissy C Coakley
  • Paul J Lehman
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Attend Leader and Volunteer Training June 19

Planning_Training_chart-close-up-1043514.jpgWe are again offering precinct leader training on June 19 at the SDF49 GOP office in Bloomington (9201 E Bloomington Freeway, suite G). Look for the Service Quality Institute sign. The training is for Precinct Chairs/Co-Chairs, SD49 Vice-Chairs and active volunteers who want to make a difference and grow the Republican Party.

The training is from 7:00 to 8:30 PM.

All Senate District 49 precinct chairs and co-chairs should plan to attend a training session. If you were among  the 30 people who participated in the training that was previously held in May, attending this session is optional. If you know of someone that would like to get involved and wants to make a difference, encourage them to come.

If you plan on coming, please call Jim Bowen at (360) 927-8301 or email at If you didn’t attend the previous session and can’t attend June 19, please set up an individual training session with Jim Bowen.

The training provides a plan for organizing SD49 and updating our voter database this year. There is a huge amount at stake in the local races this year and in the state and national races in 2020. As we heard from multiple sources after the 2018 election—NOW is the time to start laying the groundwork for a successful 2020!

MN Supreme Court to Take Up Bloomington's Organized Trash

Gavel_law_background-close-up-court-1415558.jpgOn June 12, the MN Supreme Court will hear two points in final appeals of prior court decisions relating to organized trash collection in Bloomington. The hearing on June 12 at 9 a.m. at the Minnesota Judicial Center is open to the public.

It will also be streamed live at the state court's website CLICK HERE Click on the “Attending / Viewing Oral Arguments” tab, then “View Live Streaming Oral Arguments.” Instructions will be available on this page the morning of the arguments to walk through the process.

The coalition of Bloomington citizens are optimistic that they will prevail on both arguments. The people have the right to be heard on this issue, and hopefully justice will be served by forcing the City to place the question of organized collection of waste on the ballot this November.

The background:
In 2015, the Bloomington City Council approved a resolution to “organize” trash collection across the city. By voting to “organize” trash collection, the city council in essence eliminated the ability of Bloomington homeowners to contract for their garbage pick-up in favor of a trash collector selected by the city and accountable only to the city.

A coalition of Bloomington citizens petitioned to put this change to a vote in a referendum. The city refused. Over the last three years, the coalition has been fighting this refusal in the courts.

Atty. Greg Joseph, founding partner at Halper & Joseph in Waconia, has argued the case of the citizen coalition before the Court of Appeals and the state Supreme Court. So far, the courts have sided with the citizens on every argument except one.


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Sen. David Osmek Looks Back at Difficult 2019 Session

For_Website_Sen_David_Osmek.jpgSen. David Osmek characterized the 2019 legislative session as largely a holding action by the Republican senate against DFL efforts to raise taxes and grow government. Speaking to Senate District 49 program attendees on Tuesday evening, May 28, the Republican state senator from Mound expressed regret that some good legislation didn’t even get a hearing.

Gov. Walz signed Minnesota’s 2020-2021 biennial budget of $48.3 billion on May 30 after a 21-hour special session. The negotiations to get there covered a number of contentious issues, including increased taxes, growing state government control over health care, unrealistic energy mandates, and even a state model for K-12 sex education.

Sen. Osmek noted that the new budget did not include Gov. Walz’ 70% gas tax increase. But then, Osmek did not feel that the DFL really expected to get the gas tax increase. What they really wanted was to retain the 2% Healthcare Provider Tax.

The Provider Tax is imposed on medical professionals subject to regulation by the state, such as doctors, dentists, and nurse practitioners. It also must be paid by those that sell or repair hearing aids and prescription eyewear, or provide ambulance services. It increases Minnesota’s healthcare costs, as it is generally passed on to patients and to the state’s Medical Assistance program.

While the Provider Tax ultimately was reduced from 2% to 1.8%, Osmek believes that Gov. Walz achieved his real aim of eliminating the “sunset” provision, the requirement that the tax end on a specified date. This tax is also not earmarked to fund state health care benefits. Proceeds from this tax will go into the state’s general fund, providing a “slush fund” to cover future DFL desires.

As the chair of the Energy and Utilities Finance and Policy committee, Sen. Osmek was particularly concerned with the DFL proposals to shut down the state’s coal-fired power plants and extend the life of its nuclear power generators. He supports market-driven moves to increase renewable energy sources, but he wants to ensure that energy mandates do not excessively burden Minnesota rate payers.

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Highlights of End of Session Budget Agreements

Gaselka_on_Budget_Deal.jpgSunday evening, Gov. Walz and the leaders of the MN House and Senate outlined the results of their closed-door negotiations on the 2020-2021 budget. If the details of the deal are passed by the legislature and ultimately signed by the governor, the $48.4 billion deal will represent a 6.4% increase over the 2018-2019 $45.5 billion budget.


• Budget grows about $1 billion over the projected base budget of $47.4 billion. It could have grown by nearly $2 billion if inflation, increased population, and new and expanded state programs had taken full effect.

• No increase in the gas or auto sales taxes

• Health care provider tax continues, but falls from 2% to 1.8%

• Health care reinsurance program extended for two years, to keep health care premiums affordable

• The second tier of the state’s income tax will be cut from 7.05% to 6.8% by 2022.

• Public schools will get an additional $540 million, about 2% more each year on the per-pupil funding formula that covers day-to-day expenses like teachers’ salaries.

• Higher education will get $150 million more

• A blue ribbon committee will be created to find $100 million in savings by 2023 in the state’s health and human services budget

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Bloomington Young Adults (ages 16-23) Needed - City Commissions

Boards__Commissions-Generic.jpgThe City of Bloomington has openings for youth commissioners. Term lengths are one year from September 1 through August 31 with meetings held once a month. Applicants must be ages 16 - 23 to apply. Applications are due by June 30.

Youth Commissioners may serve on the following commissions:

  • SUSTAINABILITY COMMISSION - Advises the City Council, City staff, and the community on policies, practices, procedures and proposals that relate to the sustainable use and management of environmental resources that include air, water, energy, land and ecological resources, and waste.
  • HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION - Learn about human rights issues such as race, diversity, equity, inclusion and more and how they affect the community. Be part of creating educational opportunities and awareness of these issues in Bloomington.
  • PARK, ARTS AND RECREATION COMMISSION - Advises the City Council on matters related to the capital development, improvement and maintenance of City parks as well as recreation and cultural arts programs

To apply online, CLICK HERE 

Edina Seeks Volunteers for Housing Strategy Task Force

VolunteerEdina.jpgThe City of Edina seeks volunteers by May 28 for its newly-forming Housing Task Force. The Task Force will assist in the development of a comprehensive housing strategy for the community.

Affordable Housing Development Manager Stephanie Hawkinson reported that “the Task Force will be created to look at the current housing stock and determine where there are gaps in the housing that is needed both in regard to cost as well as the type”.

Individuals interested in applying can go to the city website’s “Volunteer-Edina” page, CLICK HERE 

The application will close May 28, 2019. Council will make selections by June 3, and formal appointments will be made at the June 4 City Council meeting.

Questions on the Task Force can be forwarded to Stephanie Hawkinson at

Lower Xcel Electric Bill? Credit GOP Federal Tax Change

Budget_Calculator_Pen.jpgRemember that electricity-bill refund we told you to expect last October, due to the lower Federal tax rates

The anticipated “by year end 2018” one-time payout timing was missed by 5 months, however the refund (finally) showed up in our Xcel electricity invoices this month. Tell your neighbors to check the details on their May bill. The average customer saw about $45 refunded.

Because the tax cuts reduced the corporate tax income tax rate Xcel Energy had tax savings in 2018 (last year) that are being passed on directly to its customers. The Star Tribune reported that the 2019 (current year) reduction will be reflected March thru December. And ongoing, the portion of the energy-charges that is due to Federal Taxes is lower, leaving just a bit more in our pockets.

As Isaac Orr at Center of the American Experiment wrote: “So the next time you hear someone say they didn’t personally benefit from the tax cuts bill, you can point to at least one concrete example of how they saved about 4.4 percent on their electric bills directly because of the tax cuts.”

Deadline to File for Local City Council Races Near

Red_Vote_Box_graphic.jpgBloomington and Minnetonka will be holding city council and/or mayor elections this fall. To run in one of these races, the time to file as a candidate is rapidly approaching. In both cities, the candidate filing period is May 21 – June 4.

Bloomington City Council and Mayor
The Mayor position (incumbent: Gene Winstead) and three (3) of seven (7) City Council positions will be up for election. The incumbent Councilmembers are Tim Busse (At-Large), Dwayne Lowman (District I), and Shawn Nelson (District II).

Minnetonka City Council
There are five Minnetonka City Council seats up for election in 2019 – all four ward seats, and a special election for at-large seat B. The incumbents are Bob Ellingson (Ward 1), Rebecca Schack (Ward 2), Mike Happe, (Ward 3), and Tim Bergstedt (Ward 4), and Susan Carter (At Large, Seat B)
These races are generally nonpartisan, but we may be able to help you get started. Contact us at, and we’ll talk.

Links to the City of Bloomington website City Council & Election Information:
For the most recent status on Bloomington’s City Council Elections, contact: Deb Smith at 952-563-8780 or

Links to Current Info on Minnetonka City Council & Election Information:
For the most recent status on Minnetonka’s City Council Elections, please contact: City Clerk David Maeda at 952-939-8218, or

The Election Date for 2019 General Elections is Tuesday November 5, 2019.

This Week in the Legislature: DFL Budget Increases Taxes by $12B

Tax_increases_cartoon1.jpgDemocrats in the Minnesota House have brought their tax bill to the floor. Across the entirety of their budget bills, Democrats are raising taxes by more than $12 billion over the next four years.

$12 billion in additional taxes over the next four years? On top of a $1 billion surplus (projected revenue over previously approved expenditures)?

The DFL legislators in the House are asking us to believe that the state government needs to take in 14% more than it required to operate over the last four years.

Even Governor Walz's own administration confirmed that low and middle-income Minnesotans will be hit hardest by Democrats' massive tax increases.

Starting this week, the ten major spending bills and policy plans will be taken up by conference committees that are tasked with resolving differences between the House and the Senate. (We've highlighted in a separate article an especially controversial policy that's included in the Omnibus Education Bill.) As Minnesota taxpayers, you should contact your representatives to make clear that you do not support these excessive tax increases. To see the names and addresses for SD49’s MN legislators, CLICK HERE


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