Political topics, giving thanks are writer topics

EDITOR’S NOTE: Letters will be accepted for the Open Forum for publication in the next available issue after receipt. Letters may be sent to Forest Lake Times, 880 SW 15th St., Forest Lake, or by e-mail to editor.forestlaketimes@ecm-inc.com. Letters should not exceed 250 words and must be signed with the writer’s name, address and telephone number. Deadline is noon Monday. The newspaper reserves the right to edit letters and assure that rules of libel and good taste are not violated.

Thanks, Roberts

Community Helping Hand would like to commend Roberts Family Funeral Home in Forest Lake for their generous donation of $500 to our food shelf.

This amount of money will translate into an abundant amount of food that will help many residents of the Forest Lake School District. We are grateful that such a large local business invests in its local organizations.

Jennifer Carr
Food Shelf Coordinator
Community Helping Hand
Forest Lake

Join FL Lions

The Forest Lake Lions are having a membership rally on March 15th at the Forest Laker. Time is 6:30. Please contact Nancy Immel at 651-982-0627 or nancy@bar-outfitters.com if you are able to join us that evening.

Many of the Forest Lake Lion’s Club members are getting on in years, making it difficult to maintain all of its projects and fund-raising events. Many hands make light work.

Perhaps your interest is in our summer blood drive or the Boy Scouts, or the Youth Service Bureau, just a few of our sponsored programs.  Perhaps you would like to help train a puppy as a leader dog.

Perhaps you would like to help with the Peace Poster or Drug Awareness Poster projects, Camp Needlepoint, Camp Courage, macular degeneration or other of the many, many Lion’s programs.

Like Uncle Sam, “We are looking for a few good people” to join our group as we continue to serve the Forest Lake area.

Join us on March 15th to learn more about our group, programs, and Lionism.

Nancy Immel
Forest Lake

Jim Crow Next?

Sen. Ray Vandeveer and his Republican cohorts are looking at creating a solution for which there is no problem.

I challenge Vandeveer to show one case of voter fraud in recent history that would be remedied by this amendment. Well  Mr. Vandeveer, you cannot because there are none. The only fraud is the Republican Party’s quest to take away a persons right to vote.

The rush to pass an amendment will disenfranchise the poor and elderly at great financial expense to the taxpayers of Minnesota so the Republican Party can suppress votes. This republican led farce is undemocratic and shameful.

Vandeveer is the worst kind of politician. His pandering to the corporations and extreme right wing out of state groups that write and finance these amendments is disgusting. The Republicans are against registering guns but are OK with the forced registering of people to perform their sacred right to vote.

This career politician has misrepresented this area for far to long and needs to be replaced. His belief that corporations are people is as far out as you can get. Now he wants to go back 150 years and limit a person’s right to vote.

Can Jim Crow be far behind?

Max Anderson
Linwood

News Flash!

Forest Lake is the only city in the U.S. that is not affected by the poor economy.

We are now on a path of spend, spend and spend.

Our mayor now controls every aspect of this city. He has two lap dogs on he council — one seat on his right and one his left. He’s appointed himself president of the EDA and he’s also appointed two buddies as new additional members of the EDA to vote with him.

There appears to be a conflict of interest with them, especially the architect for the new city complex at Northland Mall. He’s already presented the mayor with a preliminary sketch.

The mayor is also preparing a Highway 61 (Lake Street) beautification project. He started it last year with scheduled grass mowing of the medians.

Is a new community center pending? Is the city going to absorb the financial problems of FLAAA? A new marina too?

We need bonding dollars for the lift station upgrades and maintenance. How many more bonding dollars will be needed to fulfill the mayor’s desires for himself and his mentor, Ray D.?

Isn’t it nice to be rich?

Elvin G. Norby
Forest Lake

No More ‘Check Off’

Attention all German shepherd owners. Keep your dogs indoors.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is about to shoot 400 wolves.

Shown their ineptness by shooting two fawns in the Forest Lake yard of Jeff Carpenter, you are on notice.

Follow me and do not “check off” to give the DNR money on your Minnesota state tax form. Less monies for ammo and incompetence.

The individual who ordered the shooting of the fawns (we know his name) will probably retire early with a cushy state pension.

Thomas J. Lynch
Forest Lake

Thanks for Support

At the end of our most successful season, we want to thank the people who contributed so much to our success.  Applebee’s who sponsored our pancake breakfast & the many parents who brought their children to our Lil Kickers Clinic to learn & perform dances helped us raise the money we needed for costumes.  Our dance instructors (past & present) from North Branch to Northern Force, and especially from Dance Tech & Dance Factory in Forest Lake, gave us the skills we needed to earn our highest level of difficulty scores from judges.

In addition, Forest Lake Printing donated our posters and Tom & Marie Paul donated their Indie 500 pacer car to make our RaceCar themed poster look special.  Todd Proulx, of tlcdigitalimages, not only photographed our poster, but he has faithfully photographed nearly all of our performances, giving us action shots worthy of the sports page. Meanwhile, for the fourth year in a row, Jennifer Tell, owner of Dance Factory has donated studio space for one practice each week so we can have a mirror while our high school custodians have opened the school early each Thursday morning so we can practice at 5:30 a.m.

The community support from our teachers, staff and parents at our only home meet was incredible.  We felt special seeing so many people attend our conference championships!

Clint Reise’s coverage of us as a sports is so important and we would like to thank him for publishing our results and putting our pictures in the paper.  LAKES TV covered our championship and we are grateful for the chance to promote our excellent team and program.

Thanks for the support!

Forest Lake Dance Team
Forest Lake High School

Schools Need Help

I’m concerned with state funding for North Branch and other like districts. Former Gov. Ventura led an effort to fund public schools in Minnesota with state aid. Prior to this, schools were funded with a combination of state aid and local property taxes. His proposal was adopted by the Legislature and the state took over the basic formula funding our schools. The problem is the state took on about $1 billion in costs with no way to pay for it.

Many districts have successfully used operating levies to meet the underfunding. North Branch has failed numerous times to pass operating levies. The cause is the low property wealth of our district, not the wealth of our residents but the number of businesses the taxes are spread to. A solution would be to equalize operating levies by using state dollars to help pay for operating levies, thus lowering and equalizing the property tax impact of passing an operating levy.

My hope is Reps. Barrett and Daudt and Sen. Nienow are willing to support such an effort, Using state aid to lower the impact of a levy will require an increase in state taxes that these legislators oppose.

These same legislators removed the homestead tax credit which helped lower property taxes. They replaced it with the homestead exclusion which has no state aid. The exclusion allows lower valued homes to be taxed at a lower value. Without state aid this program is a pure tax shift. For ever dollar the lower value home doesn’t pay in taxes all other properties pay more.

Business properties, farmers, landowners and higher valued homes have seen huge property tax increases due to what these Republican legislators have done. The local property tax increases they’ve caused make it harder to pass operating levies.

Angela Tveit
North Branch

  • Ron

    Elvin – here’s a NEWS FLASH for you…the Civil War is over, the good guys won! The mayor is doing exactly as he campaigned which is why he won and will most likely win again this fall regardless of who your political heroes decide to tell to run on their behalf.

    Max – I think you are OK, I don’t believe Ray is going to run again due to redistricting.

    • Ranger I

      This is just the beginning, between the 3.9% increase in the budget plus looking at a new building for the police, fire and administration, plus millions of dollars on Hiway 61 project, plus looking at funding a community center plus bonding for lift stations repair and reconditioing plus bonding for many other things. Increase in water and sewer rates. Plus next year the Mayor will increase the budget again and add more bonding. He does not watch the storm water sewer budget that will increase. Right now residents pay 32 dollars per parcel, next year it will be even higher. Taking over the hockey arena. Its just a never ending spending spree. Yes and he has the two votes to do it. Should there be a revolution or just sit back and pay the bill? The good people of Forest Lake need to know exactly what is going on to determine the next course .Eugene Huerstel

  • John

    Thanks Elvin for beginning to expose the financially devistating course Forest Lake is following. Assuming the mayor and council majority continue on this spending path (and there is no indication they won’t) either Forest Lake is headed for a financial train wreck (don’t forget about the $6+ million roundabout cost, a lot of which was the city’s, the overruns for the Broadway project, and now the proposed marina and $20+ million City Palace) or our property taxes will syrocket to pay all the new debt service. It is likely there will be a combination of both. those of you who want spending controlled to a reasonable degree, please follwo Elvin’s lead and write letters also.

  • John

    This is a repeat of my comment but with several spelling mistakes corrected:

    Thanks Elvin for beginning to expose the financially devistating course Forest Lake is following. Assuming the mayor and council majority continue on this spending path (and there is no indication they won’t) either Forest Lake is headed for a financial train wreck (don’t forget about the $6+ million roundabout cost, a lot of which was the city’s, the overruns for the Broadway project, and now the proposed marina and $20+ million City Palace) or our property taxes will skyrocket to pay all the new debt service. It is likely there will be a combination of both. Those of you who want spending controlled to a reasonable degree, please follow Elvin’s lead and write letters also.

  • E. Baylor

    Guys, while I agree the city does waste money from time to time – 20 grand for a new tagline and logo and of course the payoff of the former administrator come to mind – I believe something more logical will be the end result for our city staff , police, and fire rather than the “palace” you refer to. Also, the Broadway project actually came in under budget and was county driven anyway. No pun intended but I’m pretty sure the marina is dead in the water as well.

    If you look at the city survey results it seems most people seem to want a community center and to fix the roads.

    • Ranger I

      The survey had 70 some people fill it out. We have over 16 thousand living here. We all would(community center) like one but very few people want to pay for it. We just do not have much more money to give and we need to be able to get to work. The cost is high just to get anywhere. Some do not have anymore disposal income at all.
      Actually the broadway project is not done so you cannot say it came under budget.
      I cannot imagine either, the new building will be less than you think. Very rarely does government projects come under what they tell us its going to cost. 16 million is just the start. Eugene Huerstel

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