Open Forum for week of June 13

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 [email protected] 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.


Total Disregard

At the May 28 Linwood Town Board meeting the subject of training for the supervisors was brought up. The Anoka County Local Government Meeting provides information about what is happening in the county and the Minnesota Association of Townships provides excellent training for supervisors in a variety of township government issues.

When asked if the new supervisors had attended any of the training, Supervisor Ed Kramer stated he had attended and eight-hour and a half-day course so far, but Supervisor Carol Searing was asked three times if she attended any of the training provided and all three times responded “I will go if I want to.”

Attending training is one of the responsibilities of being a supervisor. Is this the kind of supervisor we want guiding our township, someone who will attend training if she wants to go, and not take the responsibility to gain as much knowledge as possible to aid her in doing what is best for the township? How can we trust her to make legal, informed decisions without going to training? Does she honestly believe she knows everything there is to know about township government?

I think the town board should make it mandatory the supervisors attend at least one Minnesota Association of Townships training session each year so they stay up to date on issues concerning the township.

This “I’ll go if I want to” attitude is a total disregard to the citizens and the township.

Debbie Parker
Linwood Township
(Editor’s note: The author’s husband ran against Carol Searing in last fall’s election.)


Wish Carefully, Scandia

The article in last week’s Times regarding Scandia’s establishment of an EDA is misleading with regard to an election requirement for issuing debt. An EDA’s issuance of debt is only subject to a referendum if the debt is general obligation bonds.  If lease-revenue bonds are issued, there is no referendum requirement.

This is precisely the trick Forest Lake is attempting to use to avoid having to get public approval of their new municipal building. They had the EDA buy the Northland Mall property, issue bonds without a referendum, and will lease the facility to the city. The lease cost becomes part of the general levy and is paid by taxpayers. When the cost hits the budget in 2015, the increase in the city portion of the taxes will be 23 percent.

Considering that the mayor is also the EDA president and the council appoints the EDA members, this is hardly an arms-length transaction.  Since the members are not elected and have taxation power, we have taxation without representation.

The residents and businesses in Scandia and throughout Minnesota need to understand the ramifications of this process. The EDA’s ability to issue bonds without a referendum was intended for private development. By circumventing the usual statute intended for public buildings, which requires a vote, EDAs can issue bonds for municipal or school facilities without public approval.

The Lakes Area Business Association and several Forest Lake residents are suing to put an end to this deceptive practice.

Scandia, you could be next!

John Freed