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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
Last week Representative Bob Barrett and another writer responded to a previous letter, which addressed how he voted for the education bill but not the tax bill that funded it.
Neither response actually responded to the fact that Rep. Barrett voted to increase education funding but not pay for it. School funding is such a critical issue in our area, but Rep. Barrett continues to avoid the question.
After three years in office we know what he would say: Minneapolis schools get too much money. That’s not an answer. Barrett’s the one who voted for millions of additional dollars for schools and told citizens that he was a champion for education, yet attacks the tax increases used to pay for the desperately needed school funding increases.
This is politics at its worst because he claims to support schools, then claims he voted against tax increases, but never addresses the fact that these two are interconnected. It’s classic double talk and it is wrong.
Please, Rep. Barrett just be honest with us on where you stand.
And please, let the stadium go – it’s over. What we need is you fighting for our children, our seniors and our citizens; not playing the blame game so you can run from your voting record.
Mayor of Johnsonville
The real question is not if the citizens in Forest Lake can have a vote on spending millions on a fancy and possibly unnecessary new municipal building.
Nor is the question about raising taxes or charging homeowners for non-existing services (streetlight bills where there are no streetlights, etc.)
The real question is, how soon can we change the name of our town to Johnsonville? (And I don’t mean bratwurst.)
Why don’t we just give the mayor “executive” powers (like in Washington, D.C.)?
Then he can appoint all his cronies to office. It’s time for the citizens to flood the mayor’s office with calls and e-mails and demand a special election to fill the council seat.
The City Council recently voted to not hold a special election to fill a vacant council position until the next regular election.
The mayor and Councilperson Susan Young tried to justify their position on the grounds a special election would be too costly. These same people just okayed spending $14,000 on repairing a baseball field. They also had no issues with spending over $21,000,000 of taxpayers’ money on the new city complex without allowing a referendum. Apparently they do not believe the taxpayer deserves to be represented.
State statute “implies” a special election should be held as early as possible when more than a year is remaining in a councilperson’s term. The appointment process is designed to cover short-term vacancies: the time until a special election could be held or there is less than a year remaining in the term.
The city attorney expressed his opinion the night Mr. Klein resigned. He said the city must hold a special election. He did say they could appoint a replacement in the interim, however, he did not say they should delay it until it becomes politically advantageous.
Each regular council meeting starts with an open session where people can comment. It is the one opportunity the mayor has not been able to totally shut down. I urge citizens to show up at the next meeting and demand a special election be held as soon as possible. Let your voice be heard and show the mayor and Councilperson Young you have had enough of their style of government.
Airing a Beef
A year ago we had campaigns for mayor and City Council. One of those elected, Jeff Klein, could not hold his promise to serve. Today our mayor, the one with the big cow campaign, is also not holding up his promise.
Hank Aaron is quoted saying, “You can only milk a cow so long and then you’re left holding the pail.”
After milking the taxpayers with the Northland Mall, now he wants to appoint, rather than elect, council members.
For next year’s election, we do not need the cow, man.