Government agency fights $23,000 city tax bill

By   /  October 24, 2014  /  Energy and Environment, Minnesota, transportation  /  No Comments

MMCD Photo.

Dozens of property and business owners seethed when the city of St. Paul handed out $2.3 million in assessments for street improvements on the Green Line light rail construction project.

Still, it came as a surprise this week when someone not only complained but stepped up, refusing to pay a $23,000 assessment for streetscape and lighting improvements — at least for now.

Even more surprising the group that decided to take on the city wasn’t a business or landlord, but rather another unit of local government, namely, the Metropolitan Mosquito Control District board.

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The Un-Expendables: Superintendents retire, get rehired with pension and pay

By   /  October 22, 2014  /  Education, Minnesota, Pensions  /  No Comments

THEY'RE BACK!: MN public school superintendents who qualify for a pension can retire for a brief period, get rehired at their same job and collect both pay and pension under state law.

They could be called “The Un-Expendables,” public school superintendents who retire for a few days before they’re lured back for a sequel at their former jobs — with full salary, benefits, incentives and pension.

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Legislator wants to revoke permit on unpopular wind project

By   /  October 17, 2014  /  Minnesota, News  /  No Comments

Barb Wenninger Photo.

How long is too long?

Well, about six years— and counting — in the view of dozens of rural residents fighting a proposed 1,600-acre, 10-turbine wind farm in southern Minnesota.

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St. Paul bills businesses thousands for light rail work

By   /  October 14, 2014  /  Business, Government Regulation, Local Government, Minnesota, News, transportation  /  No Comments

Light Rail-Central Corridor

Just as St. Paul retailers began recovering from an average 30 percent loss in sales during the new $1 billion light rail line’s construction, dozens of businesses received a bill from the city’s Office of Financial Services for street improvements tied to the construction of the 11-mile-long line.

“I think it sucks, but you have to pay for it, you know?” said Evangelos Hatzistamoulos, who received a $1,585.82 tax notice for the curbside work outside the Best Steak House.

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Convenience stores burning over cigar crackdown

By   /  October 8, 2014  /  Government Regulation, Local Government, Minnesota, News  /  No Comments

Assn for Nonsmokers-MN Photo.

These days, where there’s smoke — or smokes — there’s fire. This time the conflagration started when local governments began raising prices on small stogies and cigarillos sold in more Twin Cities convenience stores.

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Candidate boycotts League of Women Voters forum over camera ban

By   /  October 3, 2014  /  Elections, First Amendment, Free Speech, Good Government, Minnesota, News, Politics  /  No Comments

Henderson-223x300

A citizen watchdog running for city council on the issue of increased transparency in local government plans to boycott an Oct. 14 League of Women Voters candidate forum due to the group’s ban on video or audio recording by anyone outside of the media.

Andrew Henderson decided to campaign for a seat on the Little Canada City Council, driven by his acquittal on disorderly conduct charges stemming from filming Ramsey County deputies responding to a medical call in October 2012.

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