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Let’s spend $11,000,000 foolishly

The next time that the budget is being put together, I hope Republicans will tell airheaded liberals like Betsy Hodges and Chris Coleman to stick it where the sun doesn’t shine when they ask for their LGA increases. I wrote this post to highlight the fact that Chris Coleman was upset that he’d have to cut firefighters or police officers because evil Republicans didn’t give him an additional $3,000,000 in LGA. Because Coleman spent money he wasn’t owed and didn’t have, St. Paul suddenly had a $3,000,000 deficit.

As stupid as that sounds, Coleman’s in the minor leagues compared with Betsy Hodges. Betsy Hodges wants to spend $11,000,000 “beautifying the Convention Center plaza.” She wants to do that because, in Hodges’ estimation, the Minneapolis Convention Center plaza’s “lush grass, huge, funky animal sculptures, and fine trees” aren’t good enough. She wants to “plant more trees, level its tilted slope, and install electricity hookups and tent anchors so NFL VIPS might hob-knob inside party tents when Super Bowl LII comes to town in 2018.”

This is classic DFL spin:

Hodges’ spokesperson David Prestwood says it’s needed to “maximize the space.” And it “makes sense to do it now” because the city is slated to also host the X Games and the 2019 Final Four.

That sounds good but it isn’t wise when you consider this:

The job of the 33-member, citizen-led Capital Long-Range Improvement Committee is to review spending requests. Most recently, it scrutinized 97 projects, the plaza among them. The others included construction of a new fire station and sidewalk and intersection improvements so that kids can safely walk and bicycle to school.

The panel graded the proposals on various criteria such as level of need, cost, and public benefit. They were competing for a funding pool totaling about $150 million.

After all that, the citizens committee essentially flunked the Convention Center project:

But the committee ranked the plaza 95th out of 97.

Let’s get serious for a moment. This isn’t the exception for Minneapolis. It’s worth checking this post out:

We’ve been staking out the four fabled city-financed artistic drinking fountains in Minneapolis recently. We wanted to see what the nearly $50,000 per fountain from our property taxes and water fees buys. You can judge for yourself from the photos.

That’s right. Minneapolis spent $200,000 on “artistic drinking fountains.” Comparing R.T. Rybak with Betsy Hodges in terms of foolish spending is foolish. Rybak is a conservative compared with Hodges. Here’s the bad news:

Thus, the only ones standing between spending $11 million on lights, grading, and trees at the convention center plaza is the Minneapolis City Council.

It isn’t surprising that people are leaving Minneapolis as fast as their feet will fly.

Technorati: Betsy Hodges, Minneapolis Convention Center, R.T. Rybak, Artistic Drinking Fountains, Property Taxes, LGA, DFL

Authored By Let Freedom Ring Blog