Podcast 590-Ending Met Council Tyranny

Bob Davis Podcast Radio Show #61-Jeff Johnson

Across the country regional councils controlled by unelected appointees are amassing great power over elected town councils, county councils and in some cases state legislatures. The biggest and most expensive of all is the Metropolitan Council, which exerts funding and legal control across the Minneapolis and Saint Paul Metro, up to and including its own taxing authority. In some cases saying no to the Met Council results in a loss of funding, public relations attacks on the offending elected official and his or her town, or lawsuits because, “You can’t say no to the Met Council”.

In Podcast 590-Ending Met Council Tyranny, Bob Davis Podcast Radio Show #61-JeffJohnson, a Hennepin County Commissioner gives a history of the Met Council, a description of just how large the council’s budget is, how many employees it has, the extent of its vast influence in planning and development in the Minneapolis and Saint Paul area. If your town wants state and federal funding for various projects, the Met Council is the conduit for that funding.

At issue is the Met Council’s peculiar view of just what development is supposed to look like, which is decidedly not funding for highways and bridges. The Metropolitan Council’s view of the future is fewer roads, more bike trails and more sidewalks. We’re supposed to ride our bikes to work when it is 5 below zero, or sit in traffic jams of biblical proportions or ride light rail transit being forced through at a cost of billions.

This podcast is a companion to Podcast 501-Mark Korin, which details the trails and tribulation of a small town Minnesota Mayor against the Mighty Metropolitan Council. As Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson explains, the Metropolitan Council’s tyrannical control over towns, cities, counties and even the legislature is becoming a bi-partisan issue. With the advent of the Minneapolis South West Light Rail project and its threat to the peace and quiet of Minneapolis’ Chain of Lakes Parks, local residents are furious at the unelected council’s heavy handed approach.

An agency that began in 1967 as a way to mange water and sewer connections between local towns and cities, and to manage bus lines, has grown into an agency employing thousands and costing taxpayers billions, with its own police force, and the power to tell local administrators and elected officials to pound sand.

Johnson and Bob Davis discuss at least two ways to eliminate the Metropolitan Council’s authority or all together. Johnson proposes eliminating the council and replacing it with a board of elected officials from the area, with a more circumscribed and specific authority.

Bob Davis suggests at the very least, the Met Council’s budget could be deeply cut starting with council members who make over six figures a year, its police force absorbed by county and city law enforcement, and the creation of a separate transit authority. Finally, statutes which coerce local towns and cities to comply with the Met Council’s plans for dense growth, low income housing, bike paths and light rail transit, must be repealed.

Finally, are there enough votes in the legislature to accomplish Ending Met Council Tyranny? Johnson seems to think there is a chance, since many legislators hail from rural, suburban and exurban districts, with residents who have to pay for the Met Council’s grandiose plans, but receive none of the benefits. Moreover, legislators from urban districts in Minneapolis are getting an earful from wealthy Minneapolis liberals incensed at the way they’ve been treated by the Met Council over the Southwest Light Rail Project.

Sponsored by Brush Studio and Hydrus Performance.

 

 

Podcast 501 – Mark Korin

Podcast 501 – Mark Korin. Hear the story of a small town Minnesota Mayor’s battle with the mighty Met Council’s planning czars in Podcast 501 – Mark Korin. Oak Grove mayor Korin has had it with the overbearing manner and attitude of the Twin Cities’ premier regional planning agency; The Metropolitan Council, and he may have actually figured out how to beat them. Major cities all over the country have regional planning councils with varying degrees of authority, with issues related to central planning without the consent of residents in small towns, medium sized and large sized cities. The planning authority in Minneapolis and Saint Paul is something called the Metropolitan Council, a panel of regional ‘representatives’ appointed by the Governor, controlling urban planning, sewer and water, metropolitan airports and transportation including the Metro bus and train services. The Met council has a huge budget, its own police force, and holds sway over small town city councils such as Oak Grove and Lake Elmo and big city councils like Minneapolis and Saint Paul. Who wields this power? A panel of ‘representatives’ appointed, and not elected. This in a state that elects its Supreme Court Justices, and it could be argued, the Justices actually have less power than the Met Council. Over the years we’ve heard many people on all sides of the political spectrum complain about development issues in their towns and cities. Usually residents incorrectly blame these problems on elected officials on planning councils and city councils, all the way up to County Commissioners. In Oak Grove the issue is housing density and long term development plans. In Minneapolis the issue is the planned Southwest Light Rail, which will cut through one of the most pristine urban parks in the country — the Chain of Lakes Area — and one of the most wealthy (and politically liberal) neighborhoods in the city. Here we have citizens on completely different ends of the political spectrum dealing with overbearing – and unelected – government power. What these residents don’t know is, city councils and county councils cannot legally say no to the Met Council. The Minnesota Legislature just passed a bill ‘reforming’ the Met Council, which consists of some cosmetic changes to the terms of council members. Oak Grove and Minneapolis are represented by a collection of powerful politicians in the State House and Senate; Speaker of the House and representative to the residents of Oak Grove, Kurt Daudt, powerful State Senator from SD61 (The Senator representing those rich neighborhoods in Minneapolis up in arms about the light rail cutting through their backyards) Scott Dibble, and Oak Grove’s Senate District 31 Senator, Michelle Benson. How is it these politicians missed how to address the Met Council’s overbearing and unrepresentative power, and a small town Mayor may have figured it out? Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.

Podcast 444

Trump’s Folly? Midweek news updates. It’s all about Donald J. Trump who has managed to gain complete command of the media battle space on the issue of Jihad in the United States, on the heels of the San Bernardino, California attacks. With polls showing Trump with a commanding overall lead, compared to all the other Republican Candidates, his announcement that ‘Muslim immigration should be put on hold until we know what is going on’ has put him to the right of even Ted Cruz, and forced all the other Republicans into defending the President. Not only is Trump being compared to Hitler, (Ridiculous in its own right, since the greatest progressive in history and democrat President Franklin Delano Roosevelt didn’t waste a second rounding up West Coast Japanese-Americans after the attack on Pearl Harbor by Japan) his latest statement on Muslim Attacks in the US is being described as a ‘brilliant political move’. It all adds up to higher poll numbers for Trump and higher ratings on foreign policy and defense than the so called ‘adults’ in the room, like Lindsay Graham who called for a campaign this week to ‘Tell Trump to Go To Hell’. So much for adulthood. In this podcast, what you need to know, what this means, how to do your own homework and stop asking others to tell you what you’re supposed to think. Bottom line, the moderate leadership nominally referred to as ‘The Republican Establishment’ put George W Bush in office, backed him on the disastrous Iraq War (which did more damage to the Republican Party than Nixon), and continually expects the media to do their bidding for them. News Flash! If you’re a moderate establishment Republican, either serving in elected office or as a campaign consultant, people are sick of your crap and your unwillingness to join the fight. If you don’t understand why Trump is doing what he is doing, you’re dead. If people vote as the polls show, Trump is the nominee. If democrats insist on trying to take all the guns, stop people from saying what they think, and allowing ONLY the politically correct to speak, chances Trump will be President improve drastically. Americans might be stupid, but they see through all this political nonsense. They know, this President, this Congress and the Republican Establishment aren’t protecting them and aren’t fixing what’s wrong. Looks like what voters might be saying is, the time for the so called ‘establishment to get on the good foot, or get out, has come. Establishment Republican Moderates should be afraid. Very afraid. Sponsored by Hydrus Performance and Pride of Homes and Luke Team Real Estate.

Podcast 318

Your Dog Understands You. Updates just ahead of the weekend. The bloated and unresponsive Internal Revenue Service and its arrogant bureaucrat in chief have apologized to small businesses that have had their assets seized after running afoul of byzantine regulation. It seems if you deposit over ten thousand dollars in a bank account, the IRS thinks you’re a drug dealer. If you deposit less than ten thousand dollars, guess what? You’re a drug dealer too. Or something. Anyway, that means they can seize your assets and ruin your business. Especially if your business is selling guns, as one gun dealer and Iraq War Vet discovered last year. Today John Koskinen, IRS head apologized. Meanwhile, Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson says his investigators have uncovered thousands of emails between Tea Party hater and former IRS manager Lois Lerner and the White House. Hmmm. Aside from the VA, this is the one agency that is the poster child for incompetence, bloat and poor management. The US needs a twenty first century tax system that doesn’t require thousands of government employees – earning twice what the average private citizen earns while they go to conferences in luxury hotels on the tax payer’s dime. Don’t try to pass it while President Obama is in office. Make it an election issue. Two Civil Rights leaders were recently invited to participate in a police training simulation of high pressure situations which might require deadly force. In both situations the civil rights leaders fired their weapons. One said he just kept pulling the trigger. Did the suspect have a gun? “I didn’t even look”. It was an eye opening moment for both of these gentlemen who discovered its easy to criticize what cops do, from the outside. This is a program which should be put in place across the country. In Minnesota, the Southwest Light Rail project is stalled amid fighting between the Minneapolis Park Board, an unelected Met Council and a governor who is worried the project will lose federal favor and funding. At issue is whether the LRT will pass over a bucolic foot and bike bridge by Cedar Lake, or pass through a tunnel. Rich people in Kenwood and around Cedar Lake are opposed. Everyone else who doesn’t live there, and the fat cats who’ve bought up the land along the corridor in Saint Louis Park and Hopkins are all for it. Its wonderful when the left beats itself up. The latest political story line? If the Republicans win the presidency in 2016 (far from a lock) the United States will be a  ‘one-party-state’. What about democrats now serving in legislatures, as governors and in the House and Senate? They don’t count? And yes, your dog can read your emotions and understands your words. Sponsored by Baklund R&D

Podcast 290

Southwest Light Rail. News that Minnesota Speaker of The House Kurt Daudt says the House will not consider funding for the Southwest Light Rail, leads this midweek update from the Bob Davis Podcasts. SWLR has caused headaches for the Minneapolis Park Board, Bicyclists, Residents of Western Suburbs, Mayors, City Councils and legislators since its inception, and it isn’t even built yet! Despite the fact that light rail does not carry more passengers than buses, doesn’t spur development without expensive subsidies, and doesn’t generate employment beyond construction crews (which is a small swath of the working population and short term) the unelected Met Council and transportation ‘activists’ plan as many as twenty of these light rail projects, with the Southwest Light Rail central to the overall plan. Moreover, media coverage of how the state funds transportation projects is very confusing. Senate transportation chair Scott Dibble wants to add a wholesale gas tax which some report could add as much as twenty cents to a gallon of gas, which is projected to raise almost a billion dollars, add a license fee increase and then borrow 576 million for ‘roads and bridges’. What’s the other 800 million plus a year for? And let’s not forget the transportation amendment, passed a few years ago, which generates God knows how much in revenue. Is there a sinkhole someplace where this money goes? Oddly enough people who a month ago were touting the lower gas prices as acting economically as a ‘tax cut’, now advocate raising the federal gas tax. Hint, there is plenty of money if they would just dedicate all of the money raised in gas taxes for roads and bridges. Furthermore, what about Obama’s trillion dollar stimulus? Wasn’t that for roads and bridges too? New economic numbers this week has the media touting the ‘booming’ Obama economy, and leftwing commentators laughing at Republicans for spinning the good news, bad. But, there are still some questions about employment, central bank policy, and worrisome signs. 2.5 to 3.5 percent GDP growth is good, but wages are not increasing and some say, this isn’t enough to sustain the growth. Don’t get too cocky. The Bob Davis Podcasts provoked a lot of reaction in Podcast 287 regarding tea party politics in Minnesota, chiefly that rhetoric does not win elections, or force politicians to do your bidding. Almost as proof is a new poll of registered republicans in Iowa. If there is a grassroots tea party movement, the poll doesn’t show it. Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush lead a field of GOP candidates in the first primary state. Shockingly, the White House says journalists should be careful what they say, since it might provoke attacks against US military personnel and in his role as Commander in Chief, President Obama might have to shut down journalists who write stories jihadists don’t like, or satire that might make them attack. Not making this up. And you wonder why the President didn’t go to Paris. Finally, the IRS head continues to bitch and moan about the lack of funding for the agency, saying fewer audits are in store, and they may not be able to collect taxes …The Nation Rejoices! Sponsored by Baklund R&D

Podcast 119

Kick off the weekend with an update on stories we’re watching at The Bob Davis Podcasts. For one thing, a spring snow storm has dumped at least a foot of snow on the Twin Cities, which will completely screw up the commute for Friday, April 4th. With the worst winter in 100 years, Global Warming scientists are threatening to ‘go on strike’ and ‘march in the streets’. Really? The Met Council here in the Twin Cities has decided to screw the rich people in Kenwood, and around Cedar Lake, much to the chagrin of Minneapolis’ new Mayor, Betzy Hodges. What’s funny is, all these people supported LRT as long as it was destroying someone else’s neighborhood. Plus, find out who’s behind legalizing marijuana (hint; NOT the Koch brothers), beware the ‘Ring Of Fire’, NOW you understand why we should have let GM go bankrupt the old fashioned way, not with a government bail out, Iran’s new Ambassador to the UN is a … wait for it … terrorist, and more. Sponsored by In Home Care Advisors.

Podcast 116

I’m getting an ominous feeling about the next couple of weeks. MH370 is still a mystery. Russia is massing troops at the Eastern gate of the Ukraine and the White House seems confused. What does the US intend to DO about this, if anything. SHOULD the United States do anything? With winter over, the story line is now it was the worst winter ever in the upper Midwest, which feeds the story line that our slow economy is the result of … bad weather. Now the Met Council is fighting with the City of Minneapolis, the new Mayor of Minneapolis Betsy Hodges, the residents of Kenwood and Lake of Isles Neighborhoods, environmentalists, and bike nazis. It doesn’t get any better than this! Plus, court protection for pets in distress, NASA studying the fall of Rome, Brad Pitt’s modernist ghetto in New Orleans and much more! Sponsored by XGovernmentCars … now with Mustangs!