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 443

Do Something! Sick of Obama? Do something about it. Lots of emails from Bob Davis Podcast Subscribers asking for podcasts answering the President’s address to the nation last night. How about doubling the voter turn out in your neighborhood by organizing your precinct? You can bitch and moan about Obama this, and Obama that, or you can do something about it. In this podcast Political Activist Mitch Rossow introduces his new precinct organizing training program. This is a longer than normal podcast that tells you how to organize your neighborhood to win. We’re not talking about events. We’re not talking about lit drops. We’re not talking about messaging or attending your local Basic Political Unit Meeting. From the caucuses up, every citizen (in Minnesota at least) has an almost open road to become a precinct activist and having a direct impact on the 2016 election cycle. So, people have two choices. They can sit on Facebook and shake their heads, tweet a snarky analysis of the President’s speech, listen to another lecture about Jesus and The American Republic at a Tea Party meeting, or you can actually stand up and do something real. Mitch is ready to do Precinct Organizing Training Workshops. He can show you how to double the republican turn out in your precinct in one hour, and give you the tools to do it. Yelling and screaming, posting on social media, tweeting, being frustrated and angry isn’t going to win the election. Only organizing will. Let’s get to work. Sponsored by X Government Trucks and Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.

Podcast 372

Memorial Day Weekend 2015. A midnight walk in the park, as we head into Memorial Day Weekend, 2015. As the country slows its roll for the big three-day weekend, it feels like the pace of the news is also slowing down. In the Upper Midwest, the big thing is opening the cabin, getting the RV ready to roll, and heading up to the lake. This is a weekend for putting in the dock, and establishing a ‘beach head’ for the summer. Some will be heading to state parks, others will be working, or hanging around the house. With a sense that people are slowing down for the weekend, the flow of news events also seems to be a bit stale. More stories about ‘candidates’ for presidential office, over a year away. More stories about things happening thousands of miles from the Upper Midwest. More blather about ‘Obama’, or ‘Clinton’, or ‘Jeb Bush’. In this podcast some observations from a day spent driving around the metro in gridlock traffic in search of parts – or a truck wash – for Mobile Podcast Command, visiting the ambulance supply warehouse, RV centers, and friends at various businesses around town. This driving around town thing is exhausting! After reading a thatch of news stories, taking a nap and dinner, time for coffee and a midnight walk through a deserted suburban town. Stories about summer’s and memorial day weekend’s past … the cold ones, and the hot ones. It is better to put the dock in when it is warm and sunny than it is to put it in when there is still ice floating on the lake. This year, the Upper Midwest has been lucky so far. It’s been a warm spring, and the forecast for the weekend is pretty good. Is it a good thing that there’s so much focus on Iowa for both political parties, this early? Events in other parts of the world continue, but things still don’t seem to have reached a point that requires decisions, or provokes new actions to debate. As summer comes on, it still feels like resolution on so many different news fronts will take a little longer. Maybe its a good time to pick out that summer novel. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul